Groovy moves and far-out foods are on their way to Dayton this month, when the Dayton Art Institute hosts the latest in its Prime Time Party Series.
Guests are invited to celebrate the pop culture of the 1970s in a disco-themed celebration tied to DAI’s summer exhibition, Andy Warhol: Athletes.
“So, like, put on your Funkadelic threads,” wrote DAI’s associate director, Jane Black, “be mondo cool and do the museum a solid by getting a groove on under our disco ball. Peace, love and granola!”
The Prime Time Party Series began a year ago with the Olympics Party, followed by a Superhero Costume Ball and James Bond Martini Bash. Hundreds of people attend the events, which include specialty foods, themed cocktails, a cash bar and entertainment.
The series highlights pop culture related to art from the museum’s permanent collection and exhibitions. Costumes and props are always encouraged.
“It’s a fun series,” Black said in an interview with the Dayton Daily News, “because it’s fun people who come. We don’t require anybody to dress up for these parties, but, oh my gosh, the costumes they come up with are so cool.”
The July event is designed to be worthy of the famous Studio 54 disco nightclub: bell bottoms, paisley, afros and all. All those outfits can be captured at a photo booth replicating the style of Andy Warhol’s self portraits.
Disco lights, disco-era hits spun by a Black Box deejay, and free access to DAI’s special exhibitions of Warhol’s work and The Art Of Sport will be available to guests during the party.
Appetizers and desserts by Elite Catering will range from borsin and spinach stuffed mushrooms to braised beef crostini with onion jam.
Sponsor Heidelberg Distributing will serve new products including Bud Light Platinum, Budweiser Black Crown and Beck’s Sapphire, delivering drinks through an ice luge.
For the party’s raffle, James Free Jewelers has donated a John Hardy 18k yellow gold and sterling silver wide-link mesh bracelet, from Hardy’s Dot Collection, valued at $1,485, and a pair of Ippolita sterling silver teardrop earrings accented with diamonds, valued at $995.
Prime Time Party Rentals is a major sponsor that designs and sets up each event.
“They came in at the very beginning of these and really embraced the idea,” Black said. “They bring over all this cool stuff that delivers the atmosphere of the theme.
“It’s going to be a really over-the-top experience,” she said.
A party for the arts
Black said the goal of this party is to bring attention to the Andy Warhol exhibit and the DAI’s core mission – “to present, preserve and interpret the art.”
“When people have a reason to come (to DAI), they experience the art, learn about it, love it, and realize it’s a community treasure that belongs to all of us,” Black said. “They connect with the art. They can do that with a tour with a docent and all their knowledge, a casual event with friends and our technology, or by walking through the gallery on a day when you have some free time.
“This series is just one more entry point we offer people.”
While the Series parties don’t generate a huge amount of revenue, she said, they do help build connections with the community and contribute to the DAI’s bottom line.
“The cost of this beautiful historic building – heating it, cooling it, securing it, insuring it and staffing it – is quite high,” she said. “So we are constantly looking for ways to support our mission and cover those costs.
“These parties are small ways to help, but every little bit counts.”
The next Prime Time Party, the Renaissance Ball, will be held Nov. 15.
How to go
WHAT: Studio 54 Disco Party
WHERE: Shaw Gothic Cloister at the Dayton Art Institute
WHEN: 7 to 11 p.m. Friday
COST: $35 members, $40 nonmembers, prices increase $5 at the door
TICKETS AND INFO: www.daytonartinstitute.org/primetime or call 937-223-4ART (4278)