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Jan. 9—ALBANY ─ The signature annual event for the Albany Museum of Art, AMA Art Ball, returns on Feb. 26 as a celebration of art with a glimpse into the future of the museum.
Art Ball 2022 will take place in the museum's future home in the former Belk department store building, formally introducing the AMA family to the first stage of the museum's metamorphosis into a grand new downtown arts center.
"The AMA is delighted to host what will promise to be a unique celebration in the heart of our beloved Albany," AMA Executive Director Andrew J. Wulf said in a news release. "The idea behind this year's theme of 'Metamorphosis' is the museum's plan to evolve conspicuously and meaningfully to become even more relevant to our brothers and sisters of Albany and to visitors from further afield. We are honored to continue this journey to the heart of Albany."
After Art Ball was reimagined in 2021 as a hybrid collection of smaller dinners and at-home Art-Ball-in-a-Box options because of the pandemic, "Art Ball 2022: Metamorphosis" will again be a black-tie-optional gala featuring cocktails, a gourmet meal, live musical entertainment, dancing, and live and silent auctions.
Co-chairs for Art Ball 2022 are Meryl K. Joiner and Bronwyn Bates.
"I am thrilled to be a part of this wonderful event," Joiner, who also is a member of the museum's Board of Trustees, said. "The AMA brings so much joy through art to Albany, and I hope with the change on the horizon and the event being hosted downtown that we will see great success and support as a result."
"These past few years have changed us all," Bates said. "I think we've become different, hopefully better and more resilient versions of ourselves. The museum is doing the same and that metamorphosis is reflected in this year's AMA Art Ball theme. Moving, growing, becoming a part of Downtown Albany while still representing our community as a whole, the museum is shifting into a new version of itself. We are delighted to show off the beginning stages of that change on Feb. 26."
The importance of Art Ball to the Albany Museum of Art cannot be overstated. The major annual fundraiser raises awareness about the museum and its work and supports important programs, including free admission for everyone, exhibitions, art camps and educational programming.
"We're excited to celebrate our future home by hosting Art Ball downtown," Chloe Hinton, AMA director of development and membership, said. "It's our largest fundraiser of the year and provides critical support for so much of our mission."
Hinton said sponsorships are essential to the success of the event. As of press time, Upland Wealth Advisors, and BMW of Albany and Albany Motorcars had committed as major sponsors.
"We are so appreciative of these sponsorships from these leading local businesses," Hinton said. "They are truly making a difference in our community through their staunch support of the AMA and its work."
"We're thrilled to be a part of it," Alicia Gregory, CFO of BMW of Albany and Albany Motorcars, said. "We're excited to know that the museum plans to relocate to the downtown area, and we're excited to see all of the revitalization of downtown. It's going to benefit the community. Being a part of the excitement is a lot of fun for us. It's very energizing."
The dinner will be catered by Stewbos Group, and dance music will be provided by the popular Atlanta party band The New Royals, which performs popular music from the 1990-2000s, R&B hits and party anthems from the 1960s-1980s.
New this year will be an "after-dinner" option in which AMA patrons can join the celebration at 9:45 p.m. and enjoy cocktails and dancing.
In addition, there will be silent and live auctions, and the Libby Womack Paddle Raise.
"Through the Libby Womack Paddle Raise, you are contributing directly to educational programming at the AMA," Hinton noted. "A big part of that is providing scholarships for children to attend our art camps. Our goal this year is for half of our campers at this summer's art camps to be scholarship recipients. That will go a long way toward expanding our educational programs' reach into underserved portions of the community."
AMA members also are eligible for a special weekly drawing that will begin Monday. Each Monday through Feb 14, a member will be randomly selected to receive a free ticket for their choice of the full-evening event or the After Dinner Option.
"This is a special way of saying thank you to our fabulous members for championing the arts in our community through their support of the museum," Hinton said.
Tickets for the full evening of "Art Ball 2022: Metamorphosis" are $200 for AMA members and $250 for non-members. Corporate tables also are available. Tickets for the After Dinner Option are $75 for AMA members and $100 for non-members. Companies and individuals interested in tickets or sponsorships for Art Ball may contact Hinton at email@example.com or by calling (229) 439-8400.