Amref Health Africa ArtBall
April 2019. New York City, A/D/O in Greenpoint, Brooklyn
On April 27, 2019, Empire was honored to produce ArtBall, which raised funds for Amref Health Africa, the largest Africa-based and African-led healthcare organization at A/D/O in Brooklyn. This year’s ArtBall honored Zanele Muholi, a South African artist and visual activist focused on the LGBTQ+ community.
Upon arrival, guests entered through a curated gallery featuring over 30 artworks by artists from across the African continent that were up for auction. Each piece was available on Artsy prior and during the event, and 100% of the proceeds went to Amref. The VIP portion of the program included passed hors d’oeuvres and a special discussion with Zanele Muholi moderated by Kimberly Drew. Among the many noteworthy guests were honorary host and artist, Shantell Martin and Broadway's Féla star Adesola Osakalumi.
After the VIP event, the party kicked into full swing as over 600 general admission guests arrived in their impressive African attire. Open bars flowed with Hendricks, Tito’s, Espolon and other spirits while guests enjoyed African diaspora inspired snacks provided by Brownsville Community Culinary Center.
Th centerpiece of the evening was an educational activation—a replication of a classroom structure designed in the spirit of the Wamba Girls’ School in Kenya. The classroom was staged with a chalkboard, desks and “Dignity Kits” stuffed with school supplies, hygiene products and more, with each item laid out out as an example of what a small donation could provide for a child. The wooden walls were lined with facts and photos from Amref’s work. A polaroid station was set up just outside the structure so attendees could write notes and send their photos to the girls from the Wamba Girls’ School in Kenya. Docents led guests through a guided tour of the classroom to fully explain Amref’s important work.
Global CEO of Amref, Dr. Githinji Gitahi, delivered a moving speech about celebrating life, noting that some come for the “art", while others come for the “ball", encouraging all to have fun and celebrate while being mindful of the cause for which the audience were gathered.
The night was led by emcee, Young Prince, and an amazing mix of Afrobeats and other dance music was provided by DJ Tao, Rich Medina and Juls. Guests spent the night getting down on the dance floor until the very last second of the event.
Empire was proud to design and produce a successful fundraising gala for Amref Health Africa, supporting the inspiring initiatives they achieve.
Amref Health Africa provides health care solutions that are for Africans, by Africans. To learn more please visit https://www.amrefusa.org