(SOUTH ORANGE, NJ) -- On Saturday, November 5 at 6:00pm, patrons, community leaders and artists will gather at the Orange Lawn Tennis Club for the South Orange Performing Arts Center’s 2022 Gala. The event—SOPAC’s largest fundraiser of the year—will raise significant funds to support local arts education and serve the community through arts experiences that inspire and transform.
Guests will enjoy an elegant evening of cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, strolling dinner, silent and live auctions, an honoree presentation, entertainment and more.
This year, the SOPAC Gala will honor former SOPAC Board of Governors Chair Paul Bartick for his years of service and dedication to the organization, as well as the South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race for their commitment to building and maintaining a thriving, racially integrated, suburban community.
During the entertainment portion of the evening, audiences will be dazzled by Broadway and West End star Mark Evans and two-time winner of Amateur Night at The Apollo, Alexis Morrast.
Tickets to the SOPAC Gala are $300 per person and can be purchased at SOPACnow.org/Gala.
Meet the Honorees:
Paul Bartick joined SOPAC’s Board in 2011 and became Board Chair in 2016. During his six-year tenure as Chair, Bartick helped to shepherd SOPAC through the Covid-19 pandemic and Hurricane Ida remediation. Through his dedication, Bartick has been instrumental in turning SOPAC into an institution that, he says, “will continue to evolve…by serving [the] community and presenting arts education that transforms.”
The South Orange/Maplewood Community Coalition on Race was founded in 1996 and has grown into a nationally recognized nonprofit organization committed to building and sustaining a community where there is equity and equality for all. Run by a Board of Trustees, the Coalition hosts free public conversations, forums, cultural events and trainings on racial integration, racism and racial equality.
Get to Know the Entertainers:
Mark Evans, a West Orange resident and renowned actor, singer, dancer and director, rose to fame on Broadway and the West End by playing lead roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Waitress, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Book of Mormon, Wicked and many others. Evans is also passionate about arts education. In addition to teaching at theatre schools across the U.K and U.S., he founded and directed the musical theatre summer school West End in Wales, which gives students ages 10-18 the opportunity to work closely with West End professionals. Most recently, Evans performed at SOPAC in the world-premiere musical comedy The Last Supper. Next, he will debut a solo show, Hide & Seek, on Sunday, January 29 as part of SOPAC’s new Cabaret in the Loft series.
Alexis Morrast, a Newark native and Plainfield resident, first performed at SOPAC in 2018 in the Jazz in the Loft series and, at just seventeen years old, had her own show on SOPAC’s Jennifer & Tony Leitner Performance Hall the following year. By that time, she had already won Amateur Night at The Apollo, twice. Morrast has gone on to perform at the U.S. Open, Kennedy Center, Lincoln Center, The Coltrane Jazz Festival and abroad in Europe and Africa. At NJPAC, she has shared the stage with Christian McBride and at Dizzy’s Coca-Cola Club, she performed with Barry Harris. Morrast is currently studying at the Berklee College of Music in Boston.
SOPAC Gala Sponsors:
(as of October 4, 2022)
DCH Millburn Audi
Anthony & Jennifer Leitner
Peter Shapiro & Bryna Linett
Carole Anzalone-Newman & Douglas Newman
Anonymous Friends of SOPAC
Host Committee Sponsors
Allison Ziefert Real Estate Group
Carol & Larry Brodey
The Chalom Family
Samuel M. Convissor
Dr. Paul & Catherine Desjardins
First Baptist Church of South Orange
Galleries at Kean University
Frederick & Maureen Gammon
Robert & Mattye Gandel
Carol & Jerry Gardner
Randall Haase & Judith Rosenberg
J.P. Morgan Private Bank
Mark Slade Home Team
Kelly Quirk in Honor of Board of Trustees of the Community Coalition on Race
Terry & NaDeen Richardson
Ann & Mel Schaffer
Stephen A. Schnall
Leo & Barbara Sender
Noel S. Siegel
Katherine & Michael Tooley
Jerry & Hanie Warshaw
Since 2006, SOPAC has been serving as a premier performing arts center in the region. SOPAC offers innovative artistic and cultural experiences for diverse audiences in an intimate, inviting environment. The arts center hosts a variety of live performances, community events and education programs for all ages. SOPAC is home for Seton Hall University Arts Council’s performances, including the Classical Concert Series, Jazz ‘N the Hall performances and Seton Hall University Theatre productions. SOPAC programs are made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts. The South Orange Performing Arts Center (SOPAC) is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization.