EVENTS: The EVENT (March 5th) (2.25.19)

EVENTS: The EVENT (March 5th) (2.25.19)

On Tuesday, March 5th, Church Street School for Music and Art (CSSMA) celebrates the arts at Tribeca Rooftop at The EVENT. A Mardi Gras theme highlights the joy that the arts bring to the community, including local musicians, silent and live auction. We spoke with Abby Levin, Development Manager, to learn more…

Tell us about the event...

Our annual gala, The EVENT is Church Street School for Music and Art (CSSMA)’s biggest fundraiser of the year. It will take place on March 5th, Mardi Gras!, from 6:30-10:30pm at Tribeca Rooftop: 2 Desbrosses Street.

The EVENT is always a highlight in people’s event calendars. It is a rich celebration of music and art and how important accessibility to the arts is to the community. We are an organization that is driven to making sure that every human being should have ACCESS to the arts and on March 5th we join together to make this mission a reality.

This fundraiser is truly fun! It is also critical for the school’s functioning. As the only not-for-profit music and art school and community center below Canal Street we rely on The EVENT to raise necessary funds that keep the schools programs running and mission moving forward. We cannot  offer scholarships & free programs and provide a vast range of arts immersive programming and experiences to 16month through seniors without the direct support from our incredible donors.

What inspired you to do this event?

Way back in the day, CSSMA used to throw smaller, funky downtown dance parties to raise money for the school. They were great but at some point our Executive Director, Dr. Lisa Ecklund-Flores knew that CSSMA needed to have a real gala to raise funds on a bigger scale for the organization. There was a lot to support!

As it turns out, people like to get dressed up for a cause and this will be the seventh year we will be having our gala in this style. It gets better every year!

What makes this event so unique?

March 5th is Mardi Gras! Come ready to party! People tend to have certain preconceived notions about galas… They can be long and sometimes boring and hard to sit through. The EVENT definitely NOT that. People come in the room and really feel embraced and ready to enjoy themselves. This year we are taking our art direction and design of the room to the next level. We are so grateful to Director, Set Designer and CSSMA Artist Council Member Jessica Grindstaff as well as Visual Artist, Filmmaker & one of our 2019 Artist Chairs Z Behl, for lending their vision and talent to the evening. Expect more color and several large installations to set the Mardi Gras mood!

What can guests expect at this event?

Tribeca Rooftop does an incredible job keeping the tasty hors d'oeuvres passed and cocktails flowing. You can expect some New Orleans inspired  flavors throughout the evening. Guests can most definitely expect incredible music performances from our acclaimed music faculty and a spectacular performance from a well-seasoned student. We always have a robust and exciting silent and live auction, delicious dinner and you can be certain that this year’s Mardi Gras theme will be felt on the dance floor! Oh, and always expect the unexpected…there will be surprises from cocktails to closing! I’d love to shout out our awesome Event Chairs: Jessica Daubel and Stacy Lee who are putting heart and soul behind this event!

What are you most looking forward to?

This year we are thrilled to be honoring two families: Claude Arpels & Winsome Brown and Lisa de Armas & Joe MacIsaac who have been essential in shaping, supporting and living the mission of our beloved school. We are also saluting two of our incredible teaching artists, Z Behl mentioned above and Azikiwe Mohammed whose brilliance and passion for the arts and their students has been vital to the formation of the accepting, open and inspiring culture of CSSMA. 

The room will be filled with those who are connected to all of the values we hold near and dear and I am looking forward to everyone coming together and raising some serious funds for this amazing community institution! A great time on all levels is guaranteed!  

How does someone get tickets to the event?

Easily! Please head to Otherwise you can give the school a call at 212-571-7290 or stop in and we can take care of you.  



WEEK AHEAD: Everything Going On Below Canal Street (2.21.19)

WEEK AHEAD: Everything Going On Below Canal Street (2.21.19)