Press Release

PAFA's Annual Gala & Auction to Be Held Online November 14

22nd Annual Bacchanal Wine Gala & Auction, PAFA’s Largest Annual Fundraiser, Will Be Held Virtually November 14

PHILADELPHIA (October 30, 2020) -- The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA) is pleased to announce its 22nd Annual Bacchanal Wine Gala & Auction, to be held virtually on November 14, 2020. The institution’s largest annual fundraiser and the Philadelphia region’s premier wine event, Bacchanal yearly raises $500,000 for student scholarships at PAFA. For its 22nd edition, in response to ongoing public health concerns and guidelines related to large in-person gatherings, Bacchanal will be hosted as a virtual, online-only gala. The event is chaired by Jonathan Hirsch and Julia and David Fleischner.

Information on ticket tiers and how to attend is available on the PAFA website.

“In this unprecedented year, we are thrilled to bring together PAFA’s devoted friends and supporters for a virtual Bacchanal to benefit our student artists,” said Clint Jukkala, Dean of the School of Fine Arts. “As one of our most important annual events, Bacchanal is an essential opportunity for the PAFA community to celebrate PAFA’s mission and support the next generation of emerging artists, all while enjoying the world-class wine, food, and entertainment that have become hallmarks of the event year after year.”

At this year’s Bacchanal, an exclusive live evening program will be streamed online for guests to enjoy from the comfort and safety of home. The virtual program will include an online silent auction. To enhance the evening’s experience, seasonal, locally-sourced menus from Constellation Culinary, as well as specialty wines from Bacchanal’s wine partner Donelan Family Wines, will be delivered to each guest's home. Haverford Trust continues its commitment to PAFA and Bacchanal by returning as Presenting Sponsor for this year’s event. The evening begins with a 5:30PM pre-event virtual cocktail reception, where guests who have purchased top-tier tickets and sponsorships will have the opportunity to mingle with winemaker Joe Donelan, discover tasting notes, and hear personal anecdotes from the winemaking process. The main program, which begins at 6:00PM, will feature stories from PAFA students and will shine a light on the evening’s Artists Award winner, Sarah McEneaney (Cert. '79), Philanthropy Honorees Rosemary and Bill Hankowsky, and Wine Honoree, Donelan Family Wines.

Philanthropy Honorees Rosemary and Bill Hankowsky have a long history of inspiring support for the PAFA community. Rosemary is a longstanding member of the Women's Committee, and Bill has served on the Board of Trustees since 2013 and currently serves as Co-Chair of the Development Committee.

Artist Award winner Sarah McEneaney’s autobiographical subject matter presents an unpretentious approach to rendering people, places, and things with vibrant, meticulous and detailed brushwork. McEneaney was born in Munich, Germany in 1955. A 1979 graduate of PAFA, she lives, paints, and commits herself to the community of Philadelphia. She has been in over seventy group shows throughout the mid-Atlantic region and had consistent solo exhibitions in New York and Philadelphia over the last twenty years. McEneaney’s work is featured in numerous institutional permanent collections throughout the mid-Atlantic.

Each year, PAFA recognizes an exemplary winemaker as the Bacchanal Wine Honoree. This year’s Wine Honoree is Sonoma-based Donelan Family Wines. Donelan Family Wines began in 2000, originally known as Pax Wine Cellars. It was founded by Joe Donelan, who left his job as a Vice President of A.T. Clayton, after several years of becoming impassioned about great wine via an inspired sommelier at Toppers Restaurant on Nantucket. Joe’s vision was to create terroir driven Syrah and Rhone-varietals. Added to this is an incredible philosophy of finding vineyards and sourcing fruit, tirelessly seeking plots which stand out with natural potential. Today, Donelan Family Wines produces Syrah, Grenache, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Roussanne, and Viognier.

In keeping with the Bacchanal’s tradition of providing an extraordinary dining experience, guests will receive locally sourced and seasonal dishes, created by chefs Anita Hirsch and Rich Freedman and delivered to their homes on November 14. Chef Rich Freedman has held positions at the Ritz Carlton Philadelphia, Beau Monde, and Sidecar, and more recently honed his skills at Garces Group and as Executive Chef of DiBruno Brothers. Formerly named “Best Chef Midwest” and “Best Chef Cincinnati” by Midwest Living Magazine, Chef Anita Hirsch has held numerous Executive and Corporate Chef positions throughout the United States, and her recipes have been featured in Bon Appetit, Food and Wine, and other publications.

Further details on the 22nd Annual Bacchanal Wine Gala & Auction are available online.

Last Updated
November 3, 2020 - 4:26 PM

About PAFA

Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.