On Thursday, Hospice Savannah will be hosting it’s first ever Virtual Summer Nights Party and Auction. The online music and visual arts event looks to raise money to help offset the costs of its certified massage and music therapy programs.
"Those two healing arts are not covered by the Medicare hospice benefits," explained Beth Logan, Hospice Savannah’s Director of Marketing & Volunteer Services. "So those are supported entirely by philanthropy."
Last year’s corresponding event was a massively successful in-person gathering in the courtyard of local farm-to-table restaurant Cha Bella. Due to health concerns related to the novel coronavirus, however, a similar outdoor party isn’t possible this time around.
Instead, Hospice Savannah has created a live program online that includes music by the Jody Jazz Trio and the Midtown Pickers, as well as a make-at-home signature cocktail designed by multi-disciplinary artist Shelley Smith. They’ll also be auctioning off nine travel packages, which can be used during a three-year window with no blackout dates.
"This year we can’t do a live outdoor event with people so we are doing our first ever virtual event," said Logan. "At first I thought, ‘Oh lord, everybody is so over virtual events.’ [But] it’s a little bit different than some of the virtual events that have been happening for non-profits, so we’re very excited about it."
Another of those differences is the continuation of Hospice Savannah’s longstanding collaboration with Location Gallery, a partnership that began with the gallery’s first-ever exhibition over four years ago. This time their alliance comes in the form of an online display of works available to bid on or purchase outright, with a portion of the proceeds going to support the aforementioned massage and music therapy programs.
"We have a good mix of styles and approaches," said gallery curator Peter Roberts. "[The artists] asked me, ‘Well, what should I do?’ The title is Summer Nights, so they’re just sort of showing their best. Maybe a little bit lighter in contrast to sort of these crazy times we live in."
Amongst the dozen creators who are "showing their best" are local favorites like painter Angela Burson, photographer Bud Green, and jeweler Danielle Hughes.
"We’ve asked each artist to do five pieces," he added. "One of them will be for silent auction, and the other ones will be buy it now."
The art auction and sale officially began on Sept. 16 and will continue through the night of the event. Additionally, after the auction concludes the works will be available for in-person consideration as the first exhibition at Location Gallery’s new space at 251 Bull Street, at the corner of Bull and Liberty. "Art-viewing goggles" crafted by Roberts himself will be provided, and limited entry will be enforced to ensure the safety of those who wish to examine the pieces outside of their computer screens.
"So there’s a virtual component initially," explained Roberts. "Then anything that is unsold we’ll have up for people to see in person for the month of October."
Whether purchased during the Virtual Summer Night Party and Auction or at the galley space itself later, the proceeds from the sales will be going to a great cause.
"It’s hard right now because of COVID," said Logan. "We just are determined to do the right thing. And for us doing the right thing is having a lot of community programming."
"This is a way that the community can help us provide those extra things."
Free registration for Hospice Savannah’s Virtual Summer Nights Party and Auction can be done by texting SN2020 to 22454 or by visiting SN2020.afrogs.org.
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