Oxford Community Art Center throws Rio-themed gala


The theme of the Oxford Community Art Center’s annual gala April 15 will be A Night In Rio: Feel the Rhythm of the Arts.

The OCAC is working with many local businesses and people in Oxford to create a culturally accurate depiction of Carnival in Rio, said the organization’s Director Heidi Schiller.

The evening will include Brazilian inspired food and decorations, game tables and fake casino games, a Brazilian themed art gallery and an open wine bar and signature cocktail.

Miami University music professor Thomas Garcia and his spouse Regina Simas, an artist with the OCAC art shop, are both from Rio and have been assisting the Art Center in their mission to make the gala feel as Brazilian as possible. Garcia will play live music throughout the evening.

“Especially after COVID and these past years, people just want to be together and not only support what we do in a place that they love, but also enjoy time and this fun, exciting atmosphere with their friends… the gala provides that,” Schiller said.

The event is one of the OCAC’s major fundraisers. Big-ticket items in the silent auction include an Airbnb cottage in Ireland, a house in Martha’s Vineyard, a Chicago condo, jewelry, bourbon and wine baskets and other gift certificates. Schiller said she hopes to raise approximately $70,000. Funds will help the center to continue to provide classes, a free art club at Talawanda Middle School, the OCAC performance series and other events throughout the year.

Presale tickets are $95 and door tickets are $125. Tickets provide unlimited food and drink, vouchers for free plays on the gaming tables, silent auction tickets and raffle baskets. Schiller said she is expecting a turnout of about 180 to 200 people.