This year, the Grace Gala is celebrating two important anniversaries: 85 years since the founding of the Abilene Fine Arts Museum and 30 years since the transformation of the old Hotel Grace into The Grace Cultural Center (later renamed The Grace Museum). In light of these two milestones, the Grace Gala on Saturday, Oct. 1 is honoring the museum’s past, embracing the present, and celebrating the future.
The Grace Museum has come a long way since the 1980s, when the abandoned Hotel Grace building was in ruins, awaiting its impending demolition.
“Save for a few businesses and the recently restored Paramount Theatre, there wasn’t much reason to come downtown — definitely not for entertainment,” said Bob Nutt, a Grace board member since 1987. “… But a group of forward-thinkers joined together to dream about how that building could be a cornerstone to a revitalized downtown.”
The work of many visionaries has paid dividends as The Grace, now nationally accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, curates an average of 15 exhibitions each year, holds a variety of programs for the public year-round, and is always striving to find new ways to enhance the exhibition experience. Such growth is exemplified in Spark, an interactive space for children and families to explore art and history together, and The Grace Museum’s new mobile guide which gives visitors access to more content including artist voice recordings.
“We are excited about all that is offered at The Grace Museum, and we are looking forward to the development of Spark Innovation, which will be a science-focused interactive space offered at Abilene Heritage Square at our satellite location,” said Executive Director Laura Moore. “We are thankful for our rich history and for the wonderful support we receive from the community.”
The Grace Gala is the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year. This gala is a great opportunity to celebrate the museum with an unforgettable evening that includes champagne, wine, a meal catered by Perini Ranch Steakhouse, silent auction, live music, and dancing. Proceeds will help secure The Grace Museum’s future of exhibiting, collecting, educating, and inspiring for many years to come.
Contributed By The Grace Museum