Cupcakes for a cause

Studio 84 hosts Annual Gala Night Fundraiser


Studio 84 Artist Laurie Narad

Caleb Kahila, Assistant Arts and Rec Editor

Last Saturday, on April 17, the local Whitewater art studio known as Studio 84 hosted its Annual Gala Night Fundraiser, which has been going on since the space opened 12 years ago. The art studio decided to host a cupcake-themed fundraiser to celebrate the annual evening of art.

“The gala night has always been a way for the public to meet the artists and get to know the studio and what we do. There is always live music, and lots of food,” said Deborah Blackwell, the executive director at Studio 84. “We started with a chocolate cake war in the fall of 2019 where we were in person eating chocolate cake and voting on the best. Then in the fall of 2020, with the pandemic, we came up with the cupcakes idea, and they got delivered curbside and it was a big hit. So since our gala night always included cupcakes we took the cupcake idea and tied it in with our gala night.”

Assistant Director Benjamin Kelly

While the fundraiser itself was a success, so is the work happening in the space.

“Studio 84 specializes in the creative development of people with disabilities,” said Blackwell, “While not a unique concept, it is unique to this area. We really allow each person’s creative spirit to come forward as they are taught skills with materials and new ideas. They are encouraged to become independent thinkers with their art.”

This specialization has allowed for many people in the community with disabilities to grow their artistic expression with the help of Studio 84.

“The fundraiser really helps them achieve the goals they want. They really are the stars of the Studio,” said assistant director Benjamin Kelly. “Honestly, the best part about working here at Studio 84 is the artists. Just coming here every day and seeing what they make really brightens my day.”

Studio 84 Artist Mila Holcombe

Studio 84 is open to the public on Tuesdays and Wednesdays from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., and Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. For more information on fundraisers and events being hosted by Studio 84 visit