It’s a Wrap! Photos from Artini 2014

About a month ago we posted this entry about Artini’s fifth anniversary event on November 14, listing our Top 7 reasons to attend. Thanks to many of you who did, we had a fantastic time AND raised over $12,000 for arts education programs in Chicago schools! Huge thanks to attendees, sponsors, silent auction donors, our gorgeous venue (Parliament Chicago), to the New Arts Forum (Urban Gateways’ Auxiliary Board) for all their support….and to Alayna Kudalis for the lovely photography we’ve shared with you below! Let’s recap those Top 7 reasons to attend, this time in images from Artini itself:


We definitely were NOT disappointed. From the flashy chandeliers to the swanky booths and the labyrinthine lower level…this image probably speaks for itself! Kudos to Parliament for a great night out.


There’s only ever a good time to be had with our Auxiliary Board, the New Arts Forum. Keep an eye out for brand new events in 2015! Also present at Parliament were Urban Gateways Board of Directors and staff members. (And a variety of new faces, which we love!)

Pictured left: NAF Chair Merideth Lacina (L) and Nikki Jolly (R). Pictured right: Urban Gateways Board member Felicia Graves (L), Ellen Burns (C), and Urban Gateways Director of Development Sherre Cullen (R).


Piel Morena Contemporary Dance (upper) and magician The Spellbinder (lower) are touring artists with Urban Gateways, so we had no doubt they would do a fantastic job. Still, it’s rewarding to see a new room of people witness the wonderful artistry of their performances. They bring this artistry to schools all over Chicago, and we think that Artini attendees got a glimpse of how meaningful these live shows can be.


From a signed Bobby Hall jersey to a whiskey package, a glass-blowing class, and works by Urban Gateways visual artists…this aution really had it all, and guests got seriously competitive. Below, a piece by Urban Gateways teaching artist Jeff Maldonado.


Check out this bar. There were two of those, and Parliament’s Artini cocktail (made specially for this event) was certainly flowing, as were Goose Island beers and a variety of wines from The Noble Grape and Four Corners Tavern Group.


Five Artinis and counting, each one getting progressively more fun. Can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year!


Artini is intended to offer a great time, in support of a great cause. As Urban Gateways Executive Director Eric Delli Bovi said during his brief speech at Artini, he himself learned to escape, cope, and grow through music; many of us have similarly learned that the arts (be it dancing, painting, photography, poetry, etc) offer an outlet for emotions and a mechanism for healing. Many youth in Chicago have no education in the arts and therefore no way to learn how valuable self-expression can be as a tool for getting through the confusing business of being human. We try to change that by giving them access to a high-quality arts education. From there, they can decide which mode of expression is right for them.

Thank you for partying for a cause!