Harlem Diva Kelis Performs At Southampton Arts Center SummerFest And After Dark Party (Update)

Southampton Arts Center [SAC – southamptonartscenter.org] hosted their largest benefit and culinary arts festival, with Harlem’s Kelis at the SummerFest, on September 1st, 2022!

Honorees Helena and Rob Vahradian accepted the 2022 Champion of the Arts Award for their commitment to the arts of Southampton. Broadway star Jessica Vosk (Elphaba in Wicked) performed a medley of songs entertaining over 370 guests, with dinner and dancing into the morning hours. SummerFest is SAC’s most critical fundraising initiative generating 1/3 of SAC’s annual contributed income – allowing the continuation of our year-round world class programming while serving as a critical economic driver of our beloved community. As a result of last night, today they proudly announce the event raised over $650,000! Committee members were dressed in Bulgari jewelry while guests perused Bulgari vitrines in their bespoke lounge and enjoyed sweet treats from their dessert cart. LaLique partnered with Oscar Mora to produce and design the floral decor for the tables and, additionally, their historic LaLique designed vases were centerpieces. As guests arrived for cocktails, they were greeted by the stunning LaLique floral cart for the perfect photo op. Guests strolled through the galleries experiencing SAC’s current exhibition, FIGURES TRANSFORMED, curated by Christina Mossaides Strassfield after enjoying signature dishes for an authentic taste of the Hamptons from its most celebrated East End restaurants! Serving as the backdrop for SummerFest, guests freely explored the historic grounds and galleries of 25 Jobs Lane, with artwork by Deborah Buck, Hal Buckner, and Strong-Cuevas. 

“We’ve now completed our 9th season at The Southampton Arts Center. Next year that’s double digits time!” shared founding co-chair, Simone Levinson in her opening speech. “SummerFest originated as a way to have a great party to represent who we are and what we do.  It is an opportunity to come together to celebrate our mission of building community through the arts. Each year, we’ve grown exponentially, and tonight we’re hosting 370 people here for dinner.” she stated, proudly. “We have an after dark party where we’re going to have over 200 young patrons spearheaded by Andrew Warren and his host committee.”

Following SummerFest was SAC’s first annual SummerFest After Dark party. Hosted by Alexander Hankin, Danielle Naftali, Makenzie Moon Phelan, and Andrew Warren, with event co-chairs Emira D’Spain, Julia Moshy, Noor Pahlavi, Julian Polak, Ryan Thomas Roth, and Harrison Vail. Whipshots’ played a pivotal role as it hyped up the party with signature milkshakes passed just in time for Harlem Grammy Nominated singer Kelis performance of her iconic hit Milshake. The boozy, alcohol infused whipped cream topped the milkshakes, instantly taking everything to the next level. Guests enjoyed their bottomless drinks, bites, and danced past 2 am to music by DJ’s Zeke Thomas and Timo Weiland.

Honorees Helena and Rob Vahradian were joined by event chairs Sylvia Hemingway, Simone and David Levinson, Nicole and Allen Salmasi, and Aline and Tom Shapiro, as well as distinguished supporters, including Stacey Bronfman, Henry Buhl, Candace Bushnell, Lisa Dennison, Jamee and Peter Gregory, Dorothy Lichtenstein, Margie Loeb, Daniel Nir, Susan Rockefeller, The Honorable Wilbur and Hilary Ross, Kara Ross, Chuck Scarborough, Jean and Martin Shafiroff, Sarah and Andrew Wetenhall, and more. And, After Dark guests included Mercedes de Guardiola, Gabi Demartino, Noriella (Nora Gjieli), Morgan Halberg, Logan Horne, Natalie Jackson, Brooke Korine, Brooks Marks, Micah McLaurin, Brooks Nader, Stephanie Nass, Preston NicholasJeff O’Donnell, Newman Parker, Erica Pelosini, Taylor Phillips, Giancarlo Purch, Kameron Ramirez, Melany Rodriguez, Nathan Romano, Sydney Sadick, Rosa Sanchez, Ally Shapiro, Duckie Thot, Blake and Elliot Tomaeno, and Michaela V.

A very special thanks to SummerFest sponsors 21 Seeds Tequila, Baked by Melissa, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Bulgari, D&G Gelato, Geo Events, GTIS Partners, ICHIBan Japanese Catering, KPMG, LaLique, New York Lounge Decor, Pearl Street Caviar, Peter Thomas Roth, PS Balloons, Puff Delights, Shearman & Sterling, Sundae Donuts, Tickets 2 Events, WhipShots, and Whispering Angel. Additional thanks to Fiduciary Trust International, and Purist. Dinner was served by Acquolina.

Select Southampton Arts Center programs are made possible by the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.

FIGURES TRANSFORMED is presented by Sylvia Hemingway and Lana Jokel, with media partners Purist and WLIW-FM. FILM @ SAC is sponsored by Brown Harris Stevens. Wellness @ SAC media partner is The Purist. ECO Programs at SAC are made possible by Dorothy & Michael Reilly. Financial Literacy Partner: J.P. Morgan Private Bank.

General operating support is provided by Bank of America. The SAC Summer Stage 2022 is sponsored by Primary Care and Reproductive Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine and NewYork-Presbyterian.

Southampton Arts Center 

Southampton Arts Center is committed to community building through the arts. We present and produce inspiring, inclusive, socially and regionally relevant programs across all disciplines – welcoming, connecting, and collaborating with the diverse members of New York’s East End community and beyond. SAC is a not for profit 501(c)(3) organization. 

For more information about Southampton Arts Center, located at 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton, New York 11968, visit southamptonartscenter.org or call 631.283.0967.

Follow SAC on Facebook and Instagram @southamptonartscenter.

Photo credit: 1) Kelis at SAC SummerFest After Dark. 12) Simone Levinson. 13-16) Photo. by PMC Sean Zanni, BFA Madison Voelkel.

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