Here’s to the Children

Supporters raise “Cocktails for KID smART.”

Lisa Puckett Sinders, Robin Benton Crutcher and Judith Barnes-Cochran

Melissa Calico

KID smART held its ninth annual patron party and cocktail celebration on November 3 at the elegant St. Charles Avenue home of Betsy and Gary Laborde.

Approximately 185 supporters came together for the event, which is the primary fundraiser for the organization and helps KID smART to continue engaging children in the arts in New Orleans public schools.

Inside the Laborde home, the aroma of stone ground grits and veal grillades, haricots verts and caramelized apples, rosemary cheddar biscuits and baby greens with beets and goat cheese filled the air, floating from atop a buffet table adorned with autumnal foliage, flowers and berries. The sounds of the Panorama Jazz Band bounced among guests. Special guests included “Treme’s” Michiel Huisman, David Morse and Clarke Peters, who joined Executive Director Echo Olander and Board Chairman Campbell Hutchinson in making a toast to the children of New Orleans. The evening was capped off with tasty treats from Sucré, including cupcakes, cheesecake lollipops and Cajun pralines.

The featured artist of the evening, Charlie Bohn, who was the first artist known exclusively for three-dimensional work, was selected to represent the importance of art in childhood development and the community at the event. KID smART’s sponsors and patrons were the lucky recipients of original Raku bowls created by the artist.

Founded in 1999, KID smART began as the simple vision of two artists. Through the years, that vision blossomed and developed into a prominent arts integration program that has been implemented in 12 New Orleans schools and six-community based sites, serving 2,869 children.

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