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It’s rare that superstars such as Katy Perry or Bruno Mars play intimate sets for a crowd of a few hundred people. The Hammer Museum’s upcoming Gala in the Garden benefit fundraiser is one of the exceptions. In the last few years, the Los Angeles museum’s annual bash, held in its tree-filled courtyard garden, has been a hot ticket, not just for the cause of supporting cutting-edge contemporary art and rubbing shoulders with the likes of supporters Will Ferrell, Tom Hanks, Emmy Rossum and Julia Roberts, but also for getting an up-close seat to hear Perry belt out Bonnie Raitt’s “I Can’t Make You Love Me” three years ago and to see Mars go unplugged on acoustic guitar in 2011. Last year, Sia sang a three-song set that included “Chandelier.” She didn’t keep her back to the crowd.
The museum today announced that this year, singer Aloe Blacc will take the stage for the 2015 Gala in the Garden on Saturday, Oct. 10. Co-chairing the evening will be two Hollywood couples: Julia Roberts and Daniel Moder and Sam and Aaron Taylor-Johnson, along with Tomas Maier, the creative director of luxury brand Bottega Veneta, which returns for the third time as gala sponsor. Jane Lynch will be the event’s emcee.
“Everyone comes because the courtyard is beautiful, the food is great, and you can see so many friends all in one place,” says UTA CEO and Hammer Museum board of overseers member Jeremy Zimmer. “My wife, Marisa, and I always love this evening. Annie [Philbin, the Hammer’s director] and Jennifer Wells Green [deputy director, advancement] put together a great mixture of artists, Hollywood and collectors.”
The museum previously had announced that its gala honorees this year will be Diane Keaton and Los Angeles-based artist Paul McCarthy (who made headlines last year when his outdoor sculpture Tree, which resembles a large green butt plug, was deflated by a vandal in Paris). The Hammer now has lined up the award presenters for the evening: Emma Stone will introduce Keaton, while artist Matthew Barney will do the honors for McCarthy.
Guests will enjoy a dinner by chef Suzanne Goin of Lucques and get a sneak preview of two fall exhibitions, retrospectives of the work of Canadian artist Lawren Harris (co-curated by Steve Martin) and Los Angeles-based artist Frances Stark. Last year’s gala raised a record $2.5 million for exhibitions and public programming at the museum, which offers free admission.
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