Everyone loves music they can tap their feet to, but even if you don’t — organizers of the MAC’s New Year’s Eve party say it has something for everyone to enjoy.
The MAC, or Manhattan Arts Center, is hosting its annual New Year’s Eve fundraising party on Sunday, Dec. 31, and will feature musical stylings from the 1940s — specifically, the USO dances.
The United Service Organizations Inc. provides live entertainment, historically dances, for members of the United States Armed Forces and their families. One of the organizers of the event, Michele Ward, explained this year’s theme was a combination of perfect timing, and pulling inspiration from her past.
“I’m a military brat myself,” Ward explained, “And when we heard the idea, Penny (Cullers, the MAC artistic director) and I agreed that the atmosphere is appealing to all ages, and there’s just something powerful and magical about that time period.”
To coincide, this year is also the 100-year anniversary of the 1st Infantry Division. The Flint Hills Discovery Center also has displayed an ongoing exhibit since August telling stories through the eyes of five soldiers from the founding of the Big Red One in 1917.
“The idea was very timely, and it happened to work out perfectly for us,” Ward said.
This New Year’s Eve party is unlike any other party that night, according to its organizers. There will be tons of different dances, from the lindy hop to the jitterbug, expanding all the way to the more current stylings of this century.
“We serve all demographics, especially with the atmosphere and the uniqueness, and it’s very artistic,” Ward said. “It’s a unique group of people from all walks of life, but at the end of the day they all believe in the power of the arts and the magic that’s created there.”
The MAC is transformed for this annual party, with twinkling lights and WWII memorabilia — and even the walls are covered in murals relating to the theme — courtesy of Cullers and her talented artists.
“We have artists come in and do full murals in our theater just for that event,” Cullers said. “In the past, some of the other things that we’ve done since I’ve started working with the committee have been a circus theme, we’ve done a clue theme, we’ve had a Great Gatsby theme, and last year’s was Peter Pan.”
Cullers added that one of the murals from Peter Pan is still up in the theater — they loved it too much to remove it.
“We encourage people to come in costume, and a lot of people do,” Ward said. “From the costumes to the murals in the building, the foods, the drinks — we make up specialty cocktails — we try to offer different kinds of things that just really create a unique atmosphere.”
Tickets are $30, and the party begins at 9 p.m. and doesn’t stop until 1 a.m. Admission includes heavy hors d’oeuvres and drinks all night.
For more information, go to bit.ly/2pbZAMT.