OCEANSIDE — The Oceanside Museum of Art annual spring fundraiser took a trip back in time to the 1960s on April 2. A Beatles tribute band, cigarette girls and live body painting set the scene for fun.
The Club O spring fundraiser is a new take on the traditional Mardi Gras night held by the museum in previous years.
The museum is stepping forward with a new executive director who took the helm in December 2015, and a fundraiser focused on interactive fun.
“Some fundraisers ask you to hold up a paddle (for live auctions),” James Peck, museum executive director, said. “We’re hoping the ticket price ($75 nonmembers) is set high enough that people can just have fun.”
The idea seemed to be a hit. One hundred and seventy guests attended dressed in 1960s bob wigs, white boots and floral prints.
Guests were given $35 of Club O cash for drinks and casino games with event admission. More Club O dollars could be bought, as well as raffle tickets for prize drawings, with all proceeds going toward museum exhibits and education programs.
During the fundraiser first floor main galleries were closed, and a large dance floor was set in front of the band.
Tables flowed from inside the museum to the outdoor patio. Two bars served classic cocktails, beer and wine, and there was a table of self-serve hors d’oeuvres.
Upstairs British 1960s memorabilia decorated the gallery, and blackjack, roulette and craps tables filled the room. There was an additional bar and hors d’oeuvres table on the second floor, along with a body painting demonstration.
“The whole point is to have a good time,” Mitzi Summers, director of events and community engagement, said.
Museum staff said they hope to continue Club O night next year with a different theme.
The museum also holds an annual July Museum Ball and fall Art Action fundraiser. Summers said the three annual fundraisers draw different crowds and are set at different price points to provide a range of opportunities for people to support the museum.
Staff is also working with key donors to establish museum reserve funds.