Susannah Darrow, Executive Director and Co-Founder of BURNAWAY, answered a few questions for BANG! about this year's ART CRUSH BASH. Defying tradition in respect to live and silent auctions, BURNAWAY has enticed past bidders with a slew of quirky, unconventional and one-of-a-kind items sure to make the dough spent worthwhile. Last year, there was even a special appearance by the notorious pup Chicken Nugget who has been the center of reports linking her to none other than the dashing pug, Orson Emmanuel Bean. Perhaps their newly kindled romance will come full force at this year's function; just another exciting highlight in the myriad of illustrious wonders the ART CRUSH BASH offers.
BANG! How integral is a challenge grant to the progress and livelihood of a non-profit, especially an online magazine?
Susannah Darrow A challenge grant is a great opportunity for us to receive a grant from a foundation, and also to empower our patrons and readers to give to the organization. BURNAWAY is a free online publication and it is important to us to stay that way. We don’t charge subscriptions so this is a great way for people who enjoy our magazine to support us. Donations allow us to continue to put out this great, free resource.
BANG! When choosing items up for auction, what kind of deductive reasoning takes place?
Susannah Darrow For this auction, the items come about in a few different ways. Sometimes it’s just that we are really excited about one of the creatives that we are featuring and they come up with something way better than we could have. A lot of it just comes from having really interesting people we are working with and wanting to feature what we like about them in a way that is accessible to our readers and auction attendees.
BANG! Art Crush is “not your mama’s art auction”. How did the idea come about?
Susannah Darrow Art Crush started out as one of BURNAWAY’s first columns that was about in-depth feature profiles on different people around Atlanta. The first auction was about creating an event to highlight the crushes we had included on the site during the year. This year is a bit broader, so instead of just focusing on one column it’s from the whole site.
BANG! What is the end goal in terms of profit? What’s a good turn-out, and what’s a great one?
Susannah Darrow Well, the goal is to meet our $20,000 challenge grant. From our sponsors, Mail Chimp and our fantastic host committee we are already well on our way. We definitely still have a ways to go, but I think our auction items and the event will totally get us there. A good turnout is filling our theater seats, a great one is turning people away at the door.
BANG! How will the funds be channeled?
Susannah Darrow The funds from this event and the challenge grant go directly towards operational costs, such as paying our staff and writers. Those types of costs are harder to cover with grants, so our events help with that.
BANG! Do your auction items tend to mirror trends in the arts community? i.e. what molds the bait?
Susannah Darrow They mirror trends and just things that we come across and are interested in. Almost all of these items are based on ongoing hobbies, projects, and interests of the crushes regardless of the particular year. One thing this year is a trip to New Orleans with Amy Mackie and William Downs, who just moved to Atlanta from there. We have been really interested in partnering with artists, galleries, and publications in New Orleans so the item lines up perfectly for us right now. Stephanie Dowda’s item is great because it deals with her new body of work, but is also an ongoing area of interest for her.
BANG! What will Art Crush 2013 bring to the table that 2012’s did not?
Susannah Darrow 2013 has more crushes. Bigger experiences. More prom style crushing.
BANG! Will Orson Emmanuel Bean grace the evening with his presence?
Susannah Darrow Orson is still looking at his calendar, but I know that our most famous crush from last year, Chicken Nugget will be there.
Come out to ART CRUSH BASH 2013 March 9th at the Fabrefaction Theater and behold the splendor of an auction done right. All the information for the event can be found at https://www.facebook.com/events/426109984138177/. Stay in the know at BURNAWAY's facebook page here : https://www.facebook.com/#!/BurnAwayATL?fref=ts or check the direct squeeze at the website : http://www.burnaway.org/.