On Saturday, September 21, the Asheville Area Arts Council (AAAC) will host its 15th annual Color Ball. This year, the annual fundraiser will also celebrate the organization’s 40th anniversary. Every Color Ball is themed around a different shade, and this year’s party will be the Ruby Ball, a nod to the typical 40th anniversary gift of rubies. “Asheville businesses and creatives have been coming together to support the Color Ball benefit since 2002,” says executive director Katie Cornell. “It is truly a community event, showcasing and supporting our vibrant arts sector.” Ticket holders are encouraged to don ruby-colored outfits for the multiparty evening. There will also be a ruby slipper-themed photo contest on Instagram leading up the ball.
The Ruby Ball will begin at 5 p.m. with a VIP party at the AAAC’s Refinery Creator Space, featuring a performance by Kat Williams and a gourmet spread from Strada Italiano. At 7 p.m., a private trolley will carry VIP partyers to a second location. From 7–9:30 p.m., Shelley Schenker of Eco-Depot Marketplace will host RB Squared, a soul- and R&B-themed event with music by WestSound, a performance by Asheville Contemporary Dance Theatre, snacks and signature cocktails.
A third party will be happening simultaneously at Asheville’s Cotton Mill Studios. The Cotton Club Cuban Cabaret will feature entertainment in multiple studios on the premises, including music from Patrick Lopez, DJ Zati and Katie Kasben, as well as snacks and drinks. This party is hosted jointly by the Cotton Mill’s Jannette Montenegro, Kristie Quinn of Smoky Park Supper Club and Lauri Nichols of District Wine Bar. “This is the first year that two parties will be held in the River Arts District,” says Nichols. “It is so important for our River Arts community to be included, as so much great art is created every day here.”
As the River Arts District parties come to a close, revelers will convene for the final, main ball—The Ruby Review—in the new event space at Wicked Weed’s Funkatorium. Until midnight, the final party will celebrate the history of all 15 Color Balls, with performances by Zabumba, Juan Holladay, The Get Right Band and local dancers. “By participating,” says Nichols, “patrons and sponsors have a chance to give back to a community that makes Asheville what it is today—a thriving arts community.”
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit AshevilleArts.com/RubyBall.