Wright Gala sets a high standard for museum

Chuck Bennett

The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History was glammed up practically beyond recognition Saturday night for its largest annual fundraiser, the Wright Gala. With a theme inspired by the museum's current exhibition, "A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre," there was glitz at every turn, some perhaps, a little too ambitious, such as the tented walkway lined with white feathers that ultimately stuck to guests' shoes and hemlines.

Supporting the legacy and the ongoing educational programming at the museum, more than 500 guests, shelling out $350 per ticket, attended the black-tie event dubbed, "The Ball." Guests were greeted with the hoopla of a red carpet arrival conducted by a trio of photographers prior to entering the transformed Ford Freedom Rotunda.

During the reception, guests were elbow-to-elbow, enjoying cocktails and hors d'oeuvres amidst displays of larger-than-life Playbills giving a nod to the evening's Broadway-themed show. After the two-hour reception, guests were directed through a series of small tents to a massive tent where dinner, a trio of entrees, was served.

WDIV-TV's Lauren Campbell emceed the show, which included a live auction, an impressive performance of "Home" from "The Wiz," by 12-year-old Janaya Brown, and a surprise appearance from Broadway star Jennifer Holliday, singing the song she made a classic, "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from "Dreamgirls."

Presenting sponsors of The Gala were General Motors and Ford, with event co-chairs Janice Cosby, Yvette Bing, Florine Mark and Rosalind Brewer. The evening concluded with dessert and a Studio 54-style dance party with music from DJ John Collins.

The exhibit, "A Theatre of Color: Costume Design for the Black Theatre" by Myrna Colley-Lee, is sponsored by General Motors Foundation and will be on display until Jan. 4, 2015. It is free with museum admission.

Chuck Bennett is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador and the creator of the Social D, a website that represents the social side of Metro Detroit. See thesociald.com.

Chairs Janice Cosby, Yvette Bing.