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Arts for All Gala truly an event for all

For two decades, the annual Arts for All Gala has served as one of the largest fundraisers for Arts for All Inc. This year, the group is striving to hammer home the notion of “all” by letting the community know the group is open to everyone.

This year’s theme is “Carnaval des Arts” and it marks the gala’s 23rd year. The theme began as “Mardi Gras,” but several members believed the theme was too cliche. So they began to deconstruct the idea and eventually expand on it until they landed on the concept of the Brazilian Carnaval.

Bobbi Matchette, the executive director of Arts for All, has a special place in her heart for the process of choosing each year’s gala theme.

“One of my favorite parts of the gala is sitting down together before we have a theme and just throwing out ideas and then building and building on one idea until it morphs into something else,” Matchette said.

Once the theme has come together, it is Fran Wehner’s time to shine. Wehner is this year’s decorating chair for the gala, and since May she and other volunteers have been hard at work preparing decorations for the event. Wehner even designed the art that is being used in all of the gala’s promotional material.

Wehner has been a member of the Wichita Wildlight Society, one of Arts for All’s member groups, for 20 years. Her passion for Arts for All stems from her work with the Wildlight Society and seeing all of the good that Arts for All has done through its member organizations.

“The money we raise through Arts for All goes through these groups and then right back into the Lawton community,” Wehner said. “All that money stays right here in Lawton to help educate and entertain residents.”

The Lawton Constitution

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