freSH START raises over $100,000 for ASAP!

On Wednesday, February 12, 2014 in the Mayor’s Executive Conference Room, Cris McCall and Audrey Hanneman, co-chairs of fresh stART, a popular one-night art show and fundraising event, will present LA’s BEST after school enrichment program with a check for $119,000. LA’s BEST was the sole beneficiary of fresh StART, an event organized by the McCall Family Foundation to support programs that provide arts-related opportunities to at-risk students.

Keanu Reeves was the honorary chair of this event, which attracted Hollywood insiders such as director Judd Apatow and wife actress Leslie Mann, who purchased a dozen pieces;  Mad Men’s John Slattery and Jon Hamm; actress Jennifer Westfeldt, screenwriter Ed Solomon (Men In Black);  Producer Pilar Savone (Django Unchained),  actor/producer Michael Hitchcock (Glee, United States of Tara);  Executive Producer Jonathan Groff (Happy Endings).

Fresh stART featured some 175 artists and 330 curated pieces that were on exhibit for 2 hours for an exclusive group of art collectors on February 1, 2014 at the Arena 1 Gallery in Santa Monica.  

Known for highlighting the works of the most exciting emerging artists, fresh stART included the works of Caitlin Lonegan, Anna Sew Hoy, Pearl C. Hsuing, Matt Merkel Hess. The exhibit also included the works of  iconic artists such as Laddie John Dill who created a signature sculpture specifically for fresh stART. 

As guests perused art  pieces, they listened to music courtesy of DJ Anne Litt, and enjoyed complimentary wine, spirits and desserts courtesy of this year’s sponsors: Stella Artois,  Air BnB,  Layer cake Wines, Mezcal El Silencio and Modern Bite.

Proceeds from the admission sales, raffle ticket sales and 60 percent of the art sales went to LA’s BEST.  

“To raise such a staggering amount of money in just two hours to benefit the children of LA’s BEST is overwhelming and outstanding,” said Carla Sanger, President & CEO of LA’s BEST. “We are so honored to have benefitted from this event for the second time, and are thankful to our board member, Christopher Dusseault and his wife Sarah Dusseault, for making fresh stART aware of LA’s BEST and our ASAP program.”

The After School Arts Program (ASAP) gives LA’s BEST students exposure to quality art education opportunities at all 194 sites through 10-week residencies in visual arts, music, dance and drama. Current 10-week residencies being placed at LA's BEST sites include; Traditional Dances of Brasil, Digital Photography, Chorus, Violin, Puppetry, Afro-Latin Percussion, Print-making, Music Theatre, Ballroom Dance, Collegiate Stepping, and Drama.  ASAP also offers  a year-round orchestral strings program at Castelar, Shenandoah, and El Dorado elementary schools.

At fresh stART, LA’s BEST invited attendees to release their artistic  inner-child, providing them with paints and a canvas of an outline of city hall, drawn by an LA’s BEST ASAP student. Guests enjoyed adding their artistic point of the view to the piece, which through this fun and unique collaboration, was transformed into a new work of art.    

ASAP is an excellent example of the expanded-learning programs that LA’s BEST excels in. Expanded learning programs are high-quality, engaging and hands-on programs that provide purposeful learning experiences outside of the traditional school day and year.  

fresh stART, founded in 2001,  is  the annual fundraising event of the McCall Family Foundation,  a one-night art exhibition and sale with two distinct goals. Our primary goal is to fund programs that provide arts-related therapies to children designated "at-risk." Secondly, fresh stART strives to stimulate the arts in Los Angeles by providing potential collectors with a personal connection to both established and emerging artists.  The McCall Family Foundation is a 501(c)(3). Sources of funding include the benefit exhibition and private and corporate donations. fresh stART operates wholly through the efforts of volunteers.