A MILLION-PLUS bucks may seem a rather extravagant gift for your average birthday celebrant. But Los Angeles' Museum of Contemporary Art is no average honoree. Likewise, the party celebrating MOCA's 25th year was not your typical anniversary gala. Not only did the spring fund-raising bash pull in $1.5 million to aid the museum's education and community outreach programs, but it also exhilarated - and occasionally unsettled, according to chair Jane Nathanson - the star-studded crowd.
OFF THE WALL
"We like to titillate people with what is new," says Nathanson of the goal behind the event's design directive. "You won't see a beautiful picture of a still life here." As such, she notes, the life of MOCA's birthday party had to be anything but still. Fortunately, the advent of performance art -- a form the chair deems "what is new and happening in the art world today" -- allowed the event's planning committee to give guests a feel for the cutting edge while keeping them entertained. Doing the honors was Los Angeles-based experimental ensemble String Theory. The group's "fantastic" performance, which took place as guests arrived, included a harp with its strings attached to the ceiling of the event space, Nathanson says.