The 10 days of celebration included the Arts for All Gala that raised $3.9 million
Words by DANIELLE DiMEGLIO
Toasting its 16th summer season, Festival Napa Valley returned in full swing this past July with 10 days of music, dance, art, food and wine, drawing record-breaking audiences and raising an astounding $3.9 million at its annual Arts for All Gala. Held at Oakville’s Nickel & Nickel winery on Sunday, July 17, the highly anticipated charity event—one of wine country’s hottest tickets—featured performances by the headliner, three-time Grammy Award-winning artist Trisha Yearwood, as well as the renowned Young People’s Chorus of New York City.
Guests, including Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi, Mayor of San Francisco London Breed and former mayor Willie Brown, dined on dishes prepared by Food Network chef Tyler Florence. Items up for grabs at the live auction included tickets to Monaco’s Formula One 2023 Grand Prix, a week-long luxury getaway in Tuscany and an intimate evening with legend Andrea Bocelli (the latter of which reportedly sold for $620,000). To date, the annual affair has amassed more than $15 million towards its goal of making art accessible for all, strengthening arts education programs in Napa County and creating scholarships for budding musicians.
While the gala was certainly a highlight—drawing longtime patrons of the arts including Gordon Getty, Maria Manetti Shrem, the Honorable Trevor Traina, Alexis Swanson Traina, David and Mary Beth Shimmon and Dagmar Dolby—the festival was full of spectacular events worth noting. Over the course of the 10 days, there were more than 60 concerts (several of which offered free admission in line with its core mission), and over 200 vintners, chefs, resorts and artists participating in the events.
Opening night kicked off Friday, July 15, at St. Helena’s historic 19th-century winery Charles Krug with an alfresco concert from Festival Orchestra Napa. Setting the tone for this year’s Americana theme, musicians, led by conductor Carlo Ponti, performed Antonín Dvorák’s “New World Symphony” as images of artwork from the festival’s “How I See Music” workshops projected in the background.
The festivities continued with standout events like Taste of Napa at The Meritage Resort & Spa, featuring jazz by Shelly Berg and the Frost All-Stars; the world premiere of Nia Imani Franklin’s “Polaris” (an anthem commissioned by Festival Napa Valley in honor of Juneteenth); and A Night at the Ballet: From Tchaikovsky to the Rolling Stones featuring principal dancers from the New York City and San Francisco Ballets.
Whether it be outdoor concerts in unforgettable settings, patron dinners, art exhibitions or tasting events, Festival Napa Valley continues to outdo itself year after year. Here’s raising a glass of fine wine to season seventeen.
August 29, 2022
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