Fresh Arts raises more than $165K through Thunder Ball fundraiser

(Thunder Ball Gala - Photo courtesy of Charlie Horse Photos)

A local nonprofit working to raise money after one of its studios caught fire recently held a fundraiser and raised more than $165,000 in proceeds!

PREVIOUS: Fresh Arts to hold fundraiser gala as studio building recovers from fire

The destructive fire at Winter Street Studios just days before Christmas 2022, according to Fresh Arts Executive Director Angela Carranza, was one of the many warehouses in the Art's District in the Sawyer Yards area, which houses more than 70 artist studios. 

"It's been my work home, since the beginning of my time with Fresh Arts, and we heard the news about the fire at the time, we didn't really know the extent of the damage if it got to our office, how fast it spread," Carranza said in an interview ahead of the ball. "We've learned that the fires had the smoke impact nearly every single studio in the building. So the entire building right now aside from Fresh Arts is displaced, so everyone's had to move out." 

(Thunder Ball Gala - Photo courtesy of Charlie Horse Photos)

"The artists have significant damage to their art, their supplies, and materials, furniture," she continued. "So in many senses, everyone has been impacted. Even Fresh Arts even though we didn't lose artwork, and we didn't experience the same amount of damage that the artist did, we've also been displaced." 

In typical artistic resiliency, Fresh Arts held a gala fundraiser called Thunder Ball at Silver Street Studios on Edwards St. over the weekend and announced it was a rousing success! 

The fundraiser was equally exciting as it was the first event held since 2019, so guests came in donning spectacular costumes, channeling their inner secret agents, James Bond characters, and iconic villains.  

Pepper Paratore (Photo courtesy of Charlie Horse Photos)

The funds raised were more than $165,000, which Fresh Arts organizers in a press release said was "critical for funding 15-20% of the nonprofit’s annual operating cost."

, Fresh Arts’ founder Marita Fairbanks’ take on "Octopussy" and JB Fairbanks’ ode to Thunder Ball (Photo courtesy of Charlie Horse Photography)

"The Thunder Ball was one of the wildest and most memorable Balls in my 12-year history with Fresh Arts. I’m incredibly thankful to all of our faithful supporters and new friends who made this event such a huge success!" Carranza said in a press statement. "It’s been three years since we’ve been able to host everyone under one roof, and everyone truly showed out. It was inspiring to see everyone come together, embrace the theme, and help Fresh Arts continue to support our artists. The energy in the room was unmatched and our arts community looked as vibrant as ever." 

To learn more about Fresh Arts, visit their website. If you'd also like to make a donation to help with their building's recovery efforts, click here.