Haute Event: Adarsh Alphons Projects Hosts First Gala with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien in Attendance

Adarsh Alphons, CNN's Soledad O'Brien, and Sanford Biggers

This October, Adarsh Alphons Projects hosted its first “Jackpot! We’re ALL IN for the kids,” inaugural annual gala, at The Hole gallery (owned by Kathy Grayson, former director of the respected Deitch Projects) in New York City’s the Bowery.

Adarsh Alphons Projects is a Harlem-based and tuition-free, contemporary visual arts educational non-profit for children and youth. The gala stood as a fundraiser for the charity and encompassed a live auction of artwork created by AAP students.

Since its establishment in 2010, AAP has served over one hundred students with minimum resources, and has exhibited student work in commercial galleries where the works are sold, and students directly receive 100% of the proceeds of the sale. AAP attempts to remedy the gap in the accessibility of arts education for public students’ in New York City, while radically changing the way youth learn and create art. Its founder, Adarsh Alphons, planted his roots in the art world after orchestrating global exhibitions and major commissions for prominent names such as Nelson Mandela, Mother Teresa, and Pope John Paul II.

The live auction well under way...

The initiative credits much of its success to various arts institutions, foundations, and benefactors, who help to support AAP programs. Initial backers, many recruited by Alphons, included the Shelley and Donald Rubin Foundation, the Durst Family Foundation (administered by the Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors), and the Levitt Foundation.

Bob Guest, Adarsh Alphons, and honoree Anita Durst

The gala also honored Anita Durst, founder of chashama, Inc., for her steadfast support of AAP and its participants. Before the student art went under the gavel, Durst thanked Alphons for the recognition and praised the organization for its unique mission and rapid achievement.

Notable guests at the auction included CNN star Soledad O’Brien, Darius Walker (CNN bureau chief NY), and socialite Fabiola Beracasa.

O'Brien, who invested in a few APP pieces, admires the artwork.

Generous sponsors of the evening included PowerIce and corporate partners: artnet, The Hole, dedegumo and Barielle Cosmetics—among others.

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