Cultural Trust: Dance in the District Gala
#OhWhatANight: If you were looking for spectacle, excitement, fun and a little bit of magic, then the Cultural Trust’s annual gala, Dancing in the District, was the place to be on Friday night Downtown at the Renaissance Hotel. Guests entered through “fog” lit with images as they made their way to registration, and more importantly, a glass of Champagne to welcome them to the party. Upstairs inside the hotel, partygoers mingled while enjoying light bites and had their picture taken in the photo booth lounge to commemorate the occasion before sitting down to a beautiful dinner catered by the Duquesne Club. Some were seated at the hotel, while others made their way over to the Byham Theater, where the lobby was transformed into an eclectic dining experience. “This being the 50th anniversary of the Dance Council, and the Trust operating it for almost 20 years, we wanted to pull out all the stops for entertainment,” said Kevin McMahon, president and CEO of the Cultural Trust. “As people who have grown up in Pittsburgh, the Cultural Trust keeps the region vibrant. This is such a special place for our family, and so many others, that we wanted to be a part of the night in a meaningful way,” said cochair Kim Fleming, with husband and event co-chair, Kurt. Changing things up this year, the dinner was held before the performance, but oh, was it worth waiting for. Modern dance troupe MOMIX was one of the most exciting and mesmerizing performances I have seen, mixing physical artistry and, as my husband put it, “science in motion.” Guests were transfixed as they were taken to a surrealist world of humor, romance and contemplation. And for those in the entertainment industry, this event and organization has a profound meaning for them as well. “I love the power of the audience’s imagination as they become a part of the interactive storytelling of live theater. They don’t just watch it, they engage with it, as it changes each night. That’s what makes live theater so exciting and special,” said Justin Lucero.
#SEEN: Board chair Richard Harshman, Bill and Vivian Benter, Peggy and Steve McKnight, Susan and Dr. Louis Leff, Mara Leff and Dr. Matt Koperwas, Andrea and Ronald Michaux, Catherine Loevner, Barbara Barry, Sylvia and Fred Fields, Harris Ferris, Michele de la Reza, Sue and Scott Lammie, Brigette Pavlik and Bill Kolano, Janera Solomon and Jeremy Resnick, Karla Boos, Ellen Still Brooks and Richard Burkland, Mayor Bill Peduto, Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald, Deborah Acklin, Janis Burley Wilson, Christopher Hahn and Ron Booth, Barbara and Christopher Howard, event planner extraordinaire Nancy Byrnes with husband Ed, Debra Caplan, Janis Burley Wilson, Ellen and Dr. Loren Roth, and Debra and Dr. Manuel Reich.