OpenDoors of Asheville Hosts “One Night in New Orleans” Art Affair 2014 to Help Eliminate Child Poverty in Asheville, NC – Mar. 1, 2014

OpenDoors of Asheville, a not-for-profit organization that generates vital resources to uplift children living in poverty, will host the 5th Annual OpenDoors Art Affair. The theme for the 2014 benefit art auction is “One Night in New Orleans,” and 100 percent of all proceeds generated from the auction directly support initiatives to empower and sustainably enrich the lives of Asheville’s under served youth.

“Please join us this year to celebrate with a nod to New Orleans,” says Jen Ramming, Executive Director for OpenDoors. “You will have a fabulous time and enjoy the French Quarter in great company. The event coincides with Mardi Gras, and New Orleans is famous for the qualities we admire of perseverance, diversity, cultural awareness, and commitment to improvement. Plus, participation in the Art Affair directly supports ongoing, life-changing work to help eliminate multi-generational poverty right here in Asheville.”

Work by Bee Sieberg

Ramming launched OpenDoors in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, inspired in part by wanting to help a displaced New Orleans child who was evacuated to Asheville. “He was in third grade but couldn’t even read basic words,” she recalls. “Today dozens of local children in similar situations receive daily support and enrichment opportunities through OpenDoors programs and services.”

Art Affair 2014 will feature 75+ auction items with at least 25 highly collectible pieces in a “live” auction conducted by Andrew Brunk of Brunk Auctions, Antiques Road Show, and formerly of Christie’s in NYC. Bid on exquisite local art, handcrafted jewelry, exciting travel experiences, and more.

The auction features works by: Connie Bostic, Molly Courcelle, Tif Dill, Jason Dingess, Andy Farkas, Sydney Gubermann, Ursula Gullow, Spencer Herr, Nancy Joyce, Cindy Walton, Jeff Kinzel, Kenn Kotara, Claire Sordoni-Smith, Scott Lowrey, Daniel McClendon, Dale McEntire, John McKinney, Michelle Mitchell, Grant Penny, Dawn Rentz, Mary Farmer, Gabriel Shaffer, Randy Shull, Bee Sieberg, Mike Smith, Robert Dunning, Jimmy O’Neil, Mary Charles Griffin, and Richard Oversmith.

Work by Nancy Joyce

Guests will also enjoy scrumptiously authentic cuisine and libations from many of Asheville’s finest restaurants and social lounges, plus special Mardi Gras-themed beer crafted by Asheville Brewing Company.

The Presenting Sponsor for Art Affair 2014 is Harmony Motors. Among the other generous sponsors are Grove Park Financial Management, Indigo Design, Allegra Printing, Ananda Studios, and Bednar Multimedia.

“Every child has a unique gift, despite the challenges compounded by growing up in poverty,” explains OpenDoors Board co-chair Shaunda Sandford. “Our responsibility is to identify those gifts and strengthen and inspire children to their fullest potential. We invest in children who live in poverty so they will have the tools and knowledge to invest in themselves and break the cycle of multi-generational poverty once and for all.”

OpenDoors also follows the best practices of the highest rated charities in America. While charities ranked in the top 10 by nonprofit watchdog groups like Charity Navigator and Charity Watch typically spend 20%-25% on fundraising events, OpenDoors spent less than seven and a half percent on last year’s Art Affair. Meanwhile the Executive Director of OpenDoors has never accepted a salary from the organization.

The OpenDoors of Asheville Art Affair 2014 “One Night in New Orleans” event takes place on Saturday, Mar. 1st, 2014 at The Venue at 21 North Market Street in downtown Asheville, NC. A VIP pre-party and auction preview begins at 6pm and the main event starts at 7pm.

A continually updated list of sponsors and artists can be found at the OpenDoors website (

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