Indiana Daily Student

Classic novel inspires local upcoming arts fundraiser

'Great Gatsby' inspires roaring '20s art auction

A smoky speakeasy, an elegant piano bar and women in flapper-style costumes dancing the Charleston will be seen in Bloomington this week.\n"The Gatsby Gala" will be held at 7:30 p.m. on May 12, at the John Waldron Arts Center. It is the Bloomington Area Arts Council's primary fundraiser. The event will feature a fine art auction, along with music, dancing, food, spirits and prizes at an event bringing the roaring '20s back from the past.\nWritten by author F. Scott Fitzgerald, "The Great Gatsby" won the "One Book, One Bloomington and Beyond" \ncontest. Its namesake gala lets area residents experience in real-life the world Fitzgerald brought to readers' imaginations in 1925.\nJWAC Director Miah Michaelsen said the book was selected by the community for reading and discussion. \n"It is to encourage literacy and discussion," Michaelsen said. "It's a great American novel and has something to say about the current period."\nMichaelsen said the book discusses ideas of wealth and decadence that are relevant today.\n"A socially conscious community like Bloomington wants to discuss issues like decadence," Michaelsen said. "It's very relevant."\nMichaelsen said the BAAC wanted its fundraiser to be something beyond a dinner and an auction.\n"This will be a fun extension of the book," Michaelsen said. "The John Waldron Arts Center was built in 1915, so it is very appropriate for the era."\nThe IU Swing Dance Club will host a free dance at 6:30 p.m. before the event. Greg and Christine Davenport will teach different variations of the Charleston.\n"The Charleston was really the quintessential dance of the 1920s era," Greg Davenport said. "It will be very basic, and we are aiming it at beginners who don't know any formal dancing."\nFor $50 attendees can purchase a secret password and backdoor admittance to the VIP 4th Street Entrance Speakeasy. The $50 ticket gives attendees full access to free hors d'oeuvres and drinks. For $15, a person can get in through the main entrance and enjoy drinks from the cash bar.\n"We wanted to make it an \nimmersive experience," Michaelsen said. "We're taking it to the next level from the traditional fundraiser"

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