Magical Hanna Center Gala Benefits Sonoma Valley Museum of Art

About 200 people sipped wine, enjoyed dinner and were wowed by magician David Gerard at the Hanna Center in Sonoma during the “Imagine That!” from the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art. Gala on October 1.

The sold-out event centered around the theme “Imagine Art Makes Everything Possible” and raised funds for the nonprofit museum’s exhibitions and arts education programs.

“It was a great theme for us because we asked our guests to imagine how their support could grow our mission,” said Linda Keaton, executive director of the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art.

Guests first enjoyed wine, hors d’oeuvres and a mezcal tasting on the terrace of the Hanna Center, before heading inside for the three-course dinner offered by Cuvée Wine Country Events.

Guests could purchase brushes for $50 to enter a wine bottle raffle with prizes ranging from $50 to $100, with a special grand prize for a magnum bottle. Most guests opened and enjoyed their wine with dinner, Keaton said.

Next, Gerard took the stage to host the Fund a Need event first, in which – rather than bidding on auction packages – guests could hold paddles to pledge donations at different levels.

Gerard then performed his brand of close-range magic and mentalist trickery.

“I still get calls from people trying to figure out how he did what he did,” Keaton said. “He kept the audience captivated the whole time. It was amazing.”

Keaton declined to say how much money the event raised, but said the amount exceeded the museum’s fundraising goals.

Currently, the Sonoma Valley Museum is exhibiting “Raymond Saunders: On Freedom and Trust,” an exhibit spanning the legendary Bay Area artist’s entire career of multi-media works.

For more information, visit

About Carlos V. Mitchell

Check Also

Wood Whittler proudly displays pieces at the Westmoreland Museum of American Art

For whittler Rod Cross of Bear Rocks, there is life in every block of wood. …