On Sunday, September 25, 2016, A Window Between Worlds celebrated a milestone anniversary surrounded by nearly 300 friends at Hotel Casa Del Mar in Santa Monica. A huge THANK YOU to all who hosted, sponsored, attended, contributed artwork and volunteered on this special occasion! An extra special thank you to our Event Co-Chairs: Amanda Lin and Kristina Mitchell; and our Honorary Co-Chairs Pam and George Douglas, Bobbie McMorrow, Nellie and Paul Newman, and Cheryl Silver and Laurence Jay. Together we raised more than $140,000 to sustain and develop the capacity of our art programs. This will allow us to continue to deepen our core curriculum for survivors of domestic violence, and share art as a resource with new partners to address the multiple ways trauma and violence occur and overlap in people’s lives.
Guests gathered for a delicious brunch on the terrace with boardwalk views, while sipping on cocktails and wine provided by Tito’s Handmade Vodka and ONEHOPE Wine. Tickets were completely sold out – filling the sunlit ballroom with supporters, programs leaders, artists, curators, advocates, funders and volunteers from throughout AWBW history; each with their own unique story of how AWBW and art has played a role in their lives.
We proudly presented awards to three incredible and invaluable people: Mallika Chopra, Bill Resnick and Cathy Salser. AWBW Director of Programs Olivia Piacenza honored Mallika Chopra with the Compassionate Witness Award for her collaboration with AWBW and her website Intent.com. Philanthropist and psychiatrist Bill Resnick was honored with the Community Impact Award by Councilman Mike Bonin. And we all shared a particularly moving moment as Presenting Sponsor Susan Salser honored her daughter and AWBW Founder and Executive Director, Cathy Salser, with the Creative Vision Award for her tremendous work with the organization reaching nearly 200,000 lives in our 25 year history.
Our current art initiative, Touchstones: A Creative Journey, was woven throughout event activities including the community tree mural on display which was created by a group of 12 Windows Leaders in collaboration with Cathy. We also offered an invitation for each guest to create their own Touchstone, and to be connected in the journey of transformation. Thanks to our curators Sunny Bak, Bruria Finkel, Jacquie Israel of arthousela, MaryLinda Moss of Source Art, and Sandra Mueller, nearly 90 Transformation Touchstones created by artists were available for auction. The remaining pieces are currently on sale in our shop – we invite everyone to find a piece to carry on their own journey!
The silent auction was a huge hit – with thanks to our friends at Qtego Auction Services and especially our Master of Ceremonies Dennis Rizza. Dennis guided the crowd with energy and spirit – even calling on a guest to model a beautiful formal race hat by Neil Grigg. Guests went home with items such as tickets to Universal Studios, tickets for a Staples Center Suite, and a private dinner with Celebrity Chef Jeff Nimer. But the most exciting moment of all happened when Audrey Salzburg, AWBW’s CEO, and Dennis Rizza called upon each guest to fill our heart thermometer and raise $25,000 live at the event! A very special thank you to all our Art Transforming Trauma Angels who helped make this goal a reality.
The day concluded with joy and enthusiasm to continue our work together to provide art as a resource for survivors of violence and trauma. We are honored to vision the next 25 years with your guidance and support.