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Scenes From MCA Chicago’s Unconventional 2024 Artedge Cabaret Bash

Scenes From MCA Chicago’s Unconventional 2024 Artedge Cabaret Bash

What happens at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s (MCA) Artedge gala  2024 , stays at ArtEdge right, or does it? If you really want the tea on what when down at this year’s highly anticipated summer fundraiser, lean a bit closer; there were cabaret dancers, tassels, leather daddies and well read along to get all the juicy insider details.

ArtEdge is the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s annual major fundraiser event. It’s usually held in the summer coinciding with a major summer exhibition at the MCA. being the Arthur Jafa: Works From The MCA Collection exhibition on view through March 2025. The Art is fawned over and celebrated, the guests are dressed divine and there’s always something new and this year’s theme of Cabaret certainly ushered in a new perspective to gala entertainment and performance.

The evening of Saturday June 8, guests arrived at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago not knowing that in a few hours they would be transported to a wild night reminiscent of something you would watch at the Crazy Horse Paris perhaps. The night kicked off with cocktails, passed hors d’oeuvres, people watching and schmoozing in the main MCA lobby.  Guests dined on sumptuous bites from the curated strolling dinner stations “Moulin Rouge,” “Chicago Speakeasy,” and “Vegas Nightclub.”


As I made my way through the room, I spied MCA Board of Trustees Chair, Mrs. Cari Sacks dazzling in a sleeveless bronze beaded dress styled by Chicago’s fashion doyenne Ikram. Spotted was Mr. Eric Lefkofsky wearing a low key paisley (Versace?) shirt having a lively conversation with Mrs. Nancy Crown, no telling if it was about the upcoming Tempus record IPO or their respective foundations philanthropic efforts.  I ran into Chanel Coney dressed in a chic white long blazer draped over an Azeeza Anya dress, Brett Jeffries radiant in a red tulle gown and Alexa Rice in spectacular LoveFromJulez LFJ mermaid dress, gorgeous gorgeous ladies. Ms. Jeffries will soon say I-DO to Mr. David Mays, who was also in attendance. Also in pre-wedded bliss was prominent Northwestern Medicine neurosurgeon Dr. James Chandler who is now engaged!

Photo credit: Brett Jeffries

Bill and Giuliana Rancic spotted in attendance are back in Chicago baby! The couple were spotted alongside RPM partners RJ Melman and his wife Kate Ann, future NFL HOFer Larry Fitzgerald and Ellen Blair Chube.

Ellen-Blair Chube, Larry Fitzgerald, RJ Melman, Kate Ann Melman, Giuliana Rancic, Bill Rancic


As guests greeted friends and made new ones, it was time to head down to the tent erected atop the Anne & John Kern Terrace Garden decked out by the HMR Design team, to invoke the Cabaret vibe. Sara Albrecht, who has chaired ArtEdge gala in the past shared she was wearing a J.Mendel dress. In years past, entertainment for the annual ArtEdge gala has been usually centered around one major performer like Janelle Monae, Chaka Khan, but traditions are meant to be adjusted and ArtEdge eschew past tradition to usher a new one of multiple performances/performers as the leader of the show said the night was definitely for the “ladies who love men, men who love men, and all in between.”


Kicking off the performance was Tease If You Please. and based on the crowds applause for the opening number, everyone was into it. If you’ve never attended a burlesque show, basically its a layered experience. The dancers perform and bit by bit sensually removing a piece of clothing with the final reveal of a main dancer usually in a bedazzled bra then pasties and thong panties, grown folks things. Let me tell you they did not disappoint.


Following Tease If You Please’s performance, Sasha Colby the 2023 Winner fo Rupaul’s Drag Race thrilled the audience to an exclusive live show. First appearing onstage 30inch buss down middle part with an overcoat before serving the only way Muva Colby could. An then the ponytail whipping?!

Sasha Colby


It was not all burlesque and skin, several other performers from the night’s over one hour set included he Gold Coast Event’s Jazz Ensemble, Lina Liu and The Torregrossa brothers.

MCA ArtEdge 2024 was chaired by  Robin Loewenberg Tebbe and Meredith Bluhm-Wolf and raised $1.7M that will go support future MCA exhibitions and programs towards the MCA’s collaborative efforts to provide a platform for living artists, in pursuit of a creative and diverse future.. Platinum ($50,000) sponsors for the event were: Bluhm Family Foundation, Kenneth C. Griffin, Anne L. Kaplan, Cari and Michael Sacks, Zell Family Foundation. The Gold Sponsors were: Nancy and Steven Crown, Harris Family Foundation, Stephanie and John Harris, Kovler Family Foundation, Liz and Eric Lefkofsky, Polsky Foundation, Robin Loewenberg Tebbe and Mark Tebbe, Northern Trust, Tiffany & Co.

See Also

Robin Loewenberg Tebbe, Mark Tebbe, Cathy Busch


ArtEdge 2024 Silver Sponsors were: Abbe and Adam Aron, Julie Larry Bernstein, Dr. Anita Blanchard and Martin Nesbitt, Dr. Tiffany Lue Brooks and Marc Brooks, Ellen-Blair Chube, Laura and Tony Davis and Linden Capital Partners, Marilyn and Larry Fields, Jana and Bernardo Hees, Rachel Kohler and Mark Hoplamazian, Julie and Guy Lakonishok, Schuyler and Jon Levin, The Malkin Family, Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation, Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund, Rebekah and Ilan Shalit, Karyn and Bill Silverstein, Joyce Yaung and Matt Bayer, Nancy and Daniel Yih, Cartier, Chanel, Reyes Holdings, Eisen Family Foundation.

Dr Tiffany Lue Brooks, Marc Brooks


Guest, Mr Steven Crown
Ayo Ayodele, Feyi Ayodele

Tony Karman, Sondra Karman
Anne L. Kaplan, Marc Brooks, Dia Weill
Guest, Ellen-Blair Chube, Guest, Guest

Dr. Tiffany Lue Brooks, Marc Brooks
Bob Faust, Marilyn Fields, Guest, Larry Fields

MCA’s ArtEdge usually draws the Who’s Who of Chicago and spotted in attendance this year were: Sondra and Tony Karman, Anne Kaplan, Les Coney, Tarrah Cooper Wright and Jeffrey Wright, Marty Nesbitt and Dr. Anita Blanchard, Neal Zucker and Marko Iglendza, Bill and Giuliana Rancic, Ellen-Blair Chube and Larry Fitzgerald, Michael and Cari Sacks, Sarah Albrecht, Chanel Coney, Nancy and Steven Crown, Jordan Heifetz, Constance Jones, Ayo and Feyi Ayodele, Bob Faust, Larry and Marilyn Fields, Dr. James Chandler, Michael Darling, Ashlee Jacob, William Wolf and Meredith Bluhm-Wolf, Mark Tebbe, Robin Loewenberg Tebbe, Taryn Williams, Brett Jeffries and Dave Mays, Glenn Davis, just to name a few. Check out more photos from the event by scrolling up to the gallery. Thank you to the MCA for the invitation and opportunity to cover this special event.



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