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Issue Preview ~ Fall 09

Beaux Arts Ball 2009 - an Evening of Elegance


By Charlene Scott

Every culture has its parties and dances, but the most elegant of all in the Dodge City area will be the twelfth annual Beaux Arts Ball, to be held this year on Saturday, Oct. 3, from 6:30 p.m. to midnight at the Knights of Columbus Hall.

Guests will don their finest for the evening of celebrating in high style. The Beaux Arts Ball was started in 1998 to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Dodge City Area Arts Council, which owns the Carnegie Center for the Arts, the home of the council.

In Paris, the Beaux Arts Ball -- the Bal des Quatres Arts -- is the annual costume ball hosted in the spring by students of the École nationale supérieure des Beaux-Arts. The ball is held in the École building on the rue Bonaparte overlooking the River Seine.

Originally, Beaux Arts Balls were masked balls, but neither masks nor costumes are worn for the Beaux Arts Ball in Dodge City. Many guests wear tuxedos, but these are not required either. The ball was attended last year by 165 people. A drawing for tickets for next year’s ball will be held once again during the evening.

The Honorary Chairperson of this year’s ball is Dee Stoecker of Dodge City, a board member of the Arts Council for many years who resigned this year. She also was involved in the restoration of the Carnegie Building on Second Street in downtown Dodge City.

“The Arts Council wants to recognize Dee for her hard work for the arts and for Carnegie,” said Carnegie’s Executive Director Dona Lancaster.

Explaining this year’s theme, “The Black and White Ball,” Dona added: “Right now, black and white colors are popular because they are elegant. People don’t have to dress in black and white for the ball, however. They can wear red if they want to!”

Sarah Schaeffer designed the black and white drawing for the 2009 Beaux Arts Ball poster. Stephanie Groth is the chairperson for the ball. The orchestra “Cool Blue,” which has performed in Wichita and surrounding areas for ten years, once again will play swing, jazz, blues, and rock for the ball.

Ball committees include: Decorations, Barbara Duesing and Juanita Sanchez; Setup, Edna Gilman, Linda Casterline, Janice Unruh, Jackie Barngrover, and Sue Post; Fundraising, Louise Jambor, Jan Harding, and Stephanie Groth; Set design and building, Dave Wetmore, Earl Unruh, Jim Gilman, and Bob Lancaster; Backdrop, Darlene Clifton Smith and her art class at Dodge City High School, and Poster Distribution, Judy Counce.

“We will have an English theme for the food, which will be prepared by Linda Ackerman and her staff, with menu suggestions from Mona Ackerman and Bob Lancaster,” Dona said. “We will serve beef and potatoes with an English twist – and trifle for dessert. Our servers will be from the Knights of Columbus.

“We also want to thank Sandy Madson who is loaning us the candle centerpieces from her daughter’s wedding. Generosity like this from the community helps us keep our costs down.”

Volunteers will have three ironing boards going at the K of C Hall the day before the ball. The ladies will be ironing chair covers and tablecloths, and other volunteers will be setting the tables.

“We will transform the hall on Friday and Saturday,” Dona said. “Then we take everything down after midnight on the night of the ball. This is my third ball, so I’m a little calmer this year.”

The Beaux Arts Ball is the Arts Council’s biggest fundraising event of the year. All proceeds go toward the operating expenses and maintenance of the historic Carnegie Library building in downtown Dodge City.

Reservations are required for the ball. Tickets are $60 per person, and include champagne, hors’ d’oeuvres, dinner, dessert, and entertainment. Tickets still can be purchased at the Carnegie Center for the Arts, 701 Second Ave. Valet parking will be available for the ball.



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