You may have seen their names as you walked down the Great Hall Corridor toward our Temporary Exhibition galleries—a listing of the generous individuals, families, and corporations who serve as sponsors of Crystal Bridges. Many of these sponsors choose the Museum’s unique venues to host their very most special functions. In September 2013, I was lucky enough to work with one of our sponsors on one of these events!
Our sponsor elected to hold a two-day conference-style event with us, utilizing multiple event spaces and hosting several meals. Their guests arrived on a Thursday evening, and began their visit to the Museum with a guided tour of the permanent collection followed by a buffet dinner in our restaurant, Eleven.
Executive Chef Bill Lyle prepared our Harvest and Caesar Salads, as well as beef tenderloin; a Farmstead pasta with feta, Kalamata olives, and roasted garlic; creamed potatoes; baby French green beans; and, for dessert, honey-lavender panna cotta and “Velvet Elvis” chocolate-peanut butter-banana torte bites.
I chose pale yellow and chocolate brown linens for their dinner events to compliment Eleven’s wooden beams and dark-brown dining chairs. Floral arrangements in shades of green with lily grass, hypericum berries, and anthuriums graced the guest tables. Post-dinner shuttle service transported guests back to their hotels for the evening.
Friday morning began with conference sessions in our Landing Suites. After a morning of PowerPoint presentations, lunch was served in the Great Hall. Chef Melody Lane created a beautiful display of grilled vegetables, hummus and flatbreads, grilled steak, chicken, and Gulf shrimp, and several composed salads. Cupcakes from Briar Rose Bakery rounded out the luncheon. Periwinkle and ice-blue linens were selected, as a daytime accent to the green floral displays.
After lunch, everyone returned to the Landing Suites to complete their afternoon of presentations and discussion. As the guests departed at the conclusion of the event, each was presented a carefully selected gift from our Museum Store—a copy of our inaugural catalog, Celebrating the American Spirit; a journal with a work of art from the Museum’s collection on the cover; and a metal bookmark with the Museum’s image imprinted on it, all tied with a raffia bow.
Helping a client bring their vision of an event to life is a truly rewarding experience. Doing that for a Museum sponsor, who has given so much to our organization, is even better. I hope to have an opportunity like this again soon!