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Monte Carlo meets Morrow

Arts Clayton planning Arte Gras fundraiser

— Arts patrons will get to play James Bond for one night next month.

There won’t be any actual secret agents involved, but residents will get to put on their best formal wear March 9 and act like they are at the Casino Royale during Arts Clayton’s seventh Annual Arte Gras celebration. They will be able to play games such as Roulette and Blackjack with fake money for prizes, as if they were on a trip to Monte Carlo.

“The theme for this year is ‘A Night on the French Riviera,’ ” said Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin of the black-tie event.

Arte Gras is Arts Clayton’s major fundraiser for its arts education programs, which are collectively called “Read to Succeed Through the Arts.” These programs include the annual Kaleidoscope and Young Teen art camps and the Art Van program.

Invitations went out last week, but Summerlin said anyone who did not receive an invite can call her at 770-473-5831 to buy tickets for the event. Individual tickets cost $125 apiece and table sponsorships can be bought for $1,000.

Summerlin said 50 tickets have already been sold in the first week. Arte Gras typically draws crowds between 225 and 250 people, she added.

There are two major changes to Arte Gras for this year. The first is a venue change. The event has traditionally been held at the National Archives at Atlanta. However, a change in that facility’s operating schedule has led Arts Clayton to move the fundraiser to the Morrow Center, located at 1180 Southlake Mall, in Morrow.

“We love that we had another opportunity to hold this event in the heart of Clayton County,” Summerlin said. “We like being able to hold it in Morrow because it makes it accessible to everybody in the county and surrounding counties.”

The other big change for this year will be the addition of gaming tables. Arte Gras committee members starting talking about a desire to add gaming tables last fall and that eventually evolved into the French Riviera theme.

“We were wondering how we could add new energy to Arte Gras and this was something the committee came up with,” Summerlin said. “They bring another element of fun.”

Presenting sponsors for Arte Gras include Allan Vigil Ford Lincoln, the City of Forest Park, Southern Crescent Hospital for Specialty Care and State Bank and Trust Company.

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