The 38th annual Sun Valley Center for the Arts Wine Auction is coming up. From Thursday, July 18, to Saturday, July 20, vintners, chefs, arts enthusiasts and philanthropists will congregate in Sun Valley to enjoy the Dionysian festivities and support the longevity of The Center’s programming.
According to The Center’s executive director, Christine Davis-Jeffers, the wine auction is The Center’s major annual fundraiser. Proceeds from the event go to support free programming for the entire year, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of annual fundraising.
Nearly four decades ago, the Wine Auction emerged from fairly humble beginnings. Sun Valley resident Glenn Janss and a few close friends got together and, essentially, bought wine from each other to donate proceeds to the Sun Valley Center for the Arts, which was at that time only in its adolescence.
Since then, the event has grown exponentially. According to Davis-Jeffers, between 60 and 100 vintners participate each year, most coming from the Pacific states, and in particular Napa Valley.
Each attending vintner donates wine free of charge for the auction. Over the course of the three-day event, wine enthusiasts can enjoy vintner dinners, live music, the Wine Auction Gala and, finally, the Vine & Dine celebration.
The entire series of events is integral to the realization of The Center’s mission. Consistently recognized by Wine Spectator magazine as one of the top charity wine auctions in the country, The Center’s event raises essential funds to support its work.
“Our mission—to enrich our community through transformative arts and educational experiences—is at the root of all of our programming,” Davis-Jeffers said. “We’re striving to foster creativity and inspiration, and we hope that we provide a service for the valley.”
As a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, The Center depends upon charitable donations to provide its innumerable free educational programs, all of which seek to promote and support the arts in the Wood River Valley.
“The key to this event is that it’s 100 percent a fundraiser,” Davis-Jeffers said. “It’s an opportunity for this community and beyond to show support for arts and arts education, to emphasize the importance and relevance of arts, the necessity of arts education for communities to thrive.”
Davis-Jeffers paid special mention to those philanthropic attendees who come from out of town.
“Some people who attend Wine Auction may never attend any other event we do, but they provide incredible support for the programs we offer to the community and the region,” she said.
The Center’s calendar is full to bursting with workshops, classes, concerts, plays, visual art exhibitions, lectures, family programs, film screenings, summer camps, school outreach programs and more, much of which are made possible exclusively by the funds raised during the Wine Auction.
Tickets to the Wine Auction are still available, but are selling out rapidly. Anyone interested should visit sunvalleycenter.org/wineauction, call 208-726-9491 or swing by The Center’s headquarters in person at 191 Fifth St. E. in Ketchum.