Gala 2021

Monmouth Arts is proud to announce our annual gala fundraiser for 2021, All That Jazz! This swinging event will take place Thursday, September 23 at the beautiful Asbury Hotel. The special evening will be held on their spacious outdoor terrace and will feature the jazz band Gatsby Now, the Gatsby Dancers, the Ocean Avenue Stompers, silent & live auctions, a 50/50 raffle, and more. 


During the event, we will recognize and celebrate the accomplishments of community leaders who have made a difference in the arts in Monmouth County. This year's honorees include Chris Pinnella, T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center Co-Founded by Gilda Rogers, Monmouth University Center for the Arts Directed by Vaune Peck, and Gabriel Chajnik of the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theater.


Wear your best 1920s inspired attire and enjoy cocktails and creative dining in one of the liveliest cities on the Jersey Shore. All proceeds from this event will benefit the arts programs and services of Monmouth Arts.

All That Jazz Honorees

Chris Pinnella

Artistic Achievement Award

Born and raised in New Jersey, Chris began his professional career at the age of 16 after auditioning for Maestro Fr. Alphonse Stephenson & the Orchestra of St. Peter. He went on to pursue music and received his degree from Marymount Manhattan College in NYC. After graduating Chris was heavily involved in NYC’s theatre scene, auditioning for Broadway plays, performing in off-Broadway productions, and working alongside Dame Julie Andrews, Tony nominees John Bucchino & Marcia Milgrom Dodge and Oscar / Emmy Winner Ian Fraser. Since then the seasoned performer has built his brand as a bandleader, performing with symphony orchestras around the country, leading his own combos of anywhere from 8 to 15 players or (for several tours of North America and Europe) lending his finely honed skills to the prog-rock / crossover locomotive known as the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Currently, he is working on writing and arranging his debut EP, which is set to drop in 2022.

T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center Co-Founded by Gilda Rogers

Community Service Award

Wearing the hat of historian, Gilda Rogers is Co-Chair of the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation Board. She led the grassroots organization to save and preserve the T. Thomas Fortune House, the National Historic Landmark home of T. Thomas Fortune—leading African American journalist, author, orator, and civil rights activist of the 19th and early 20th centuries—located in Red Bank, New Jersey. Now the house operates as a Cultural Center run by the T. Thomas Fortune Foundation and partners with schools and other organizations to promote Fortune's legacy of social justice advocacy to further racial equity. Gilda is also an award-winning journalist and the author of three books, the most recent one, Out of the Ashes Came Hope; a director and producer of the short documentary A Man and His Music; and one of the playwrights of Supernatural: The Play. She currently teaches history as an adjunct professor at Brookdale Community College.


Monmouth University Center for the Arts Directed by Vaune Peck

Excellence in the Arts Award

Vaune Peck’s career spans more than 35 years in arts administration and most notably, as the founding Director of Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts, she created a comprehensive performing arts and cultural events program that now presents well over 150 events annually. A strong advocate for the arts, her roles include artist/agent relations, programming, strategic planning, grant writing, fundraising, public relations, community outreach, marketing, curating, and much more. Her own strong artistic and creative abilities (as an exhibiting painter and sculptor) aid in her understanding of what artists need to confidently perform or exhibit their work at the university. A few of her notable past and present professional affiliations include Monmouth Arts Trustee, Long Branch Arts Council Trustee, Long Branch Poetry Festival Co-Founder, and Founder of the Association of Independent Art Galleries (AIAG).

Gabriel Chajnik
Artistic Achievement Award

Gabriel Chajnik is a passionate dance educator, choreographer, and dancer. Born and raised in Argentina, Gabriel has danced professionally with the American Repertory Ballet and has performed nationally and internationally, taking on roles in full-length classics and in an extensive range of works by classical, modern, and contemporary choreographers. His own experience as a choreographer began at Juilliard, where he collaborated with renowned violinist Niv Ashkenazi and the Visions of Hope Foundation to create the Holocaust Awareness outreach performance “G*D.” After teaching at various dance schools throughout South America, Europe, and the United States, Gabriel created the Axelrod Contemporary Ballet Theatre (AXCBT) in 2018 with hopes of cultivating an environment rooted in diversity, inspiration, encouragement, and equality, and using his company’s presence to expand creativity and appreciation for the arts throughout New Jersey.



Gatsby Now & Gatsby Dancers

Gatsby Now is an energetic mélange of Prohibition-era jazz, French/Italian swing-waltz, and vintage pop. Renditions of Great American Jazz standards, Italian & French classics, and current hits are made anew by the band's arresting arrangements. Accompanying the band is the Gatsby Dancers, who specialize exclusively in swing, the Charleston, and authentic dances of the Jazz Age. Watch a performance by Gatsby Now here and check out the Gatsby Dancers here

Ocean Avenue Stompers

The Ocean Avenue Stompers is a Nola-influenced brass band with the sounds of Jersey Shore rock 'n roll, Philly soul, and NYC's finest. Founded by Ian Gray, the Ocean Avenue Stompers are comprised of a rotating cast of musicians so they have a new face every time they play. This adds to the magic of providing the audience with a truly unique experience at every performance. Learn more about the Ocean Avenue Stompers here.

Silent Auction & Raffle


Our silent auction is now live! Sign up for mobile bidding so you're all set to win. Start browsing items before you get to the event, or jump right in and start bidding if you see something you truly want. Even if you're not ready to participate, we recommend doing this now so that you don't have any technical delays on the night of the event. We put together a preview of some of our favorite items to get you started! View all items here. More items are added daily!


Don't forget to purchase your raffle tickets! The winner will be drawn the night of the gala and doesn't need to be present to win. Purchase tickets here.




All sponsors receive the benefits of VIP ticket holders (Gatsby VIP Party + Gala) plus a full-page color journal ad and special recognition on all printed materials, social media, event signage, and the Monmouth Arts website.

Purchase Sponsorship | Download Sponsorship Form

Ad Journal
Journal ads offer prime recognition and benefits for your organization, business, or family. Let us help you design your ad or send us your print-ready PDF or JPG file to

Purchase Ad | Download Ad Journal Form

Silent Auction Donations

Support Monmouth Arts by donating to our silent auction! In return for your generosity, you will play a major role in strengthening the vast array of Monmouth Arts community and educational programs. Your benefits will include:

  • Recognition on auction signage

  • Recognition in the program handout

  • Recognition on the OneCause auction interface

  • Opportunity to display business cards, literature, and promotional items at the event

Download Auction Donation Form

Safety Guidelines


Monmouth Arts is dedicated to making your experience at our gala as safe as possible. Buying a ticket is an agreement to comply with all social distancing and mask guidelines set forth by local and state governments. Outlined below are safety measures that will be enforced at the event.


  • All guests are strongly encouraged to wear masks when not seated at their table. 

  • Due to the increasing number of Delta variant cases, proof of full COVID-19 vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours (3 days) of door time is required. All attendees will be required to present their original physical vaccination record, a clear photo of it, or documentation contained within the Docket smartphone app. New York residents may present records contained within the Excelsior app. 

  • Hotel staff will enforce ground rules, which will follow current CDC and State of New Jersey guidelines for outdoor events and dining.


We ask that you not attend if any of the following is true for you or anyone in your party:

  • Within 14 days before attending the event you have tested positive, or been exposed to someone who has tested positive for, COVID-19;

  • Within 48 hours prior to attending the event you have experienced symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., a fever of 100.4F or higher, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, chills, repeated shaking muscle pain/achiness, headache, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, nasal congestion, runny nose, vomiting, diarrhea, fatigue or any other symptoms associated with COVID-19 identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention);

  • Within 14 days prior to attending the event, you have traveled to any international territory identified by federal or applicable state or local governments as being subject to travel or quarantine advisories due to COVID-19.

Thank you to our sponsors!

Monmouth University.png

Speakeasy Sponsor


Glitz & Glamour Sponsor


Entertainment Sponsor

Craig Kiely.png

Decor Sponsor


Jazz Age Sponsor

NJ Natural Gas.png

Glitz & Glamour Sponsor


Entertainment Sponsor


Ad Journal Sponsor

Brookdale logo.png

Jazz Age Sponsor


Glitz & Glamour Sponsor

Jackson Lewis.png

Gatsby VIP Party Sponsor


Jazz Age Sponsor


Glitz & Glamour Sponsor

Builders General.png

Gatsby VIP Party Sponsor

Sponsor logos.png

Jazz Age Sponsor


Glitz & Glamour Sponsor

Ray Catena.png

Gatsby VIP Party Sponsor


Vintage Car Sponsor