6 Reasons to Attend the Art for All Gala

We are getting ready for the 2016 Art for All Gala on March 11 (at Revel Fulton Market – full details here), and what would a party for arts education be without incredible live artistry? Each year, our Gala features a uniquely inspiring performance lineup that’s carefully curated by our talented staff. This year’s schedule looks like the best yet. From Urban Gateways residency students to touring artists and community arts groups, meet our perfomers below – and don’t forget to reserve tickets here!


The Second Hand Three

These guys are old favorites at the Art for All Gala; the group includes Urban Gateways teaching artist Michael Riendeau, and they’ll be providing live jazz music during the cocktail hour – encouraging you to grab a drink and get ready to support arts education.

An Explosion of Music and Color: Artbeat Live Speed Painter Elliott From

Elliott has become a Chicagoland celebrity since embarking on his adventures in Abstract Expressionist Performance Art in 2007. He works closely with local and national sports teams including the Chicago Blackhakws (check out this video), and his speed painting has raised nearly $3 million for charitable organizations. He will be creating two masterpieces for us on-the-spot at the Art for All Gala, and both will be included in our live auction. Trust us, you’ve seen nothing like this before. More about Artbeat Live >>

African Dance by 4th Grade Students from South Shore Fine Arts Academy

Amaniyea Payne is a beloved Urban Gateways teaching artist with a history of leading rich, impactful African dance residencies. She’s been teaching an after-school program at South Shore for years; we are thrilled to welcome Amaniyea and her 4th grade students to the Gala!

Get to know Amaniyea’s work as a teaching artist with this Washington Park program video. As she puts it, “It’s all about self control, self expression, and [building] our social skills as we work together.”


A Tribute to Salvador Cisneros: Mexican Dance by Back of the Yards Ballet Folklorico

Maestro Salvador Cisneros was an Urban Gateways teaching artist and Ballet Folklorico’s artistic director; he passed away in August and he has been dearly missed. We are honoring Salvador, whose creative influence extended from Chicago to Mexico and beyond, with a beautiful Gala performance by Back of the Yards Ballet Folklorico.

We’re all the more excited about this performance because Ballet Folklorico and Urban Gateways have strongly aligned missions. With nine groups of youth and adults that range from 4 years old to folks in their 50s, the Ballet provides a space to mature not only as a folkloric dancer but as an individual as well. β€œ[Ballet] is super important because it provides the kids with a space to thrive in an activity that is 100 percent beneficial to them,” said Salvador. β€œIt gives them security, lifts their self-esteem, and most of all keeps them busy.” Learn more about Ballet Folklorico here. >>

Spoken Word and Song by 11th Grade Students from Muchin College Prep

We were wowed by Muchin students’ special opening performance at Urban Gateways matinee The Children of Willesden Lane in October, so we had to reach out to see if their students would grace the Gala with their powerful voices. We are looking forward to singing by Dalena Hankerson, and poetry by James Redmond and Fatima Ayala.

Live Music by Urban Gateways Touring Group the Ralph Wilder Orchestra

Ralph Wilder and his band perform in schools and community venues all over Chicagoland as part of our touring roster. Their show “From Rag to Rap” explores American popular music in its historical context, from ragtime music of the 1910s all the way through modern hip hop, and its popularity speaks to the group’s educational and performance talents (see photos of a recent school performance here). To close out our performance lineup at the Art for All Gala, they’re bringing an 8-piece group with a big band sound. Put on your dancing shoes!

Celebrate Art & Hope with Urban Gateways on March 11! Tickets >>


Thanks to our Art for All Gala sponsors:

Art for All Gala 2016 sponsors NEW