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6th Annual Southampton Arts Center SummerFest Raises $500,000

Alexandra Talty

Honoree Diane Tuft and Simone Levinson. (Photo: Rob Rich/www.societyallure.com)

The Southampton Arts Center (SAC) SummerFest 2019 was completely pink…and green.

During the evening party and dinner, guests were invited to enjoy the ongoing exhibit, National Geographic Photo Ark by Joel Sartore. The exhibition, brought in conjunction with the International Center of Photography (ICP), features portraits of animals near extinction. The theme of environmentalism continued throughout the glamorous night.

Lobster rolls from The Tackle Box. (Photo: Rob Rich/www.societyallure.com)

"Summer 2019 at Southampton Arts Center has been a milestone season for us," said Tom Dunn, SAC's executive director. Describing the Photo Ark exhibition as a "timely, important show," Dunn said that the Center's collaboration with National Geographic and the (ICP) was a big step for the Center.

Held outside under a tent, guests were invited to enjoy the grounds underneath twinkling lights. In addition to highlighting the importance of protecting our environment with various artistic interpretations, the Center's annual gala honored Diane Tuft.

"We always look forward to celebrating the wonderful summer," said Amy Kirwin, Artistic Director.

In keeping with their focus on all things green, all the bowls and plates were biodegradable. The beautiful tablescapes featured artwork by Cindy Pease Roe, an artist who makes marine mammals out of refuse found at the beach clean ups, using materials like rope, micoplastics and Mylar balloons. Local artists including Kara Hoblin and Scott Bluedorn made live-chalk drawings during the event, highlighting environmental issues we all face, including the Great Barrier Reef collapse and the dangers of Arctic Melt.

"The Arts Center has become the heart of the Village of Southampton," said Mayor Jesse Warren. "It's gotten better every year."

Wilbur Ross and wife Hilary Geary Ross. (Photo: Rob Rich/www.societyallure.com)

Since its inception in 2013, the Center has welcomed over 200,000 visitors, showcasing over 250 East End artists in addition to around world-class exhibitions every year.

In a celebration of the town's culinary offerings, various local restaurateurs offered small bites: from Calissa's heirloom tomato and watermelon salad to Thyme Again's spicy gazpacho to Tutto il Giorno's organic faro salad, the summer's bounty was plentiful. Specialty cocktails included a Hendrick's and Tonic and a Hendrick's and Blueberry Lemonade.

For partygoers who didn't want to wait on line for a cocktail, so-called "Drink Busters" circled the party, offering guests squirts of concoctions on their back watermelon and grapefruit Cosmos in pink plastic glasses. Desserts were provided by Hampton Coffee, the Milk Pail, South Fork Bakery, Fudge Company and Sip 'N Soda, among others.

"Anything that highlights Southampton Village is such a plus to move forward," said Mark Parrish, Village Trustee. "That's really what we have to do."

Southampton Arts Center is located at 25 Jobs Lane in Southampton. For more information, visit southamptonartscenter.org.


Alexandra Talty is a Senior Contributor at Forbes. Based in Lebanon, she also writes for Outside Magazine, Playboy Magazine, Food Tank and Civil Eats, among others. She wrote an agricultural column for her hometown newspaper, The Southampton Press, for three years and is currently turning that reportage into a book about the birthplace of America’s small farms.


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