Oakland, California (EastBayDaily) — Oakland will be illuminated on April 27, 2013 for the 8th Annual Fire & Light Soirée and Art Auction. From 6 to 11 PM, artists, community members, and local luminaries will gather at The Crucible’s West Oakland facility to share a gourmet meal, participate in both a Fund-A-Need and an art auction, and witness an exhilarating aerial dance performance. The event will honor Dennis Bartels, Executive Director of the Exploratorium, and is a fundraiser for The Crucible’s youth programs.
The Crucible is a nonprofit arts organization that fosters a collaboration of arts, industry, and community. The youth program is central to its mission to make the industrial and fine arts accessible to all residents of the Bay Area and beyond, and provides at least 500 local students with over $100,000 in class scholarships and free programming annually. Overall, more than 4,000 youth participate in classes, fieldtrips, workshops, bike programs, and paid internships at The Crucible each year. All young students benefit from top-notch instruction, community service projects, and rigorous curriculums that support their academic and artistic work.
Dennis Bartels is regarded worldwide as an advocate for the power of hands-on educational programming that takes place outside of a classroom, such as that offered by The Crucible’s youth program. He is an elected fellow of the American Educational Research Association (AERA) and the International Society for Design and Development in Education (ISDEE), and has led the Exploratorium since 2006, where he currently helms that institution’s historic move to San Francisco’s waterfront. Mr. Bartels will speak about his vision for the Bay Area’s future as an international leader in the arts, science, and education.
After a dinner provided by Grace Street Catering, Intern Adrian Rodriquez will speak about his experience in The Crucible’s Youth Program. Thanks to a hands-on fieldtrip in 2010 with his Richmond High School classmates, Mr. Rodriguez discovered a passion for welding that led him to tackle ten industrial arts classes through the scholarship program. He has interned in the Welding Department for three years, and this summer will also take on a staff position as a Teacher’s Assistant in the Blacksmithing Department. Mr. Rodriguez is a mentor to younger students, and plans to pursue a career as a welder. The Fund-a-Need that immediately follows his talk allows guests to pledge their support for The Crucible’s scholarships and free programming, ensuring that students like Mr. Rodriguez can accomplish their professional and artistic goals.
The live art auction will feature masterworks by 30 local industrial and fine artists. Artists include: Randy Strong, whose blown glass sculptures have been shown internationally and are in the collection of both the Oakland Museum of California and the Louvre in Paris; cartoneria master Ruben Guzman; renowned glass artists Steve Lundberg and Mary B. White; bronze sculptor Nicholas DiFilippo, and more.
The evening will close with a spectacular performance by Flyaway Productions, under the direction of aerial apparatus-based dancer Jo Kreiter and with live accompaniment by composer Mark Growden and musicians on trumpet, cornet, upright bass, and cello. As the performers soar overhead on a set specially constructed by Crucible fabricators, the Soirée’s attendees will be invited to marvel at the heights that artists can reach when they are given adequate support.
All donations to the Soirée are tax deductible, including ticket purchases. The Bently Foundation is a Platinum Sponsor of the event. To find out more about sponsorship opportunities or to buy tickets, please visit http://thecrucible.org/events/specialevents/602 or call 510-444-0919.
Tara Bartholomew, Development Director