MONMOUTH -- Interested in an evening filled with good food and music, all while helping support one of the Willamette Valley's premiere performing arts series?
Western Oregon University will host its annual midsummer picnic and auction for the Smith Fine Arts Series on Sunday, July 24, at Gentle House on Monmouth Avenue.
Tickets are $30. The event starts at 4:30 p.m. with a silent auction, followed by dinner with live entertainment at 6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased at the picnic or in advance by calling 503-838-8333.
This year's auction will feature a fiesta theme, with a meal that includes homemade salsas, pork with chili verde, chicken posole, salads, and "tres leches" chocolate cake.
Western Oregon University music faculty and students will perform Brazilian music and Latin jazz.
The oral auction begins at 7 p.m., with prizes including a scenic flight, balloon ride and a gourmet cookware package.
The auction is the main fundraiser for the arts series. Now in its 35th year, the event brings nationally and internationally renowned musicians, dancers and other performing artists to Western.
Last year's auction raised almost $29,000, said Karen Adams, Smith Fine Arts program manager.
The 2011-12 series kicks off in October and will feature seven acts. Guests include OREGON, a much-loved world music and jazz combo; Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Martha Reeves; Do Jump!, a New York-based dance ensemble; and Grammy-award winner Leny Andrade.
Part of the proceeds from the event go toward providing tickets for students from local school districts and WOU. It also pays for outreach, such as master classes or workshops, for students with the visiting artists.
Do Jump!, for example, will conduct an outreach activity with local children and with WOU dancers.
Season tickets are on sale through Aug. 15. Cost is $119 for seven shows.
For more information: 503-838-8281; online at www.wou.edu/president/advancement/smith/.
Support the Arts
Smith Fine Arts Series Picnic and Auction Fundraiser.
Sunday, July 24, 4:30 p.m.
Gentle House, 855 N. Monmouth Ave., Monmouth.
$30. Proceeds benefit Western Oregon University's Edgar H. Smith Fine Arts Series.
Tickets are now on sale for the Smith Fine Arts Series' 2011-12 season. The schedule includes: Oct. 8 -- OREGON; Oct. 13 -- Francesco Buzzurro/Richard Smith; Oct. 14 -- Toronto Consort; Dec. 2 -- Martha Reeves and the Western Hemisphere Orchestra; Jan. 12, 2012 -- Do Jump!; April 14, 2012 -- Leny Andrade and the American Metropole Orchestra; June 12, 2012 -- Asleep at the Wheel.