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Arts Clayton goes ‘old Hollywood’ for Arte Gras

Invitations to this year’s Arte Gras fundraiser have been slowly making their way through the mail to Arts Clayton supporters in recent weeks. The annual party will be held March 8 at the Morrow Center. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

Invitations to this year’s Arte Gras fundraiser have been slowly making their way through the mail to Arts Clayton supporters in recent weeks. The annual party will be held March 8 at the Morrow Center. (Staff Photo: Curt Yeomans)

JONESBORO — The invitations for this year’s Arte Gras may have gotten to their intended destinations a little later than normal this year, but Arts Clayton Executive Director Linda Summerlin said patrons can thank “Old Man Winter” for that.

The invitations were sent out about two weeks ago, but Summerlin said last week’s ice storm caused some delays in their delivery. The storm left many roads too dangerous to drive on and thousands of Georgia Power customers went a couple of days without power.

“The invitations were backed up at the post office,” said Summerlin.

But Summerlin said that try as the weather might to delay the invitations with the ice storm, the final invitations were believed to have finally reached their destinations earlier this week.

Arte Gras will be held at the Morrow Center March 8 with “Classic Hollywood” chosen as its theme for this year. The annual black-tie event, which is a fundraiser for Arts Clayton’s children’s education programs, will include many of its usual trappings. Those trappings include faux gaming tables, a raffle, performances by the Infinity Show Band, food and dancing.

Summerlin said this year’s movie theme was inspired by an exhibit of old Loew’s Grand Theater posters the Arts Clayton Gallery hosted last year. The handmade posters were mainly from the 1930s and 1940s and were on loan from movie collector Herb Bridges’ collection.

Bridges, whose “Gone With The Wind” memorabilia is featured in the Road To Tara Museum in Jonesboro, died from a heart attack just before the exhibit was set to end. However, attendees should not expect Arte Gras to be a tear-inducing tribute to the cinema buff.

Summerlin said the fundraiser has always been intended to be an event where Arts Clayton supporters could come together and let loose.

“It’s a party,” she said. “People can eat when they want to, dance when they want to, drink when they want to, play at the gaming tables when they want to and visit with their friends when they want to. There’s no structure to Arte Gras. It’s all about fellowship and meeting new friends and catching up with old friends.”

And despite the efforts of “Old Man Winter” to delay the delivery of invitations, Summerlin said sales of Arte Gras tickets have been brisk so far. The equivalent of about 15 of the 30 tables available have been sold between individual tickets and companies who have bought blocks of tickets, she said.

“We’re about halfway to being sold out with our tickets,” said Summerlin.

Residents can buy tickets to Arte Gras regardless of whether they received invitations at a cost of $125 per person and $1,000 for an eight-person table. They can call Summerlin at 770-473-5831 to inquire about buying tickets or to make a reservation.

The presenting sponsors are Allan Vigil Ford Lincoln, the city of Forest Park and Southern Crescent Hospital for Specialty Care.

Other sponsors include the city of Morrow, Caduceus Occupational Medicine, Fidelity Bank, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Kaiser Permanente, Loggins Kern & McCombs, Morrow Florist, Southern Crescent Personnel Inc., Southern Regional Medical Center and We Are Clayton magazine.