The Art of Elysium is a non-profit organization that encourages entertainers, artists, designers, and musicians to dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. Founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, a self-described “accidental philanthropist” whose life was changed by a close friend’s diagnosis with Leukemia, the Art of Elysium’s Annual Heaven Gala has a definite placeholder in the social calendars of its celebrity contributors.
Usually held the day before the Golden Globes, the Heaven Gala is considered by many to be a significant night of fashion where celebrities gather in red-carpet gowns while raising funds for art.
The visionary award of that evening, during the Heaven Gala in 2015, went to Marina Abramovic who created a visual art installation for the evening, focusing on the different stages of a romantic relationship. In the center of the room was a rotating stage with a couple clearly in love. Marina deftly narrated the relationship as it unraveled and moved from anger to apathy, and the actors gestured their emotions through facial expressions and body language.
The guests enjoyed the performance while reclined in lounges that looked like beds and were served gourmet food in a TV dinner presentation. Amber Heard was honored The Spirit of Elysium Award and was accompanied to the stage by her then fiancee Johnny Depp (now ex-husband). The most impressive part of the evening was the way Ryan Kavanaugh raised $1M in less than an hour, shortly after Moby’s performance. They auctioned everything from a private performance by Moby, to borrowing Ryan’s personal jet.
Kelly Osbourne topped off the evening by encouraging even the most reluctant guests to donate a few hundred dollars, all in good humor and fun. It was an opulent evening that was both visually stunning and philanthropic at the same time.
Leave a Reply