When we open ourselves to art, we open ourselves to the world – to beauty, craft, to different cultures, to pain and pleasure, expression and emotion.

Gibbes Street Party has great Panache

Gibbes on the Street transforms Meeting Street into a delight for the senses.

As I eagerly count down the days until the seventh-annual Street Party, it’s hard not to be in awe of the team of individuals who volunteer their time and resources to make this event happen each year. From the dedicated committee and the generous food and beverage community, to the wonderful supporters of the arts and the special events team at the City of Charleston, we all come together to transform Meeting Street into the party of the year.

Party-goers and Gibbes Board members Michele and Mike Seekings, Laura Gates and Lou Hammond.

The Street Party committee is made up of 18 individuals who all bring their talents to the table when discussing themes, décor, fundraising, layouts, and entertainment. We are known for our creative themes and décor, and this year will be no different. This year we will celebrate <em>The Year of the Gibbes</em> in a Chinese New Year setting. Hundreds of red lanterns will be lit, sounds of drums will beat, and vibrant visuals of reds and yellows will surround. Did I mention we only have 1.5 hours for setup? As décor continues to come in, my office walls seem to be gradually closing in. I now dream of floating lanterns and traditional drummers and I’ll probably never be able to look at the color red again without thinking of China’s Forbidden City.

Invitations, tickets, sponsor badges, and other details for The Year of the Gibbes celebration.
Invitations, tickets, sponsor badges, and other details for The Year of the Gibbes celebration.
Red lanterns
Red lanterns take over the office of special events manager, Jena Clem.

The décor and entertainment are only one part of the Street Party though. Each year, we fill the streets with Charleston’s best chefs who create customized menus to fit our theme. I suggest skipping lunch and dinner, because you will want to save room for every morsel, and I can bet you’ll go back for seconds!

Charleston’s top chefs prepare scrumptious bites for party-goers.
Charleston’s top chefs prepare scrumptious bites for party-goers.

Having James Beard Award winning chefs on the street each year wouldn’t be possible without the sensational Mr. Mickey Bakst. This year he managed to secure 27 restaurants, and did it in less than a day. I keep telling him I’m going to thank him with a cake shaped like his face, and he may just get that surprise on May 12.

the fabulous Mickey Bakst.
The Gibbes Street Party would not be possible without the fabulous Mickey Bakst.

Lastly, this event wouldn’t be possible without our generous supporters. Each year we reach our sponsorship goal because of the hard work of the committee, restaurants, and vendors who support our efforts. It takes team work to create a seamless success and it is always done with such panache. If you haven’t experienced this event in years past, I encourage you to purchase tickets today because we will sell out. It is a joy and privilege to work alongside those who are as passionate about supporting the arts and the Gibbes Museum as I am, and we look forward to seeing you on the street May 12! Now if you’ll excuse me, another shipment of red lanterns has arrived.

Society 1858 members
Society 1858 members never miss a Street Party!
Art-lovers flock to the Gibbes on the Street celebration.
Art-lovers flock to the Gibbes on the Street celebration.

To purchase Street Party tickets please visit gibbesmuseum.org/StreetParty or call Amanda Breen at 843.722.2706 x221.

Jena Clem, Special Events Manager, Gibbes Museum of Art

Published April 29, 2016

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