Alexandria, VA – Local nonprofit ArtSpire VA has teamed up with Alexandria artist and Realtor Betsy Grady for a fundraiser art show highlighted by live performances. The show will launch on March 25 in the Coldwell Banker office in Old Town.
The collaboration happened organically. At the end of 2020, ArtSpire executive director Gennifer Difilippo was pondering ideas for a late winter/early spring benefit for her nonprofit. She knew she wanted to incorporate visual art and performance art, staying true to her organization’s charter, The Arts For All.
Concurrently, Betsy Grady was shopping at Nicole Scott-Howe’s store in Hollin Hall, and the two struck up a conversation. Betsy is an accomplished artist who is well-known for her paintings of Old Town homes for The TWIG homes tour and annual calendar, and for many other projects.
“I had been looking for a charity to support that was in line with my personal interest, which is art,” Betsy said. Nicole, who has hosted special promotions for ArtSpire in her shop as recently as December, immediately referred Betsy to Gennifer and ArtSpire, sensing the perfect fit.
Betsy reached out to Gennifer and they began to make plans, starting with Betsy donating 100 calendars of her artwork to ArtSpire for fundraising purposes. Betsy told Gennifer she had dozens of her own paintings to offer for an art show auction. She recommended housing the show in the Coldwell Banker office in Old Town.
“I couldn’t believe how quickly and easily our ideas took shape,” said Gennifer. “We were so in tune with what we wanted to do, and Betsy’s idea to host it in the Old Town office was a stroke of genius.”
Coldwell Banker has hosted similar art displays there in the past. With its wide-open lobby and exterior courtyard, the Old Town office is designed to display artwork that can be viewed within current social distancing guidelines. Rachel Carter, vice president of the Old Town office, was also excited to hear the plans. She suggested holding the event in March to celebrate Women’s History Month.
Plans are underway, with Alexandria artists Judy Heiser and Sheila Flanders already committed. Gennifer will continue reaching out to artists, choreographing dance routines for live performances, and developing an online bidding process for the artwork. Stay tuned for more details as they become available.