Giving their tuxedos and flowing gowns the night off, the Dallas Museum of Art‘s DMA Speakeasy guests donned spats and showed plenty of knees for the DMA fundraiser on Saturday, February 24. For one party-hardy evening the crowd of young professional types relived a bygone era when “booze” was verboten, flappers scandalously danced the night away and jazz babies accompanied bootleggers in their roadsters. Here’s a report from the field:
The Dallas Museum of Art was host to nearly 1,000 guys and dolls dressed to kill in their best Prohibition-era fashions for the second DMA Speakeasy on Saturday, February 24.
As guests arrived at the sold-out event, on view were period cars provided by Keith Weiss and the Dallas Model A Ford Club, providing the perfect backdrop for photos and selfies. Once inside the Museum’s Hamon Atrium, partygoers were transported to a 1920’s speakeasy courtesy of renowned event designer Todd Fiscus.
Guests mingled and sipped signature cocktails, including The Outlaw featuring Calamity Gin, Old Fashioned with Title 21 rye, a Nue vodka Watermelon Mule and Roxor Gin’s Rox & Razz, while enjoying the big band sounds of the 18-piece band, the Singpaore Slingers. Professional dancers from The Rhythm Room showcased their dance moves and provided instruction on the Charleston, the Lindy Hop and fox-trot. Those not cutting a rug enjoyed the gaming tables, and vamping it up at one of the two photo booths sponsored by CultureMap, and then posting their mugs on social media with the dedicated #DMAspeakeasy. For movie buffs, the 1974 classic, “The Great Gatsby” featuring Mia Farrow and Robert Redford, was playing in the Horchow Auditorium.
For something to nosh on, a cocktail buffet featured gourmet sandwiches and wraps such as crispy chicken biscuit with honey mustard, roasted vegetables on a Hoagie roll with sun dried tomato pesto, beef fajita wrap with jalapeno aioli, Monterrey jack cheese, grilled peppers and onions, tomato and goat cheese toast with balsamic glaze and Green Goddess veggie cup with baby carrot, celery, cucumber, broccoli and cherry tomato as well as desserts of lemon squares, mini s’mores brownies and strawberry shortcake on a stick.
The Bootlegger’s Lounge provided a perfect hideaway for VIP’s with craft cocktails, tunes by DJ Blake Ward, dedicated dancers from The Rhythm Room and private gaming tables. The cocktail buffet included sweet and savory bites such as deviled egg salad toast with smoked salmon and avocado aioli, olive tapenade and goat cheese tart with tarragon pesto, honey roasted turkey and cranberry mayo on a corn bread muffin, oven roasted beef tenderloin on brioche with caramelized onions and house steak sauce, roasted potato and chive crème fraiche with crisp prosciutto, raspberry tarts, candied orange crème brule and chocolate soup and port -raised strawberries with puffed pastry croutons.
To encourage partygoers to enjoy the Museum’s permanent collection, the “Track the Bootleggers” scavenger hunt led guests throughout the Level 4 galleries searching for images that harken back to the 1920’s and early 30’s in the vast collection of American art. Using a map featuring Prohibition-era facts as clues, participants snapped photos as they tracked down the bootleggers. Upon completion, they shared their photo forensics to collect a sheriff’s badge.
Mid-way through the evening attendees gathered at the main stage for the announcement of the winners of the costume contest. Contest judge and celebrity blogger Lily Kramlick-Taylor from Dallasites101 presented “Best Flapper” to Caitlin Hebert; “Best Dapper Dan” to Jeff Brown and “Best Couple” to Jonathan Smith and Kevin Donovan. Each winner received a bottle of Ruinart champagne.
As the Singapore Slingers played their last song, partygoers gathered once more for the announcement of the winners of six fabulous raffle prizes:
- The Joule Hotel and Midnight Rambler Package: a one night get-away in deluxe accommodations at The Joule Hotel with complimentary overnight valet parking and a $75 gift card to Commissary and a $100 gift card for food and beverage at the premier craft cocktail bar, the Midnight Rambler.
- Five Sixty by Wolfgang Puck Dinner Package: enjoy a lavish five course chef’s tasting menu for two at one of Dallas’ finest restaurants while enjoying a 360° view of Dallas.
- Celebrate the Repeal with a fully stocked bar: Party-sized ice bucket filled to the brim with premium labels.
- Arts & Letters LiveVIP Package for Tuesday, March 6, featuring Peabody and Emmy-award winning journalist and producer Maria Shriver as she shares insight into the wisdom gleaned through her life’s journey in her latest book, I’ve Been Thinking…: Reflections, Prayers, and Meditations for a Meaningful Life.
- Arts & Letters Live VIP package#2 for Friday, April 6, with Lidia Bastianich, best selling cookbook author, beloved television personality, and successful restaurateur. Includes reserved front section seating for two and a hard-cover signed copy of My American Dream: A Life of Love, Family and Food.
- Two Tickets to the Turnpike Troubadours at the Verizon Theater on Friday, March 2.
Following, partygoers danced the night away as DJ Derek Lynn provided the vibe until the party came to an end.
* Photo credit: Tamytha Cameron