Has life been a bit too humdrum lately? Then you should'a been at the American Visionary Art Museum's party to open its new exhibit, Golden Blessings of Old Age / Out of the Mouths of Babes. You can always count on AVAM and its founder / director, Re- becca Hoffberger, to inspire a whiz-bang shebang.
Among the highlights of the evening was a performance by Sixty Karats. "They were these fantastic dancers who do June Taylor-type dancing," Rebecca says. "All eight of them are in their 70s and 80s. And they were really professional."
Another capper came with former burlesque star Faith Dane. In case the name doesn't ring a bell, perhaps Mazeppa will. That was the name of the trumpet-playing stripper in Gypsy, a role Faith played on Broadway and in the movie. Not only was Faith celebrating her 80th birthday at the AVAM party, but she also did her old burlesque act for the crowd of 800 to 1,000.
"She's still gorgeous!" raves Rebecca.
Rave reviews coming in for Baltimore Clayworks annual gala. Clayworks' Sara Warren says the 275 guests constituted the biggest crowd to attend the party in its seven years.
Sara says the centerpiece of the night was an auction of more than 100 works of art -- not just ceramics, but everything from jewelry to textiles to paintings. Not only were there lots of things to look at inside, but outside was a delight, too. This year, the hoopla was held inside the RTKL Building, right on the Fells Point waterfront, so folks could stroll out onto the terrace and admire the view. Folks like event chairwoman Linda Schneider, Lenel and John Meyerhoff, Elaine Hettleman, Betty Cooke and Bill Steinmetz, Gail and Lenny Kaplan, Jo Kohn, Jon Levinson, Ben and Gaile Civiletti, Nancy Haragan, and Sally and David Hess (one of his sculptures was a highlight of the auction).
The night garnered some $70,000 for Baltimore Clayworks.
It was a fascinating night recently for the Baltimore Branch of the NAACP at its "Freedom Fund 2003 Banquet." Dinner coordinator Kim Harden says the branch presented its Thurgood Marshall Award this year to the Baltimore Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends for the group's "unselfish acts of kindness and great tenacity for equality."
During the dinner, Kim says, the 500 guests got to see a video that told of the abolitionist history of the Quakers and how they fought slavery and helped the Underground Railroad.
"That was information I wasn't aware of until we were planning the event," Kim says. "I don't think most people were aware of how involved this group was."
Among those applauding the night's honorees: event chairwoman Dr. Thelma Daley, NAACP Baltimore branch president George I. Johnson, and national NAACP chief Kweisi Mfume.
Oct. 21: "Lifetime Achievement Award Dinner." Benefits Arthritis Foundation, Maryland Chapter. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner. Hon-oree: Mayor Martin O'Malley. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 300 Light St. 6 p.m. Tickets $200. Call 410-654-6570, Ext. 230.
Oct. 23: "A Taste of Hampden." Benefits Hampden Family Center. Wine, food stations from Hampden area restaurants, live music. Hamp-den Family Center, 1104 W. 36th St. 6 p.m. Tickets $30 in advance, $35 at door. Call 410-467-8710.
Oct. 23: "Steak and Burger Dinner." Benefits Boys and Girls Clubs of Harford County. Cocktail hour cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, youth awards. Guest speaker: Martin Strong. Richlin Ballroom, 1700 Van Biber Road, Edgewood. 5:30 p.m. Tickets $75. Call 410-272-8233, Ext. 10.
Oct. 23: "Savor the Evening." Benefits Executive Women's Network. Wine, beer, food stations, networking. Mount Washington Conference Center, 5801 Smith Ave. 5:30 p.m. Tickets $45. Call 410-653-5067.
Oct. 24: "Away We Go -- Pumpkin Ball." Benefits Earl's Place. Cash bar, hors d'oeuvres, seated dinner, live music, dancing. The Belvedere, 1 E. Chase St. 7 p.m. Tickets $75. Call 410-522-0225.
Oct. 24: "Design Awards Celebration and Beaux Arts Ball." Benefits American Insti-tute of Architects Baltimore Chapter. Beer, wine, heavy hors d'oeuvres, live music, dancing. Maryland Institute College of Art Brown Center and Main Building, 1300 Mount Royal Ave. 6:30 p.m. Tickets $45. Call 410-625-2585.
Oct. 25: "Fourth Annual Howl-O-Ween Hop." Benefits Maryland SPCA. Open bar, live music, dancing, costume contest. Maryland SPCA, 3300 Falls Road. 7 p.m. Tickets $75. Call 410-889-9331, Ext. 4.
Oct. 25: "A Spirited Eve." Benefits Pumpkin Theatre. Business / cocktail attire. Open bar, hors d'oeuvres, buffet dinner, cabaret entertainment. L'Hirondelle Club, 7611 L'Hirondelle Club Road. 7 p.m. Tickets $75. Call 410-828-1814.
Oct. 25: "Splash!" Benefits National Aquarium in Balti-more. Open bar, food stations from 30-plus restaurants / caterers, live music, dancing, view aquatic exhibits. National Aquarium, Pier 3, 501 E. Pratt St. 8 p.m. Tickets $100, $150 includes 6:30 VIP party. Call 410-727-3474.