I went to El Museo’s Annual Young International Circle event this past Friday, October 24th and as has been the case with all the other El Museo events I’ve attended (where fashion power-couple Isabel and Reuben Toledo can often be spotted), the crowd was cheerful and dressed to the nines for a night of dancing, drinking, noshing, and bidding on items from their silent auctions all the while tunes by DJ Steven Love of Noveau Riche played in the background.
The event’s chairmen were Mayra Hernandez, Jana Pasquel. and Samantha Thompson and we were told to wear festive attire which for most women meant playful cocktail dresses and tie-less suits for the men at the event which was held at The Westside Loft on West 37th Street.
The theme of the event was ‘La Loteria: An Exploration of Mexico.’ Loteria is a traditional card game that can be traced back to 15th century and is often compared to bingo. As such, the room was decked-out in limited edition prints of over-sized loteria cards designed by Teresa Villegas which depicted colorful images of fabled Mexican figures. These cards were also printed on the auction listing pamphlet and covered the multiple bars that were set-up in the loft-space.
Besides the cards, gorgeous orchid arrangements were scattered throughout as were ostentatious crystal chandeliers which were a nice touch against the modern space. Latin dishes like mini tamales, tacos, and quesadillas were passed along throughout the night.
However the two highlights of the event where the silent auction which included two cocktail dresses by Christian Cota, a dress of choice by Cynthia Rowley, an Oscar de la Renta handbag, a handbag by Jimena Ysita, dVb jeans, a necklace by Lee Angel, along with about 70 other luxurious items. Besides the auction there was a great moment about mid-way through the event when I women decked-out in an elaborate pink outfit with a flowered headpiece and a table attached to the bodice of her dress came out. On the table were scattered plastic-wrapped deserts – so fun!
All proceeds of the auction and event benefited El Museo’s Education and Community Programs. For a little history on El Museo del Barrio, it was founded in 1969 by artist Raphael Montañez Ortiz with the support of a group of Puerto Rican educators, artists, parents and community activists in East Harlem’s Spanish-speaking El Barrio. Since then, El Museo del Barrio has evolved into New York’s leading Latino cultural institution, having expanded its mission to represent the diversity of art and culture in all of the Caribbean and Latin America and today, it is the only museum in New York City that specializes in representing these cultures.