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Art of Dessert raises $390,000
 to support Education Through the Arts programs


Art of Dessert raises $390,000
 to support
Education Through the Arts programs 

Art of Dessert, the annual fundraising event at Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, held Saturday, April 11, supporting the Center’s “Education Through the Arts” programs, raised $390,000, breaking all previous records. The “Fund-a-Need” portion of the live auction raised $117,000, plus an additional $75,000 matching donation from Lytton Rancheria – Lytton Band of Pomo Indians.

At the event, Alan and Susan Seidenfeld were honored with the 2015 Arts Benefactor of the Year Award. The Seidenfeld’s have made significant contributions to Wells Fargo Center for the Arts, including multiple gifts to the “Bridge to the Future” project.  Alan Seidenfeld also serves on the boards of directors of Wells Fargo Center for the Arts and the Santa Rosa Symphony

Other VIPs in attendance among the 300 guests included: Lawrence Amaturo – Sonoma Media Group; Percy Brandon – General Manager, John Ash & Co./Vintners Inn; Erin Carlstrom – Santa Rosa City Council; Carmen Castaldi – Rodney Strong Vineyards; Steve Falk – CEO of Sonoma Media Investments; Betty Freeman – with late husband, Tom, one of the 12 families that founded the Center, also founder of Freeman Lexus-Toyota; James Gore – Sonoma County Board of Supervisors; Steven J. Halpern, M.D. –North Bay Cardiology and WFCA Board member; James Hinton – Santa Rosa Symphony Board President; Kristen Madsen – Executive Director of Creative Sonoma; Margie Mejia - Chairwoman, Lytton Rancheria Lytton Band of Pomo Indians and WFCA Board member; Rick Nowlin - Executive Director, Wells Fargo Center for the Arts; Ernesto Olivares - SR City Council member, former mayor and WFCA Board member; Gary Rosenberg - owner, Sonoma Lavender and WFCA Board Member; Lisa Wittke Schaffner – Executive Director at The John Jordan Foundation, Sonoma County Board of Education member, former mayor of Healdsburg; Tom Schwedhelm – Santa Rosa City Council, former SR police chief; Alan & Susan Seidenfeld – philanthropists and honorees; Sherry Swayne - Board Chair, Luther Burbank Memorial Foundation; Willie Tamayo - Executive Vice President at La Tortilla Factory.

All proceeds from the record-breaking event will benefit the Center’s “Education Through the Arts “ programs, which includes Music For Schools, School Shows, Artists in the Schools, New Song Music Camp, Professional Development workshops through Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education program and more.

Wells Fargo Center for the Arts’  “Education Through the Arts” programs are distinctive and unlike other arts organizations’ “Arts Education” efforts. The Center finds innovative ways to employ the arts to support the teaching of math, science, reading, and all core curriculum subjects, inspiring original thinking,  improving comprehension, acknowledging different ways of learning, stirring creativity and improving students’ overall performance in the classroom.

While an added benefit may be to develop future generations of both artists and arts audiences, the fundamental mission is to enhance a comprehensive education through the arts as a way of reaching and engaging students to want to learn more.

The winning dessert, pictured above, was from Village Bakery.

Other local bakeries and their dessert artists represented at Art of Dessert were: Giorgi’s Wedding Cakes, Costeaux French Bakery, Forget Me Not Cakes, Your Sweet Expectations, Oliver’s Market, Michele’s Corner Cakes, Supreme Sweets, Sweetie Pies, SRJC Culinary Program, Rassasy Cakes, John Ash and Co., Patisserie Angelica, Sweet Cakes, and Merci Beau Coup.