SAMA's Arabian Nights Gala

Saturday, June 29, 2019 - 6:00pm

The Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art is soaring through the Arabian Nights to the 41st Annual Gala hosted by SAMA Loretto on June 29, 2019. This year’s Chair, Michelle Passarello, and the rest of the Gala Committee have been working diligently to create one of the best Galas yet. The Museum invites the public to jump on their magic carpets for this year’s event.

Held on the campus of Saint Francis University in Loretto, the Gala has become one of the most sophisticated and complex outdoor social events in Pennsylvania. The Gala will begin at 6 p.m. with a Champagne Reception in the Museum followed by an evening of fine art, gourmet cuisine, live music by the Bachelor Boys Band, and a variety of games of chance. Immerse yourself in the evening with henna artists, palm reading, veiled dancers and a genie with his magic lamp.Live and silent auctions feature spectacular items such as artwork, vacation packages, antiques, and much desired sports items.

“It is Gala season! One of my favorite times of year. I have been a Gala attendee for years however, now I have the honor of being part of the planning of this 42-year-old SAMA tradition,” says SAMA Executive Director, Vanessa Houser.

This year’s Gala exhibition is Robin Grass: All That You See. Grass creates paintings without conception usually depicting the universally known figures of clowns, jesters, and scarecrows. He creates his art based on viewer participation. “So, when people ask, I tell them they must bring something to the party.” Grass states, “I merely brought the image. They can bring the story. Participate. That’s what art is all about.”

Grass is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and received his B.F.A from the University of Pennsylvania and his M.F.A from the University of Delaware. In 1976 Grass and his wife opened the Foundry Art Studio in Everett, PA where he currently resides and creates his art.

Arabian NightsChair Michelle Passarello is a lifelong resident of Altoona. She has been married to Attorney Steven P. Passarello since 2011 and they have one son, Dominic. Passarello works as a paralegal and office manager in her husband’s law firm, the Law Offices of Steven P. Passarello, Esq., P.C. Passarello says, “I am so honored to be named as Chair of the 2019 SAMA Gala. I love my SAMA family and the passion we all share for the arts. I look forward to being able to continue to help SAMA provide charitable, literary, cultural, and educational programs to our region for years to come and hope to help bring some new faces into our SAMA community.”

The Gala is sponsored by Kooman & Associates, LLC. The funds raised from this year’s Gala support the Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art. Your contributions allow all five museums in Altoona, Bedford, Johnstown, Ligonier Valley, and Loretto to remain open to the public. This helps to sustain our Art in Education programs and Healthcare partnership throughout our six-county service area. The Museum is indebted to the patrons, sponsors, benefactors and donors who contribute to this annual event.

Tickets are $175 per person. Of each ticket, $100 is tax deductible. Please RSVP on or before June 21, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are available. To purchase tickets, sponsorships or for more information visit  www.sama-art.orgor call the Museum at 814-472-3920.

Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art - Loretto
Saint Francis University
112 Franciscan Way
Loretto, PA 15940
Contact Name/Organization: 
Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art - Loretto
Contact Email Address: 
Contact Phone Number: 
(814) 472-3920
Cost of Event: