Centro de la Comunidad
The lilt of Latin music, and goldfish bowls on dinner tables set a bubbly tone for the evening inside the American Visionary Art Museum's sculpture barn. Welcome to "Fiesta Latina 2003," the annual fund-raiser for Baltimore's Latino community center, Centro de la Comunidad.
More than 200 guests browsed a buffet of paella, carved tenderloin and grilled chicken, and sampled drinks from a martini bar. They needed a little fortification before getting down to the tough business of negotiating the silent auction tables or taking to the dance floor.
Spotted in the crowd of celebrants: Holly Rhodes, event chairwoman; Dr. Leonardo Ortega, Centro de la Comunidad board chair; Dr. Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, Carmina Perez-Fowler, Rita Diaz, Dr. Sonia Fierro-Luperini and Dr. Elias Vasquez, board members; Carmen L. Nieves, Centro de la Comunidad executive director; G. I. Johnson, NAACP Baltimore branch president; Peter Fillat, Baltimore architect; Claudine McCullough, Weinstock Fried-man & Friedman attorney; Mitch Treger, A. Dwight Pettit Law Offices attorney; Mary Sogomonian, community volunteer; Cathy Sierra, McDonogh School Spanish teacher; Jim Kraft, Baltimore attorney; Wilson G. Blanco, SunTrust Bank loan officer; Leo Goicochea, Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers gift-planning associate; Roland Daniels, Johns Hopkins Urban Health Institute community program manager; Catherine Gonzalez, Baltimore Medical System international service program manager; Ana Cortes, Amerigroup health promotion coordinator; Dr. Andres Rodriguez, University of Maryland Medical System pediatrician; Tony Salazar, Provident Bank deputy general counsel; Dawn Gough, McCormick & Co. product manager; Maria Maldonado-Salim, Allstate Insurance claims processor; and Mike Easterling, Easterling Group president.
The fiesta raised around $20,000 for Centro de la Comunidad.
You knew you had to be at a big deal whoop-de-do when you were greeted by spotlights and the current and immediate past presidents of the United States. Or were they just impersonators. in the great tradition of theater? Of course, that would make perfect sense, since this was the grand reopening of Highlandtown's Patterson movie theater, now known simply as the Patterson, an arts center and new home of the Creative Alliance.
"What a thing for the neighborhood," said Canton resident Gwen Davidson. "What a thing for the arts!"
A combination of artists, art lovers and local business owners gathered for Creative Alliance's "Marquee Ball." During the cocktail hours, the 800 guests had a chance to check out the inaugural art exhibition of "Trash to Treasure: The Production Design of Vince Peranio." The creative spirit continued in the performance / lecture hall, where dinner, and a performance by Joyce J. Scott and Lorraine L. Whittlesey awaited. The room's walls were lacquered red and black. Chinese lanterns hung from above. And sprouting from the tables were Dr. Seuss-come-to-life centerpieces made of roses, green calla lilies, orchids and a great assortment of wondrous hanging plants.
And in the middle of things: Patty Bond and Susan Gould, event co-chairs; Lida Bates and Dolores Deluxe, event committee members; Christy Bergland, Creative Alliance board chairwoman; Lynette Brown, Rachel Edds, Darryl Harper, Nancy Linden, Rita Linder and Mary Jo Gordon, board members; Margaret Footner, Creative Alliance executive director; Megan Hamilton, Creative Alliance program director; John Waters, Baltimore filmmaker; Pat Moran, Baltimore casting director; Greg Schaffer, Johns Hopkins Bayview Med-ical Center president; Nancy Haragan, Greater Baltimore Cultural Alliance director; Ann August, Oliver's Hair Salon nail technician; Harriet Georgas, Maryland social worker; Anthony Lloyd, Baltimore fire inspector; Barbara Haberecht, Cecil B. DeMented set decorator; Halina Gebarowicz, The Wire art director; the Rev. Luigi "Father Lou" Esposito, Our Lady of Pompei pastor; Larry Rohrbaugh, Highlandtown State Farm insurance agent; John Prevas, Baltimore Circuit Court judge; Antonia Keane, Loyola College sociology professor; Ellen Burke, Lee Hecht Harrison senior vice president / general manager; Sister Charlotte Kerr, Tai Sophia Institute acupuncturist; Bill Steinmetz, the Store co-owner; Betty Cooke, Baltimore jewelry designer, and Carole Langrall, Garden of Earthly Delights owner.
The arty party raised about $54,000 for the Creative Alliance.
If you'd like to have your social event considered for coverage on the Maryland Scene page, please fax the information at least three weeks in advance to 410-675-3451, or call 410-332-6520, or mail it to Party Page at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278.