The Carrack Modern Art’s 2nd Annual Fundraiser


From the desk of the Editor: Aaron Mandel

Some people are smarter and more thoughtful than me.

There is no doubting it, but now and again you need a reminder. I was all set to write a screed when one of those smarter folks set me straight.


You see I was trying to decide whether to get a ticket for The Carrack Modern Art’s 2nd Annual (charity) Gala tomorrow night. I already give The Carrack money monthly as a sustainer. I am glad to do it and it entitles me to a discounted ticket tomorrow night.

Still the tickets, even discounted, are not cheap; $40. As a totally arbitrary and unrelated comparison, save for the fact that they are both things I want to do, Toon and The Real Laww’s EP celebration show tonight in Raleigh costs 1/4 as much as The Carrack’s Gala, $10.*

Yet the co-founder and the Director of The Carrack, Laura Richie, reminded me which of us is smarter when I questioned her about what I perceived as a rise in ticket prices from last year.

I was prepared to lump The Carrack amongst some of our more general Durham fears of gentrification. Wrong, again.

So the ticket prices: Richie corrected me that although I was able to get a $25 ticket last year to get in to the auction, the prices actually ranged from $25-$100 for tickets depending on the level of VIP access. So on average auction tickets are cheaper this year.

But furthermore, she eviscerated any possibility of claiming The Carrack was being exclusionary or participating in shutting out any segment of the potential art loving public. Last year the cheapest tickets were $25…

This year to quote Richie, “To make things more accessible to all members of our community to meaningfully contribute and participate, we have created a gala event that is on average less expensive than last year and added a FREE event on October 18th.”

The Red Dot Community Art Exhibit on Tuesday the 18th is the free communitarian counterpoint to tomorrow’s “creative evening wear” not black tie but get as fancy as you’d like Gala.


Both events feature food, drink, accoutrements, and more donated by Durham’s art loving public and entrepreneurial community.

It is clearly a reaction and a wise one to last year’s auction where a room full of artists and youthful patrons of the arts strained their budgets to drop cash for a ticket and then couldn’t quite afford the prices sought by the entertaining guest auctioneer— Dan Ariely, the renown behavioral economist, who gave it his all… and was left with a tricky set of circumstances.

This year’s separation of events allows those who wish to participate tomorrow at The Gala to join in a silent auction to benefit The Carrack. (See the works here.) While at the Carrack’s Red Dot Community event all artists’ donated work will be sold at “prix fixe” price points predetermined by the size of the work proceeds again to the Zero-Commission art mission.

As Richie put it to me, off the cuff, but from the heart, “Both are vital parts of our annual fundraising efforts.”


Buy tickets for the Carrack’s Gala here.

Attend the free Red Dot Community Exhibit, Tuesday, 6pm-10pm on the 18th, #111 West Parrish Street.

*Refreshments will not be included at Toon and The Real Laww’s show at King’s Barcade the way they will be at The Carrack’s Gala.

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Aaron Mandel

Aaron Mandel is a writer and an accomplished public speaker. He is the publisher of the Clarion Content. For more than a decade, the Clarion Content has covered Durham’s arts, politics, music, and cultural milieu. From breaking news stories to the hottest local acts, the Clarion Content is on the scene. The Clarion Content published more than twenty distinguished guest columnists and garnered nearly a million views. Mandel is a volunteer for the Durham Mighty Pen Literacy Project and serves as the President of the Board of Sustain-A-Bull Durham, a local small business collective with more than 200 members. He writes regularly on the Clarion Content and has been quietly writing fiction since the 4th grade. Mandel has been published in the Raleigh News and Observer. He has also produced numerous art shows, including, “Durham under Development”. He was a featured speaker at “The State of Publishing” conference. He has presented to Durham Chamber of Commerce, “Chamber U” on the “New Media”. He has also served as the play-by-play announcer for the D.B.L., a Durham youth basketball league. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in History and Religious Studies from Indiana University in Bloomington. An avid policy debater at Indiana and a Nation Debate Tournament qualifier, Mandel was also a member of the New Jersey State Champion two-person Policy Debate Team. He has lived in North Carolina, New Jersey, California, Texas, Illinois, Colorado, Indiana, and Baja California, Mexico.

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