Gala imports little slice of Paris
Published: Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Updated: Tuesday, March 19, 2013 00:03
The Oxford Community Arts Center (OCAC) will soon be the temporary home to a 30-foot representation of the Eiffel Tower. The tower is an integral part of the theme of OCAC’s upcoming annual fundraising gala.
Each year, OCAC puts on an event to earn money to fund the center through the year. This year’s gala is scheduled to take place March 23.
“We’ve set a goal of raising $60,000 this year,” Martha Slager, co-chair for this year’s gala, said. “That’s sizable, but it helps us to operate the center. OCAC is non-profit, which means all the money we use must come from grants and donations.”
According to Slager, the yearly event features food, entertainment and an open house located at the center to help generate funds and provide community awareness about what OCAC does.
“There will be plenty of opportunity to learn more about what’s offered at the center,” Slager said. “There is such a wide variety of activities that take place here that are unique…it is a learning space, a creative space, an exhibition center and a building with historical significance.”
According to Sue Clover, a member of the entertainment committee for the upcoming gala, the theme is ‘Beyond French Doors.’
To keep with the theme, featured activities at this year’s fundraiser will be French-themed.
“There will be French food, music with a French flavor and a variety of other activities,” Clover said.
Slager said that Middfest, an annual Middletown festival, was also French-themed this past year. One of the items that appeared at Middfest was the Eiffel Tower replica originally designed by Middletown resident Tom Pressler. The tower will be loaned to OCAC from Middfest from now through the gala to promote interest and provide a striking centerpiece.
Libby Birch, the art director for Middfest, said Pressler built the tower specifically for the festival this past year. She said the structure was popular at Middfest and will hopefully have a similar appeal in OCAC’s gala.
“It was a crowd-pleaser [at Middfest], and it was really a success,” Birch said.
Likewise, Slager said the tower is already attracting interest for OCAC.
“It’s getting people quite interested in the event itself…seeing a 30-foot tower will certainly get people’s attention,” Slager said.
According to Slager, the tower was installed in three pieces in the front yard of OCAC and is lit up with white lights during the night. She added the tower is meant to be an interpretation of the real Eiffel Tower rather than an exact copy.
“It’s not built to scale; it’s more of an artistic representation than an exact model,” Slager said.
Junior Bridget Sullivan said she is pleased that the Eiffel Tower will be featured as part of OCAC’s gala this year.
“It’s really a testament to the iconic French architecture and a nod to the increasing globalization of our society,” Sullivan said. “I can’t wait to check out the finished product.”
Sullivan also said she liked that the tower will help generate interest and funds for OCAC.
“I love [OCAC’s] commitment to their theme, and as an admitted Francophile, it’s nice to know that something so decorative is put to a philanthropic purpose,” she said.