The annual celebration of the arts brings food trucks, breweries, wineries, and handmade artwork to the Collingswood arts organization for its annual fundraiser May 20.
By Matt Skoufalos | May 12, 2017
In its seventh year, Perkins Center for the Arts’ Handcrafted combines a lot of discrete elements—food, drink, live music, and creative works—in its showcase of local arts.
The evening represents the collective offerings of the South Jersey nonprofit, which provides arts education, cultural programming, and gallery exhibits at dual locations in Moorestown, Collingswood, and beyond.
In celebration of artwork and the hands-on processes that create it, Handcrafted connects artists and patrons for a fundraiser that is itself a creative experiment.
“It’s about the best experience we can give to the people in the community,” said Samantha Salazar, Manager of Special Events at Perkins Center. “We just want people to come to the space to have fun.”
With 21 breweries, five wineries, four food and two beverage vendors on the bill, there’s no shortage of refreshments for its $60 ticket price. It also includes parking lot games like cornhole, beer pong, and ring toss, a photo booth, and live entertainment (this year’s act is Philadelphia dream-pop band, Suburban Living).
Its emphasis on socialization makes the evening like “a dinner that you don’t have to be sitting down to enjoy,” Salazar said.
“It’s really showing all the different partnerships we have; all the opportunities we can explore,” she said.
Handcrafted offers the chance at hands-on artistic experiences, too.
Alison Hunt, who manages the arts programs at Perkins, will host a jewelry-making bar where guests can try their hands at making necklaces, bangles, and stamped jewelry.
Those who spring for a VIP tasting from Cooper River Distillers will be treated to a mixology course with a chance to pour their own mojitos and old-fashioneds.
For those guests who simply want to support the center by buying some artwork, Perkins pottery studio manager Paul Serena has led its artists in residence in making ceramic mugs and 64-ounce special-edition growlers. Imprinted wine glasses for this year’s event are provided by its sponsor, Visit South Jersey.
“In the end, it’s a big celebration for us,” Salazar said. “We’re building community with the arts.
“This is a great chance for everyone to just have fun and be together, and really enjoy showcasing everything we do in this cool space we have,” she said.
Perkins Center Executive Director Karen Chigounis described the event as “our anti-gala gala.
“It’s so much fun to come in a dirty shirt and blue jeans and look totally fine,” Chigounis said.
“It’s a celebration of everything made by hand with skill, with knowledge, with creativity.
“Bringing all the disciplines together that arts involves—that, to me, is the joy of the event,” she said.
Perkins Center for the Arts will be held at its Collingswood location (30 Irvin Avenue) at 7 p.m. May 20. Click here to purchase tickets.
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