The Saints or Sinners Ball will benefit Summit County students | ParkRecord.com

The Saints or Sinners Ball will benefit Summit County students

On Saint Patrick’s Day, the Park City Performing Arts Foundation will present the Saints and Sinners Ball fundraiser at St. Regis.

The fundraiser, which will include food, cocktails, live music and a silent auction will benefit the PCPAF’s educational outreach program.

Attendees are encouraged to come in costume as their favorite heroes or villains, said Teri Orr, executive director for the Park City Performing Arts Foundation.

"I’ve heard there are some very creative costumes that will make an appearance," Orr added. "It will be fun to see who shows up."

The fundraiser has become more important than before as legislatures and school districts face making deeper cuts in their arts programs.

"It is critical for our arts and educational programming that we have done for 15 years now," Orr said. "We have brought in Grammy, Academy, Tony and Emmy award-winning artists and dance companies to work with Park City and Summit County students."

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The artists either allow the children to attend free rehearsals or participate in workshops in schools throughout Summit County during the time they are here for the public performances, Orr said.

"It’s not just for Park City School District kids," she explained. "We also reach out to home schools, charter schools and private schools."

The program costs the foundation $150,000 a year.

"Paying for a performer or a troupe to come in an extra day is more than just the lodging and the extra meals," Orr explained. "It’s also paying them for what is called ‘another service.’ It’s as if they are putting on another performance, so we have to pay them an artist fee for the outreach sessions as well."

Each year, these events reach between 5,000 and 10,000 students, depending upon how wide the performers want to open them up.

"Sometimes performers only want to work with a handful students, so instead of opening up the Eccles Center with 1,300 kids to see a performance, it may be far more valuable to visit a classroom," she said.

Kids responded when the Turtle Island Quartet went into a music class and played Bob Dylan’s "All Along the Watchtower" instead of Bach, and the theatre students were visited this past December by actor John Amos, who talked about his life in show business and being an African-American during the 1960s.

"Because Ed Asner, who has won every award you can think of, is so outspoken and did the one-man show ‘FDR’ and has also lived through significant eras of our country, we didn’t have him work with acting students," Orr said. "He spoke to the AP history class instead. For more than two hours, he answered every question they asked."

The foundation also partners with the Sundance Film Festival and brings in filmmakers to talk about their films.

During the most recent festival, Lucy Walker, the director of the documentary "The Tsunami and the Cherry Blossom," spoke with students and Park City High School.

"She talked with the kids on Monday and then on Tuesday, the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences announced the film had been nominated for an Oscar," Orr said. "That doesn’t happen in other places."

The fundraiser itself will start at 6 p.m. with cocktails at St. Regis, who is sponsoring the evening.

"There will be fabulous food like Guinness-soaked ribs and Irish whiskey-infused whipped cream on the desserts," Orr said.

Entertainment will include the Park City High School Orchestra and the return of auctioneer Joe Metro.

In addition to a live auction, the ball will feature a silent auction.

"We weren’t going to do a silent auction, but then people started volunteering things that would only work as silent auction materials," Orr said.

Some of those items include three guitars signed by Rosanne Cash, Melissa Etheridge and the Goo Goo Dolls, respectively, she said.

"We also have a parachute signed by the band Parachute and a trumpet that was signed by the group Tower of Power," Orr said.

Other items include a one-year membership to the Deer Crest Club from St. Regis and a three, ocean-view night stays at Laguna Beach Montage.

"We are putting up a skybox at one of our outdoor concerts at Deer Valley for 30 people, with VIP parking," Orr said. "Chef Jason Kieffer formerly from Google and Microsoft will be the private cook."

The fundraiser will wrap with an end-of-evening send off for everyone who purchases something during the auction.

"That’s all I’m going to say about that, because I want people to wonder what it’s going to be," Orr said with a laugh.

The Saints and Sinners Ball fundraiser for the Park City Performing Arts Foundation’s outreach and education program, will be held Saturday, March 17, at St. Regis, beginning at 6 p.m. Tickets are $150 each, with tables of 10 available for $1,200. Tickets are available by visiting http://www.ecclescenter.org or at the Eccles Center box office at 1750 Kearns Blvd.