The Southern Ohio Museum will be hosting their annual Novembermore fundraiser this Nov. 9 at 6:30 p.m. The event will be welcoming guests into the new walkway plaza, will have an open bar, auctions and more. The fundraiser is of huge importance to the continuation of museum programming, which survives solely on generosity.
“Our museum survives on donations, memberships and grants,” Charlotte Gordon, museum artistic director, said. “This is our annual fundraiser. There is an art auction involved and it is just a wonderful evening; it sounds like it is going to be a really, really fun.”
The museum is only charging one price for general admission and it includes dinner and drinks, but more premium liquor and wines will be available to anyone who wishes to purchase them.
Gordon said that the party will spill out into the new alley, which the museum calls their Plaza. The alley was purchased by the museum back in 2011. They completed the walkway this past summer and have since not been able to showcase it outside of their general education programming. Novembermore will be the first time they utilize the alleyway for a major event. The walkway will have high end liquor and cigars for sale as well. They are calling the outside serving stations their “Birdcage Bar.”
“It will be interesting,” Gordon said. “I’m hoping the weather will be nice, because the weather will really make or break the night. I think it is going to be a really wonderful evening with everything going on, as long as weather permits.”
Gordon also said that the plaza will have its own reception in the spring, when they host a naming ceremony.
“We are naming the plaza the ‘Security Central Plaza,’ because the Security Central Bank was really the first donor that started the museum. They donated us the building. Nothing has ever been named after them, so we will do that and have a nice ceremony out there on it. I think at this point we have fixed it and we are going to step back and look at it and see how it will serve us,” Gordon said.
The entire Novembermore event has been funded and provided by donations and volunteer services. Gordon said the volunteers that will be working the event are pursuing it with a lot of interest, energy and creativity, which leads Gordon to believe that the night will be exciting, considering this is her first time attending a Novembermore herself.
Gordon stepped into office as the museum artistic director last June, which was the same time her husband, Mark Chepp, also stepped in as museum director.
A Silent auction and live auction will feature many art pieces, from an extraordinary self-taught piece donated by Kenny Gallery out of Columbus, a William Hawkins sketch, ceramic sculptures by Juliana Byrne and much more.
Sarah Johnson, museum curator, came up with the idea to host Novembermore. The themed party is mostly about the fact that there is more to come to the museum. More art and more of what everyone wants from the museum. The committee that was formed for Novembermore was done so to make the event more in itself. Gordon says that she has nothing to compare it to, but believes it will be more memorable and richer than it has been in past years.
“Mark and I are coming into this new to the game,” Gordon said. “We sat in on all the planning meetings and listened to what we’ve done, what people didn’t like and what we planned on doing.”
General admission for the event is $50 and it pays for everything outside of extra, premium drinks. A tent will be pitched in the alley for roasted oysters and crab cakes, which will be provided by museum board president, Ann Jewett. They will be playing music as entertainment, but Gordon said that the auction should serve as another form of entertainment in itself. Guests also get what the museum calls “birdy bucks.” The birdy bucks can be used as cash value on drinks or when bidding on the art pieces. Guests will have a chance to earn anywhere from 10 to 50 of the birdy bucks just for walking in the door.
“We love Portsmouth, we love the museum, we love the staff, we love the board; everything is hunky dory,” Gordon said. “I think that Portsmouth needs a big dose of civic pride, because people don’t realize what they have here. This is an incredible town, incredible cultural experiences, incredible and unique dining experiences. We have the floodwalls and the murals that are all over town. We have the museum, the Vern Riffe Center, the Boneyfiddle Arts Center and so many more. The friends that we’ve brought in are astounded by the area and plan on coming back for the unique experiences we have here. “