Here at EQ, community love is a way of life…and OH MY GOD, this weekend was like one giant valentine! We were so proud to once again join with our local business and non-profit friends to create Richmond’s favorite fundraiser: Sweethearts for the Arts! The glorious ladies of Richmond Burlesque Revue were on hand to entertain the crowd with class – and guests brought the house down with their gorgeous costumes. Supported entirely by local donors, and benefitting RVA’s own Art On Wheels, this is one event we look forward to every year! Travel back with us to the WWII era, when strong women took America by storm, from manufacturing to sports.
Deepa de Jour of Richmond Burlesque Revue, Show Producer
Styling this event meant finding a venue that exudes the late art deco aesthetic of the day. Our city is rich with architecture from just about every era, and in the end, it was the gorgeous plasterwork and glamorous marquee of Robinson Theater that sold us. Seriously, how perfect is this?!
Robinson Theater, located in Church Hill
Focusing on the homefront experience during wartime, we developed handmade pieces that felt cozy, but sparse. We worked with a combination of rough and refined materials, like unfinished wood pallets juxtaposed with hand-lettered antique wallpaper, and real advertising from the time period.
For patriotic good measure, we added weather-worn bunting and an Americana-themed photo booth, courtesy of the outstanding PD Murphy Photography. Period-appropriate nibbles from delicious spots like WPA Bakery rounded out the guest experience.
Guests’ costumes never fail to impress
As if the hypnotic burlesque performances weren’t enough, guests were also treated to a full cash bar that we built onsite to benefit Art On Wheels, handmade midway games, a classic raffle and silent auction featuring amazing prizes (almost all of which are donated from local businesses, of course!), a costume contest, and a Women’s Land Army-themed audience participation game to win a beautiful night out at Graffiato and the Richmond Marriott. To top it all off, the evening was hosted by the hilarious Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside!
Hostess Magnolia Jackson Pickett Burnside, accompanied by a gorgeous guest
It really was a magical time machine, taking us all back to a time when fresh produce was scarce, but fresh thinking was emerging. We were so proud to once again work with Art On Wheels, to assist their mission to bring mobile art classes to our Richmond friends and neighbors without regular access to the arts. The big band music is still ringing in our ears, so we’ll leave you with these gems from the photo booth!
SWEETHEARTS FOR THE ARTS: THE FRUITS OF VICTORY
VENUE: Robinson Theater
PHOTOGRAPHY: PD Murphy Photography
BEVERAGE: Strangeways Brewing
BENEFICIARY: Art On Wheels
For more on this great organization, check out their newest project: a word record collograph honoring the strength of cancer patients.