Corcoran Ball 2015
May 16, 2015
Reposted from BizBash/Event Coverage
Corcoran Ball Makes Big Changes for 60th Anniversary
After a tumultuous year, a dedicated committee pulled off the event with a mix of old and new elements.
By D. Channing Muller Posted April 27, 2015, 7:00 AM EDT
The Women’s Committee for the Corcoran Gallery of Art hosted its 60th annual Corcoran Ball—an event many didn’t think would happen—on April 17. Last year’s purchase of the Corcoran and its college of art and design by George Washington University—a move that many long-time supporters fought—put the future of the museum as well as its largest fund-raising event in question. Both the university and the women’s committee remained committed to the ball, though, albeit on a smaller scale.
With the Corcoran currently under construction, executives at the university opted to move the event to the new George Washington University Museum and the Textile Museum. It’s a smaller space, which meant the ball itself would have fewer guests. While last year’s ball drew 780 people, this year planners capped ticket sales at 300.
Ball chairman Saree Pitt acknowledged the impact of dramatically downsizing the guest list, but said the event maintained its traditions of dinner, dancing, and raising money for the students at the college—more than $250,000.“It’s a completely new event and environment, so we’ve been cautious with expectations,” Pitt said. “We aren’t focused on numbers, though we are confident we’ll hit our goal. [We are] more focused on continuing the event.”
One long-standing tradition the ball brought to the new venue was its opulent decor.Perfect Settings set up two tents, one for the reception and one for dinner, on the museum property and guests could tour the museum throughout the event. Eric Michael ofOccasions Caterers, Peter Grazzini of Perfect Settings, and Annie Senatore of Design Foundry returned to set the scene along with Erik Duran of Duran Floral Designs, formerly known as Jack H. Lucky Floral before Duran purchased the business following Lucky’s retirement.
In the past, each room of the Corcoran had a different theme to its decor based on the art in that gallery. Given the change of venue, the designers opted for a consistent color and design scheme, focusing on a “metamorphosis” theme.“This is the 60th anniversary, but we are changing,” Pitt said. “We are using the butterfly as the symbol of that on the invite, program, and in the decorating to bring the best of the 60 years of tradition into the next 60 years we’ll be creating.”
Erik Duran used pink, orange, and green for the flowers on the cocktail tables in the reception tent.
Design Foundry kept the reception tent to a color palette of orange and pink. The florals set the stage for the springtime colors used throughout the dinner tent.
Design Foundry suspended different sizes and styles of orange lanterns from the ceiling of the reception tent.
Perfect Settings set up the tents in the garden of the Textile Museum property.
While the event couldn’t take place at the Corcoran Gallery of Art, a screened image of the gallery’s doors at the reception provided a link to the past.
Design Foundry suspended strings of pink butterflies above the dance floor as part of the metamorphosis theme.
The design team chose a springtime color palette of pink, orange, green, yellow, and green for the linens, flowers, and lighting in the dinner tent.
Yours Truly Lighting used pink, green, and orange uplights to complement the decor inside the dinner tent.
Perfect Settings mixed up the linens on the tables adjacent to one another with white tablecloths adorned with pink flowers on one table next to another with the opposite color arrangement.
For the first course of the meal, Occasions Caterers served sake-poached gulf shrimp with cashews, grapefruit, and mache accompanied by a watercress emulsion.
For dessert, Occasions Caterers served a chocolate and hazelnut dacquoise with raspberries and a chocolate butterfly.
60th Annual Corcoran Ball Team:
Catering, Design, Event Management/Occasions Caterers
Decor, Design/Design Foundry
Photography/Pepe Gomez PixelMe Studio
Sound/MSE Productions Inc.
Flowers/Duran Floral Design LLC
Lighting/Yours Truly Lighting and Decor
Linens, Rentals, Tenting/Perfect Settings L.L.C.