National Academy Spring Gala

The National Academy Museum & School, whose history dates back to 1825, came to Bowen & Company with a desire to reinvent their annual Spring Gala.  With new management, a new strategic and financial plan in place, and renovations underway on the Academy’s galleries and public spaces, the Spring Gala would signal the beginning of a new era for the National Academy.

  • More than doubled revenues from ticket and table sales the year prior by creating an honoree-related income goal, engaging new friends for the Academy, while still welcoming the stalwart supporters through the years.
  • Helped to secure a Lead Sponsor from the financial services sector.
  • Oversaw installation of a special “one night only” exhibition featuring select works from the honorees:  Stephen Antonakos, Morton Kaish, and Kevin Roche.
  • Used artist renderings of the Academy’s completed renovations in the graphic design of invitations, programs, and other collaterals.
  • Turned a challenge into an opportunity.  As renovations were still underway on Gala day—the hammers and saws only halted hours before cocktails began—we gave guests an exclusive “behind the scenes” experience as they walked the red carpet wound through the future lobby’s construction zone.  Our check-in attendants wore custom hard hats bearing the Academy’s logo.
  • Produced the dinner and Awards ceremony in the Academy’s beautiful and historic Beaux Arts home by seating guests within four distinct galleries on the 2nd floor and using video screens to broadcast the ceremony to each room.
  • Solicited and executed a charity art auction featuring works from more than 60 artists, including signature pieces from honorees and the addition of new experiential packages like private studio tours with Academy artists.
  • Guest favors were postcard-sized prints custom-designed by Academy students.
  • Worked closely with Board members, Gala Co-Chairs, and Steering Committees during the planning process.
  • Now in our 3rd year producing this annual event, it continues to grow along with the National Academy.

Photography: Copyright Don Pollard Photography