By Joel Hall
The music, culture, and fashion of the 1920s will be captured during this year's Arte Gras, an annual benefit gala supporting the children's programming of Arts Clayton.
The Fourth Annual Arte Gras will take place this Saturday from 7 to 11 p.m., at the National Archives at Atlanta, located at 5780 Jonesboro Road in Morrow.
The black-tie affair will include dinner, dancing, raffle prizes, musical entertainment by Atlanta's "Kingsized" band, and views of two classic cars -- a 1928 Willys-Knight Sedan and a 1929 Auburn Boattail Speedster.
The gala will also feature a VIP preview of "1920s: The Golden Age," Arts Clayton's newest exhibit, which will feature 1920s-inspired artwork alongside census records, photographs, books, movie posters, and other historical data from the decade.
Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin said Saturday's program will not have a set agenda, giving attendees a chance to socialize in a relaxed setting. The proceeds from the gala, she said, will benefit the Arts Clayton ArtVan, art scholarships for high school seniors, and several after-school programs sponsored by Arts Clayton.
"It [the gala] had a two-pronged purpose from the beginning," Summerlin said. "It's another opportunity to showcase our artists. It's wonderful for them to hang their art in the National Archives and put that on their resume. We also wanted to create something that would create some cash flow in our budget because these funds go toward all of the children's programs that we do, such as the mobile art van, and some scholarships for high school seniors.
"Without the funds from this event ... then the programs in the educational part of what we do would have to be cut in some way or downsized in some way," she continued. "Those proceeds help us secure the children's programs that we have and to grow those programs."
George Glaze, an attorney and supporting member of Arts Clayton, volunteered the use of cars from his personal collection of vintage vehicles for the event. His 1928 Willys-Knight Sedan and 1929 Auburn Boattail Speedster will both be on display outside the National Archives during the gala.
Glaze said that pairing real-life items from the 1920s with art inspired by the era will give people a chance to experience the time period in an authentic way.
"We'll actually have things from the archives [from the 1920s]," Glaze said. "It sort of really takes you back to the period. It was the era of the flapper. It was just an era where people were well satisfied and content with the way things were progressing with the country ... just as in the nineties and early 2000s period. It was a fun time. Maybe we need a little bit of that right now."
Arte Gras tickets are still available for $125 per person or $1,000 per sponsored table (for 10 people). The "1920s: The Golden Age" exhibit will hang at the National Archives at Atlanta from March 16 to May 15.
For more information, call Arts Clayton at (770) 473-5457.