The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts held ARTogether, its 70th Anniversary Gala Sunday night. The event blurred from an informal cocktail hour, to fashion show, to award ceremony, to the eventual champagne toast amidst an ocean of art.
The night was an emotional one set to the backdrop of the recent financial difficulties. A somber Charlie Humphrey greeted guests, board members, and varied supporters. Congressman Mike Doyle, and Councilman Daniel Gilman’s offices both recognized the center for its achievements. Traditionally, we’d stop here and let the photos describe the rest. Yet there is someone we wanted to highlight.
Pittsburgh events are fashionably late. Most of them are forty minutes behind schedule. Not so at Pittsburgh Center of the Arts. Whether it’s an opening like Seth Clark’s earlier this month or a hectic gala, the special events coordinator Joy Sato manages the chaos. The doors always open on time. And you can set a watch to her schedule.
One of the first events I covered for Jekko covered was the Stocking Noir x Naked Geometry Release Party in 2013. Everything was on time. Any flaws were masterfully polished away behind scenes. She arrived early and stayed late. She took time to speak to young students rather than entrenched professionals. I was so astonished that I wrote her an email commending her professionalism.
In two years time, I’ve seen nearly a thousand events. I’ve heard many disingenuous speeches placating the wrong people and I’ve seen awards stack up on the wrong desks. Breaking that bad habit as Richard Parsakian and Charlie Humphrey when they highlighted Joy Sato during the 70th Anniversary Gala is what I hope becomes a standing trend.
We often are oblivious as to what happens after the closing sounds of glassware shuffling into dishwashers’ trays. Unsung heroes reset the room to host another set of memories. In this instance that hero has a name.