Ballet Austin’s Fête and Fête*ish Dazzle With Announcement of Major New Endowment
By Rob Giardinelli Photography by Anne Bloodgood, Jennifer Hoger and John Pesina
THE SCENE: Over 600 of Austin’s Sociables rub elbows to launch the social season as they arrived at the JW Marriott for an evening of full of Alice In Wonderland-themed décor. Dazzled by what they encountered, Ballet Austin’s Fête and its accompanying after-party Fête*ish, delivered an evening of lively festivities that coincided with a major new program that will further establish Austin as a regional and national destination for the performing arts.
THE VIBE: From the moment guests ascended the escalator to the foyer outside of the grand ballroom, they could feel the sense of magic and wonder in the air in high anticipation of the night ahead. As guests sipped on cocktails and mingled through the impeccably dressed black-tie crowd, they could ring a bell against a giant wall of ivy to obtain champagne from the hands that sticking out of the ivy for a creatively served beverage. Just like in Alice’s dreams.
The festivities then turned to the ballroom where attendees, after walking through an intimate forest-like entry, strolled into beautifully decorated ballroom beyond the imagination of a childhood wonderscape, courtesy of Mandarin Design Lab. The dinner was a scrumptious meal fit for kings and queens, with the evening’s program that featured a robust live auction. The big news of the evening was the incredible announcement of a $3 million dollar donation by Dr. Ernest and Sarah Butler for the newly created Butler New Choreography Endowment, with a balloon drop to commemorate the generous gift. Afterward, the door between the Fête and Fête*ish ballrooms opened with the party continuing well into the night as guests danced the night away in style – the perfect way to cap off a fairytale evening.
THE CAUSE: Ballet Austin Fête, chaired by Jeff Coddington and Beverly Dale and Fête*ish chaired by Jessie Katz and Andy Means raised over $410,000 for Ballet Austin programs providing exceptional artistic programming, arts education and access to residents of Central Texas and beyond.