Arts Garage rocks on for nearly 200 friends at ‘Soul Party’ gala

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By: Dale King Contributing Writer

Who loves the Arts Garage, baby?

The Delray Beach community, for one, and just about everyone in the “Village by the Sea” along with folks in nearby Palm Beach and Broward counties. Anyone who’s been to the rockin’ locale at 94 NE Second Ave. in Delray’s popular Pineapple Grove is likely to be found on the list.

In fact, Cece Teneal, lead singer of the group, Soul Kamotion, says she’s a big fan.

“This is one of my favorite venues in all of Florida,” she shouted to the crowd from the stage in the Stuart & Shelby Theatre at Arts Garage to kick off the musical segment of the entertainment spot’s 10th annual fundraising gala, “Soul Party,” the night of Jan. 25.

Cece and Soul Kamotion were featured performers at a fun, food and music-filled evening last month that’s considered Arts Garage’s most important money-raising event of the year.

The mistress of soul created a show just for the special event, one that included such songs as “Groove me,” Aretha’s “(You Make me Feel Like a) Natural Woman,” “I’m Easy like Sunday Morning,” “Ain’t too Proud to Beg” and, of course, “My Girl.”

“Soul Party was an amazing success,” said Marjorie Waldo, president and CEO of Arts Garage. “Our donors believe that art and music matter. They give generously to support Arts Garage’s effort to provide access to the arts to our community. We danced the night away to some terrific soul music, and among our special guests were bandleader Tito Puente Jr. and world famous digital artist Laurence Gartel.”

“Appropriately scheduled on the Lunar New Year, this truly was a magical, memorable, musical celebration,” she added, giving special praise to steering committee members Ronnie Dunayer, Lynn Ferguson, Louise Kornfeld and Susan Paulus.

The celebration opened with a silent auction in the Robert and Linda Schmier Theatre where cerebral bidders were entertained by guitarist Julius Sanna. A three-course, plated dinner followed, then the singers took command of the stage.

When the soul train pulled out after its first set, well-known auctioneer Neil Saffer and his wife, Trisha, took their place and stirred the crowd to bid on a variety of luxury gifts, from cruises to a VIP dinner for 20 with Tito Puente Jr., a cozy stay at a mountain home in North Carolina and a seven-day, six-night visit to the Thulani House in South Africa, among others.

“The Arts Garage is a very special place, and Marjorie Waldo has been a friend of mine for a long time,” said Neil, commenting that he had asked her “not to make me follow Cece Teneal.”

Waldo said the mission of Arts Garage is to “connect our community to the world through the arts. This vision drives all decision-making which brings local, emerging artists and established global performers into the local multi-cultural community.”

“Diversity is a hallmark of Arts Garage,” she pointed out, “which provides multicultural programming that promotes inclusion in the arts. #DiscoverDiversity isn’t just a tagline—it is the cornerstone of our outreach programs, staffing and marketing.”

For more information about the venue, call 561-450-6357 or visit www.artsgarage.org.