The community is invited to attend an event on Rocky Neck tomorrow evening featuring music, food, fellowship and hats, both funky and creative.
The Rocky Neck Art Colony, now one of the state’s first cultural districts, is hosting the “Pass the Hats” event, a benefit to raise money to purchase a former Christian Science church to house a new cultural center.
The event takes place at 6 Wonson St. in Gloucester, the future home of the Rocky Neck cultural center, on Friday, Aug. 17, from 6 to 10 p.m. There will be music for dancing in the main hall, and the lower level will be outfitted as a speakeasy lounge so people can hang out and chat. There will be a tent set up outside, as well as food, beer, wine, a silent auction including about 20 hand-made funky hats, and a 50/50 raffle.
Those attending should feel free to wear a hat — or not — or decorate their own hat. The annual Beaux Arts Ball is on hiatus this summer to allow for this benefit. The gala will celebrate Rocky Neck’s recognition as one of the first five districts to be designated statewide. Tax-deductible proceeds will benefit the future community center and headquarters of the cultural district. But first the group needs to raise $450,000 to purchase the building.
“This will be a cultural center for everybody,” said Karen Ristuben, president of Rocky Neck Art Colony. “We just came up with a vision statement that includes its mission to be — to stimulate, to provoke, to welcome, to excel. The center will revitalize the community with the creative energy of now.”
Organizers see the building functioning as a place to foster art of all kinds.
“We love our amazing heritage, we embrace it and we need a place for today’s creative energy. That’s how we’re hoping to inhabit the building,” said Ristuben.
There will be some special guests, including Anita Walker, executive director of the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Mayor Carolyn Kirk and state Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr and Rep. Ann-Margaret Ferrante.
“The cultural center will be the first year-round presence on Rocky Neck and that may trigger more, like a year-round restaurant,” commented Ristuben. “This designation as a cultural district gives us way more than a shot in the arm. It gives us structure to work with each other and work with our cultural partners to do more together than we can do separately.”
Tickets range in price from $30 to $300, and all proceeds go toward the purchase of the center. The range in price is to make the event available to anyone but also encourage potential philanthropists to donate. Tickets are available at the door and in advance at Imagine Gallery, Khan Studio and the Rocky Neck Gallery, all on Rocky Neck. For more information call 978-282-1346.
Gail McCarthy may be contacted at 978-283-7000 x3445 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you go What: Pass the Hats benefit Why: To raise money to buy a church for a new Rocky Neck cultural center. When: 6 to 10 Friday night. Where: 6 Wonson St., home of the future center. How much: $30 to $300, at the door and in advance at Imagine Gallery, Khan Studio and the Rocky Neck Gallery, all on Rocky Neck.