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story.lead_photo.caption The Batesville Area Arts Council’s Summer Celebration fundraiser will take place Saturday at Citizens Bank Party Room and Rooftop. From left are Carly Dahl, executive director; Mirranda Sprayberry, Arts Council Board president; and Kathy Clements, board member. They are holding masks, as this year’s theme is a black-and-white masquerade. - Photo by Staci Vandagriff

— The Batesville Area Arts Council’s largest fundraiser, Summer Celebration, will have a masquerade theme this year.

The Black & White Masquerade fundraiser will take place from 6-11 p.m. Saturday at Citizens Bank Party Room and Rooftop, 655 St. Louis St.

“The Batesville Area Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that provides art programming to the Batesville community and surrounding area,” said Carly Dahl, executive director. “The Arts Council continues to work on increasing and improving the programs we offer to our community. Our annual Summer Celebration fundraiser is the largest fundraiser of the year, and the proceeds help support our annual programming.”

Dahl, who has been executive director of the Arts Council since 2015, said the masquerade helps the council and studio so much.

“The Arts Council offers arts access to Batesville and the surrounding community through workshops for youth and adults; a beautiful gallery space offering audiences the opportunity to see diverse work from local, regional and national artists; and free community events like Artoberfest.”

Dahl said the Summer Celebration has been going on for more than 15 years, but she could not pin down an exact date.

The venue this year is the new party room at Citizens Bank.

“Along with a silent auction, heavy hors d’oeuvers by Natalie’s and drinks, there will be live music performed by The Natural Disasters.”

With the theme of black-and-white masquerade, Dahl said, guests are encouraged to wear black and white, and masks are optional.

Since this is the biggest fundraiser for the Arts Council, Dahl said, a large turnout is important.

“For more than 30 years, the Batesville Area Arts Council has been dedicated to providing art opportunities for the community through workshops, exhibitions, community projects and our Arts in Education program,” she said. “As a nonprofit, the Arts Council relies heavily on the generosity of donors and community support. This event is a fun way to celebrate and support the arts in our community.”

Mirranda Sprayberry, Arts Council board president, said the Summer Celebration supports all the programs for the council.

“There is something special about sharing local food, live music and interesting conversation with new and familiar faces in this atmosphere, while also promoting local art,” Sprayberry said. “The space at Citizens Bank offers elegance, a view and an engaging space to join together for this cause.

“The BAAC could not be what it is today without continued support from dedicated individuals, businesses and the overall community collaboration. The Summer Celebration allows us to recognize, appreciate and celebrate our communities’ partnership in our mission.”

Sprayberry, who has been on the Arts Council board for four years, said it is committed to bringing opportunities and programming that will “enrich the lives of families through exposure and access to the visual, performing and literary arts in Batesville and the surrounding area.”

“We provide space for artists to meet, exchange ideas, perform and promote their talent,” Sprayberry said. “The council offers a variety of workshops, paint nights, gallery receptions and events for all ages. Our special events include the Summer Celebration and the annual Artoberfest in October.

“We welcome and encourage anyone interested in participation to reach out and become a partner in this effort.”

Tickets for the Black & White Masquerade event, at $45 each or $80 for a pair, are available at the Batesville Area Chamber of Commerce, Carlee’s Hallmark Shop, Citizens Bank, First Community Bank and the Batesville Area Arts Center Gallery on Main.

For more information, visit www.batesvilleareaartscouncil.org.

Staff writer Mark Buffalo can be reached at (501) 399-3676 or mbuffalo@arkansasonline.com.

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