It might not seem like a natural partnership, but Sky Candy, the aerial arts studio and training center, and the Umlauf, Austin’s venerable sculpture garden and museum, have recently gotten into the habit of hosting galas for one another. “We got in touch through mutual friends, and Sky Candy was kind enough to perform at our other fundraiser, Garden Party, last year,” says Sarah Story, Umlauf’s executive director.
In September, the Umlauf hosted Sky Candy’s first-ever fundraising gala, and this weekend, Sky Candy is hosting the Umlauf’s latest fundraiser, Umlauf Auction: A Burlesque Ball. Sky Candy owner Winnie Hsia says performing at the Umlauf has helped them reach a broader audience. “Through that collaboration, we were able to raise money for our youth scholarship fund and also show our talents to a broader audience in Austin, which is really exciting,” Hsia says.
“We have very different missions,” Story says of the Umlauf and Sky Candy. “But in the same spirit of just trying to make Austin a better place through dance, aerialists, through gardens and sculpture and art. So we have a lot of similarities [too].”
Story is hoping this gala will be a fun outing for the Umlauf’s patrons, and she’s aiming to make it a little more energetic and exciting than a typical charity gala. “I tell people it’s kind of like the anti-gala,” Story says. “Because there’s no sit down dinners, there’s not going to be a long speech or a really long auction. It’s going to be very whimsical, very festive.”
Hsia promises plenty of the signature aerial art Sky Candy is known for. “We have solo female and male performers on lyra, trapeze, [and] rope,” she says. “we also have a fun special surprise with Meia Dailey and a couple of aerialists, so we might get an opera singer in the air, which we’re very excited about.”