In case you missed it, Monmouth Arts held their awards of the Queens of Art during their gala fundraiser, honoring women leaders in the arts, in Asbury Park, hosted by The House of Independents on a cool October 24.
The evenings honorees included:
Maureen Van Zandt, an actress with a long career in theater and ballet, and most recently for television work in the Sopranos, as mob wife Gabriella Dante.
Fredi Walker-Browne, a broadway performer, who broke ground in early performances in Rent for her role as JoAnne Jefferson, the musical which later went on to win a Pulitzer Prize.
Jenn Hampton, curator of the Wooden Walls Project and owner of Parlor Gallery. Her mark is visibly and publicly stamped on Asbury Park, on the wooden walls surrounding the Casino and Carousel on the boardwalk.
Mil Wexler, an artist who began the Empty Bowls Project to help feed others in need. She has been able to work with the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County as well as other to raise donations for the cause.
Morgan Sackman, who owns and manages the House of Independents, and in turn provides a lively a venue to a variety of performers and artists. She is the driving force behind APVibe Downtown Asbury Park, which aims to support the community through joint marketing and events.
And PNC Wealth Management for their contributions to the community.
The honorees were joined by music performers from the RockIt Academy, a non profit that teaches young people the ropes of the rock and roll experience.
Dancers from the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater were also present with a special act, expanding on the evening’s regal theme with a “queen of hearts” flair.
Drag Queen Alexis Michelle, known for her work in RuPaul’s Drag Race, emceed the event and was also joined by Lady Celestina and Franchesca Frosé.
All together, these women represent a coming together of creative forces to keep art vital to public life and to give it a place of distinction, and continue to grow art and creativity with an eye to the future. Monmouth Arts was able to meet a minimum funding goal of $5,000 in donations during the course of the night. Long live the queens of art, indeed, and may their reigns be long.