Farm-to-Tableaux Event Celebrates Kahlo's "The Two Fridas"
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County Fundraiser
by Callie Collins
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County Fundraiser
by Callie Collins
Aug 29, 2022
All of that effort culminates for one special evening to benefit an amazing cause. All funds raised directly benefit participating children in Kern County, particularly those experiencing homelessness. Last year’s gross total was more than $400,000.
As a non-profit, the organization’s funding is made possible by corporate support, public and private grants and the generosity of local donors. Scholarships cover the majority of the cost of attendance for approximately 92% of attendee expenses; attendance is open for children ages 5 to 17. However, there are no specific funding dollars allocated for attendance to cover the cost of children living in shelters or otherwise experiencing homelessness.
Dollars collected at the event make it possible for this specific demographic to attend safe, quality care with life-enriching activities during school breaks, with transportation services to and from three homeless shelters: The Mission at Kern County, Bakersfield Homeless Shelter and Alliance Against Family Violence; the latter have combined to form the Open Door Network.
“We already operate at school sites, so these children are already taken care of when there is class but the logistics change when school breaks happen,” said Executive Director Zane Smith. “We offer a place where kids can be kids for eight hours a day with enrichment, food, STEM [science, technology, engineering and math] activities and more, an opportunity for them to develop friendships and build life skills. Having children here gives parents who are going through difficult times to be able to have respite, to go seek services, get counseling, receive job training or do what they need to do for their wellbeing and that of their family.”
Providing new art materials, from brushes to canvases, will also be a priority purchase made possible through the funds raised. Children’s art will be on display, with certain items available for auction.
“Throughout the past year, we have used materials purchased from the previous year’s event proceeds,” said Smith. “Kids are supporting their own free art lessons and materials. Last year, first thing was to go out and buy all new canvases. Children are making that connection between work, money and the value of a dollar,” said Smith, who related how one participant equated the sale price of his work with the purchase cost of how many canvases could be purchased from its proceeds.
Each year, a new artist is selected to inform the event’s theme, which also provides inspiration for lesson topics, from art history to technique. Many teachers come from Bakersfield, including a paid intern who worked as an aide this year who is a former Club participant.
“We love that Frida gives us such a rich palette to work from. In addition to other Latin American artists and food, this year’s event is sure to be a feast for the senses,” said Smith. “It’s Latin American cuisine elevated to throw in a twist of Frida fun.”
October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a designation that will be incorporated with taco shells made from pink tortillas, a nod to Kahlo’s saturated colors, the red and pink hues for which she is known. The night’s signature drinks are the Spicy Friday, a blue jalapeno drink, the Friday on Fire, a strawberry basil cocktail, and the Frozen Frita-Rita, a margarita made in collaboration with a local ice pop vendor.
Maddie Janssen with KGET-TV 17 will serve as emcee. Local artists Jesus Fidel, Marj Dow, and Emily Loyd will be part of the live performances that bring art to life. A rendering of Kahlo’s famous The Two Fridas self-portrait, on permanent exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will include a life version with an actress and a 3D wooden cutout sitting side-by-side. The children’s art will be on display, along with featured Kahlo works in grand scale, including 8’x24,’ recreated by professionals.
Find out more about the Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County student performers at https://youtu.be/yOVDUf8ZjyM.
“Although this is an adults-only event, some of our kids are chaperoned to be available for interviews and social conversations about their work in a supervised setting,” explained Smith. “We have had so many instances where an attendee is pleasantly surprised and inspired by our young people. At our event last year, an individual shared that he didn’t need to purchase the work of art he was bidding on but because the child was so earnest and charming, he wanted to and would not leave the bid sheet. This event develops a strong sense of pride as our kids complete their pieces.”
A group of stakeholders select which student works are auctioned; other works stay to inspire youth and go up on the organization’s walls. At least 35 original works of art are expected at this year’s event.
“Free lessons, mentorship, friendship, igniting of a passion, validation: we want to see children thrive,” said Smith. “It also gives voice to talented working artists. It is an act of love from everyone involved.”
Boys & Girls Clubs of Kern County: Farm to Tableaux
All proceeds directly benefit the non-profit organization.
Artistic theme: Frida Kahlo
When: October 7th at 6 p.m.
Where: Highgate at Seven Oaks
The evening will include an in-person event with farm-to-table cuisine matching the evening’s Latin American cuisine, living art (tableaux vivants) with figures in make-up and costume to depict works of art and bring them to life, and a fundraising auction with art created by youth participants, in addition to donated items. Costumed Frida Kahlos will roam the event.
Public admission was unavailable at the time of publication; it has sold out for the upcoming event. For sponsorship information, please contact the organization directly at 661-325-3730.
Find more information at https://www.bgclubsofkerncounty.org/ and https://farmtotableaux.com/event/bgckc/.
More than 40 sponsors have made this event possible:
California Resources Corporation
Castle & Cooke
Bakersfield West Rotary
Congressman Kevin McCarthy
Galaxy Gymnastics & Tumbling
Bakersfield North Rotary
Wonderful Real Estate
UBS / Ira & Carole Cohen
Bynum Inc / Greg & Mary Bynum
S.C. Anderson, Inc.
Affinity Truck Center
Klein, DeNatale, Goldner
Bank of the Sierra
Barbich Hooper King Dill Hoffman
Laurel Ag & Water
Nickel Family Wine / Rio Bravo Ranch
AltaOne Federal Credit Union
Jim Burke Ford Lincoln
Kern Health Systems
Walter Mortensen Insurance / INSURICA
Safe1 Credit Union
Active 20-30 Club
Edward Jones/Lourdes Arrubla
Williams Adams & Co.
Citizens Business Bank
Kern County Family Magazine