More than a 'Façade'
By Kehau Cerizo

Fundraising group unmasks strong effort
to support artists

Members of the Museum Artists Foundation (MAF), a new arts fundraising group based in Carlsbad, sure know how to celebrate art.
With their opening event Saturday in La Jolla, called Facade, organizers brought together more than 500 people to support visual and performing arts.
The event was titled "A Venetian Carnivale of Art, Music & Dance" and featured the Small Opera of San Diego and art by Maher Morcos of La Jolla, Jenifer Broomberg of Pacific Beach, Gerrit Greve of Cardiff and Ronda Ahrens of La Jolla.
The Maher Morcos estate, an expanse of 9,000 square feet that hosted "Facade," was packed with art collectors, artists, performers, enthusiasts and others. Proceeds from the $25 to $40 tickets will support the Museum Artists Foundation and the Small Opera.

"It's good exposure for San Diego," Morcos said. "There are lots of talents here."

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Venetian masks and costumes poured through halls full of art. More than 20 singers with the Small Opera and Opera Maestro Pandeli Lazaridi livened the scene with entertainment throughout the evening.
"We want to bring San Diego alive," said Broomberg, painter, event coordinator and Small Opera member. "There is such an energy when you combine visual and performing arts."
Broomberg has been involved in the evolution of "Facade," which started out years ago as a show for Broomberg's work. As the MAF and the Small Opera of San Diego teamed with North County artists and Morcos to organize the event, it has become a way to experience a combination of fine art and opera, said Dennis Paul Batt, MAF executive director and Carlsbad resident.
"The arts are meant to entertain people and to help people get in touch with their feelings - Facade accomplished that goal," Batt said. "The money raised will help the [Small Opera] to continue to perform and allow the foundation to continue to promote the visual arts."
Facade will be an annual celebration, organizers said. MFA plans to keep momentum in the arts community after its coming-out party.
MAF is a National Heritage Foundation affiliate that serves as a fundraising arm for the arts community. The goal of MAF is to work with other nonprofit organizations to help achieve funding goals that support the arts community. In other words, it's an artists effort to support the museum artist community, said Batt.
MAF organizers work with groups such as the San Diego Natural History Museum, Palomar College's Boehm Gallery, the Oceanside Museum of Art, Synergy Arts Foundation, California Center for the Arts, Escondido and others.
The next event will be a wildlife art exhibition and sale open to regional artists from October 1 to January 1 at the San Diego Natural History Museum in Balboa Park.
"Our vision is to help artists - it's not a single-minded [goal]," said Greve, MAF cofounder. "Fundraising takes on its own momentum. It's not an individual vision. Things are most successful with everyone's dreams in mind. My vision is to see everyone else's dream come true."

Reach reporter Kehau Cerizo
at 760.752.6749.