Havin’ a ball

John La Gatta ‘s “Beacon Hill, Boston – The Great Gatsby Roaring Twenties Party Scene” (circa 1930), illustration for The Saturday Evening Post, watercolor on board.

The Bruce Museum in Greenwich has once again fashioned an unusual
fundraiser for fall.

It’s the return of Dimensions in Dining, which brings museum supporters and celebrities together over intimate dinners at private homes in Greenwich.

The nine dinners – each of which will feature from 12 to 30 guests – will take place Nov. 4, 6 and 8. Among the guests of honor – one per dinner – are New York Yankees’ first baseman Mark Teixeira, former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer and Neil deGrasse Tyson, the Frederick P. Rose director of the Hayden Planetarium at the Rose Center for Earth and Space, American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan.

The Bruce Museum – well-known for interdisciplinary exhibits and hands-on programs that have taken patrons from the Dutch Old Masters to dinosaurs – is no stranger to fundraising, of course. Its Renaissance Ball is a key event in the annual social scene. But Dimensions is designed to offer food for thought as well, says Jen Bernstein, the museum’s special events manager.

“This is the second time we’ve done it,” she says. “We wanted to do something… where people can take a little more from it, not just dancing and eating great food.”

Modeled on The New York Public Library dinners of yore, the first Dimensions was held in 2010 and quickly sold out, raising approximately $200,000 for the museum’s exhibits and education programs. Guests of honor included architect Robert A.M. Stern, artist Kiki Smith and Oscar-winning director Ron Howard. They were hosted by the likes of Jennifer and David Stockman – he was Reagan’s budget chief – and Irene and Carl Zelinsky (she’s Peter Brant’s sister).

Given the success of the first Dimensions, why hasn’t it become more frequent?

“It takes so much planning,” Bernstein says. So Dimensions has to be a periodic event.

“And that,” says Troy Ellen Dixon, the Bruce’s director of marketing and communications, “is what makes it special.”

Single tickets are $850, which guarantees you one of your three choices; or $1,500, if you want to ensure your top pick. For more, visit brucemuseum.org/site/events_detail/benefits.

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