Established 1978

April 30: SFMOMA Modern Ball

by Teresa Rodriguez

April 10th, 2014

For the first time in history, SFMOMA’s Modern Ball will be held outside of the museum, transforming the nearby oasis of Yerba Buena Gardens into a festive scene with surprises around every corner. Event designer Stanlee Gatti will bring his signature creative flair throughout the outdoor gardens, set against the stunning evening cityscape, including a unique tented space atop the gardens’ waterfall.
Two concurrent events will kick off the night: the Gala Dinner will include a seated dinner with a premier live auction led by Sotheby’s Andrea Fiuczynski, featuring a significant work of art by Luc Tuymans; the Supper Club will offer music by DJ King Most, flowing drinks, and gourmet culinary stations in a styl¬ish lounge setting. Late-night revelers will then join Gala Dinner and Supper Club guests as the Modern Ball’s after-hours fête, the Post-Modern Party, takes off throughout the gardens.

The Gala Dinner
5:45 p.m. Cocktails – Yerba Buena Center for the Arts Forum
7 p.m. Seated Dinner and Live Auction – The Gala Tent on Yerba Buena Gardens Terrace
9 p.m. Access to All Post-Modern Party Venues
Gala Dinner guests will experience the ultimate night out with an exquisite dinner by McCalls paired with Ruinart champagne and Newton Vineyard wines, a thrilling live auction, and irresistible surprises.

Tickets range from $125 (Post-Modern Party individual tickets) to $50,000 (Gala Dinner tables). Tickets for The Gala Dinner can be reserved by calling 415.618.3263 or emailing Tickets for The Supper Club and Post-Modern Party are available for purchase through Eventbrite (Supper Club, Post-Modern Party).

May 1: 57th San Francisco International Film Festival Gala

by Teresa Rodriguez

April 8th, 2014
Harrison Ford, 2013 Peter J. Owens award recipient. Photo by Tommy Lau

Harrison Ford, 2013 Peter J. Owens award recipient. Photo by Tommy Lau

San Francisco Film Society (SFFS) will honor four extraordinary guests at its annual Film Society Awards Night during the 57th San Francisco International Film Festival (April 24–May 8). This gala is SFFS’s premier fundraising event, with proceeds benefiting its year-round programming in film exhibition, education, and filmmaker services. The most glamorous and exciting ticket in town, Film Society Awards Night will be held in the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, May 1.

One of San Francisco’s most highly anticipated black-tie galas, awards night will recognize this year’s best and brightest in cinematic achievement. The evening will begin with a red carpet event followed by award presentations, a beautiful dinner, and an elegant and lively party where guests can mingle with the stars. The guests of honor will be the recipients of four festival awards: Richard Linklater (Dazed and Confused, Before Sunrise) will receive the Founder’s Directing Award; Stephen Gaghan (Traffic, Syriana) will receive the Kanbar Award for excellence in screenwriting; John Lasseter will receive the George Gund III Craft of Cinema Award; and the recipient of the Peter J. Owens Award for acting will be announced soon. Victoria Raiser and Todd Traina are co-chairs of this year’s gala.

For tickets and information on SFFS Awards Night, call 415 561-5028 or email

Venus in Fur

by Kevin Kopjak

March 27th, 2014

Photo by Kevin Berne

On March 26, audiences were treated to the opening night performance of A.C.T.’s electrifying new production of Venus in Fur—David Ives’ 2012 Tony Award–nominated play that electrified (and titillated) Broadway audiences. Filled with leather bustiers, black leather boots and laughter, audiences were taken on a journey through an erotic game of cat and mouse, where the lines between fantasy and reality—and seduction and power – were dangerously blurring. Venus in Fur was named one of the “year’s best” plays by more than a dozen major publications, and called “90 minutes of good, kinky fun,” by the New York Times.

April 8: 111th Anniversary & 26th Annual Distinguished Citizen Award Dinner

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 26th, 2014

Each year since 1903, The Commonwealth Club has held a gala dinner celebrating its anniversary and, since 1988, it has presented its Distinguished Citizen Award to one or more individuals, recognizing their noteworthy contributions to local and global society.
This year’s theme is “Transformative Leadership”– honoring the individuals who have made a significant impact on our region by creating business and economic opportunities—or, through their philanthropy and fundraising dedication have improved the fabric of our social and cultural organizations.

The annual dinner is the club’s most significant annual social and fundraising event, providing resources to support the nonprofit mission of the nation’s largest and oldest public forum, throughout the year. Please join them at this special event!
This year honorees include: Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen, founder and president of the Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen Foundation (LAAF); Reid Hoffman, co-founder and executive chairman, LinkedIn; Eric E. Schmidt, PhD, executive chairman Google; Wendy Schmidt, resident, The Schmidt Family Foundation; John Gunn, chairman of the board of directors, San Francisco Opera–Lifetime Achievement Award; and Cynthia Fry Gunn, San Francisco Fine Arts Museums Board Member–Lifetime Achievement Award

Tuesday, April 8th
Cocktails from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Dinner and award ceremony to follow
Fund a Need Auction
Panel discussion moderated by Sir Michael Moritz, chairman, Sequoia Capital

Palace Hotel, 2 New Montgomery Street
Parking: Dinner guests receive special $15 flat parking rate from 4 p.m. to 12 a.m. at the Hearst Parking Center located at 45 3rd St., San Francisco, CA 94103
Patron ticket: $500
Benefactor ticket: $1,000

Table sponsorships are also available starting at $5,000. For more information about these opportunities contact Ellie Levine at

$1 Million Raised For Larkin Street Youth Services

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 25th, 2014
Julie Harkins and JaMel Perkins at the Larkin Street Gala

Julie Harkins and JaMel Perkins at the Larkin Street Gala

Larkin Street Youth Services kicked-off its 30th anniversary with the 12th annual fund-raising gala benefit, Paving the Way for Our Youth, on March 14, 2014. The 2014 gala’s theme of “30 Years of Giving Hope” brought together youth alumni, supporters, board, staff members, and volunteers from all the decades of the agency’s history. The event sold out, with more than 450 community leaders and philanthropists in attendance at the Four Seasons Hotel, San Francisco, venue. Cheered on by special guests, including former San Francisco 49er and Super Bowl champion Harris Barton, Mark Buell, and civic leader and America’s Cup yachtsman Brad Webb, the benefit raised a record $1 million in support of Larkin Street’s programs for homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth.

For 30 years, Larkin Street has been at the forefront in building new approaches to better meet the evolving needs and challenges faced by homeless young people and sharing these solutions with other nonprofits, nationally and internationally. Serving more than 3,500 young people each year, Larkin Street’s goal is to provide a full spectrum of support to help these youths move toward independence. The organization has a long history of continuing to raise the bar so that youths aged 12 to 24 get full access to opportunities, which can put them on a path to a positive future–from stable housing to a solid education, and self-sustaining employment to health and wellbeing.

Bently Foundation Raises $8.9 Million With Coin Auction

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 25th, 2014
Chris Bently

Chris Bently

The coin auction of more than 600 rare, Gold Rush-era coins from The Collection of Donald E. Bently raised close to $9 million for Bently Foundation, which launched last week during Heritage Auction’s much-anticipated single owner catalog. The most notable coin in the collection was the legendary 1927-D double eagle, which led the way with a sale price of $1,292,500. The Bently Foundation–established by Christopher Bently, the son of the late Donald Bently–supports the communities served by Christopher’s diverse suite of companies. The foundation’s core belief is that achieving corporate success means taking the responsibility to engage with the community to inspire positive change. Bently Foundation is 100 percent dedicated to fostering support for organizations that align with its values.

“The coin auction exceeded our expectations,” says Christopher Bently. “We were able to raise $8.9 million that will directly benefit organizations that meet Bently Foundations core values of cultivating the arts, advancing environmental sustainability, and aiding animal welfare.”

“We are thrilled with the overall success of the coin auction, which not only raised a significant amount of funding for Bently Foundation, but awareness of the organization and the communities it serves,” says Camille Crowder, Bently Foundation’s development director. “Through the launch of Bently Foundation, we’ve received interest from non-profit organizations, based in the Bay Area, Nevada, and beyond, in need of grants to continue the valuable work they do throughout the year.”

March 20: San Francisco’s Women-Focused “W Inspire”

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 18th, 2014

W San Francisco is hosting the fourth installment of “W Inspire,” an innovative new series featuring the Bay Area’s most influential and dynamic female leaders. On Thursday, March 20, the hotel will welcome Circe Sher, partner and marketing director of the beloved Hotel Healdsburg and h2hotel, for a special two-hour event, during which she will lend meaningful insight into her vision for growing a progressive product, reimagining a truly green hotel concept, the tender balance of work and family, and advice for women looking to reinvent. Guests will be treated to delectable light bites and wine by Sbragia Family Vineyards, which will be pouring on-site, as well as meet-and-greet opportunities with Sher herself.

WHEN: Thursday, March 20
5:30–7:30 p.m.

WHERE: W San Francisco
Industry Room – 2nd Floor
181 Third Street (at Howard)
San Francisco, CA 94103

RSVP: To attend the event, please RSVP via email to:

Famous Chef Alice Waters Hosts Teen Author Book Launch

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 18th, 2014

 Alice Waters and Emily Abrams

Pictured are Alice Waters and Emily Abrams

A select group of activists and media were invited to join Alice Waters at Chez Panisse to celebrate the launch of Don’t Cook the Planet, a cookbook created by 19 year-old Emily Abrams. Emily, a senior in high school who is studying environmental sciences, believes that climate change is her generation’s defining issue.

Don’t Cook the Planet demonstrates how small choices make a big difference and fighting climate change can start at the dinner table—by shopping at your local farmers markets, incorporating “Meatless Mondays” into your dining habits, and more.

With a foreword by Robert Kennedy, Jr., the book features a collection of more than 70 delicious recipes from a variety of individuals, including well-known chefs, politicians, celebrities, and environmental activists.

Star-Studded Fundraiser for UCSF Medical Center

by Teresa Rodriguez

March 10th, 2014

Tonight, Monday, March 10, producers Lou Adler and Kevin Duncan present a Starry Evening of Music, Comedy, and Surprises, a star-studded benefit event at Davies Symphony Hall to benefit The Painted Turtle and UCSF Medical Center. For more than 100 years, UCSF Medical Center has fostered clinical innovations that have brought about dramatic advances in medicine. Keeping with its tradition of excellence, UCSF is embarking on a bold plan to build a new children’s, women’s and cancer hospital complex at its groundbreaking Mission Bay campus in San Francisco.

Ticket sale proceeds will benefit The Painted Turtle and UCSF Medical Center. The Painted Turtle, a member of Paul Newman’s renowned SeriousFun camps, is a year-round camp that provides a haven for children with chronic and life-threatening illnesses. In partnership with UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital, The Painted Turtle’s Hospital Outreach Program brings the spirit of camp throughout the year to children in the Bay Area who are too sick to attend camp.

WHO: Celebrities Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, Kathy Griffin, Josh Groban, Randy Newman, Jack Nicholson, Bonnie Raitt, Amber Riley, and Renée Zellweger are scheduled to perform and give interviews on the red carpet before the show.

WHEN: Monday, March 10, 2014
Show starts at 7:30 p.m.

WHERE: Davies Symphony Hall
201 Van Ness Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102

TICKETS: New tickets have been recently released for $125 and $250 each.

HOW: For more information, visit or

March 3 to May 1, 2014: New Art Exhibition Featuring Margrit Mondavi

by Teresa Rodriguez

February 26th, 2014
Painting by Margrit Mondavi

Painting by Margrit Mondavi

Robert Mondavi Winery will debut a new art exhibit in March featuring the paintings of three

California artists. The exhibit includes the work of Margrit Mondavi, Thomas Bartlett, and

Jim Evans, and the exhibit will be on display from March 3 to May 1, 2014.

Born and educated in Switzerland, Margrit Mondavi is one of Napa Valley’s most notable

personalities. She is a longtime advocate for the arts and serves as Robert Mondavi Winery’s vice

president of cultural affairs. An artist herself, she paints watercolors inspired by everyday life.

Raised in the Napa Valley, Thomas Bartlett was educated at the California College of the Arts.

An internationally recognized interior designer, he is passionate about painting and drawing.

Jim Evans was raised on a ranch near San Simeon and studied at California College of Arts in

the 1950s. After a career in the antique business, he pursued his interest in watercolors and oil

paintings. He lives in Cambria and owns an antique shop called Bucket of Blood.

The artwork will be available for complimentary viewing during winery hours, 10 a.m. to

4 p.m. daily. Appointments are strongly suggested. Robert Mondavi Winery is located at

7801 St. Helena Highway in Oakville, Napa Valley. For more information about the exhibit

or to schedule an appointment, call 707-968-2200. Additional information is available


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