The Delaplaine Center will combine fine art with Halloween at its first-ever Halloween Bash: Night of the Living Art, an evening of art, live music, food and drinks, but most notably, an art-themed costume contest. Guests are asked to come dressed as their favorite artist or work of art for a chance to win.

We caught up with Ashley Hoffman, visitors services manager at the Delaplaine and organizer of the event, to get the scoop.

Tell us a little about what’s in store at the Halloween Bash. What can people expect?

The Halloween Bash is our first ever fundraiser of its kind. We are raising money for our outreach programming. Our guests can expect great entertainment from the Dapper DJs and the Atomic Mosquitos. Also, Boxcar Burgers will be here with their truck doing what they do best, serving up burgers and fries (there will be veggie burgers, too). We are also having a costume contest with a cash prize and other prizes including a $100 gift certificate from McClintock Distilling.

I understand this is the first event of its kind at the Delaplaine Center. What was the inspiration?

The inspiration for the Halloween Bash was our desire to have a fun, low-key fundraiser that appeals to a lot of people. One of our friends and teachers, Lesa Cook, suggested a Halloween party because there is no holiday more creative!

Since aesthetics are what the Delaplaine is all about, what will the look of this event be? Who is working on decorations?

Our theme for the event is Night of the Living Art, so the look will be a combination of fine art and the undead. Our rentals department is working on creating a dark and spooky ambiance — think Dracula’s castle. Lesa has taken the lead on heading up the decoration committee, and if you’ve seen her art, you know it will be of the highest quality. The Delaplaine’s Gardiner Hall will be transformed into a gothic haunted mansion and cemetery. There will be clips of creepy silent films adding atmosphere, too. There may or may not be some ghosts flying overhead, lots of tombstones and some inspiration from the art of Giuseppe Arcimboldo. We couldn’t have made it happen without the help of our staff and volunteers.

Can you tell us a little about the Delaplaine’s community outreach programs, which this event benefits?

Our community outreach programs make art accessible to those that may not normally have access. This includes seniors, preschoolers, adults with disabilities, and economically disadvantaged people of all ages. We also work with other nonprofit organizations and public agencies to create programming specific to the needs of their clients.

Will you be dressing up?

Every year I dress up as a black cat for Halloween. This year will be no different, but I will be referencing La Chat Noir in particular to keep with our theme.

What is your favorite Halloween memory?

My favorite Halloween memory is trick-or-treating with my aunts and cousins every year as I was growing up. My mom always made my costumes. One year she made me a baby chicken costume and my dad dressed up as a rooster!

This Q&A has been edited for space and clarity.

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