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Patrons’ Show Fundraiser: Tips for First-Timers

The Patrons’ Show Fundraiser is a lot of fun. It also takes a little work.

So if you’re attending for the very first time on Sunday, we want to help you prepare! Here are our tips for first-time patrons. (It’s impossible to fully describe the experience, but we’ve done our best.)

The basics

You already have your ticket. Here’s how things will go down on Sunday:

  • Show up early. The gallery will open at 10:00 am, and the drawing starts promptly at 4:00 pm — be sure to be seated by then!
  • Ticket holder names are drawn and called in a random order.
  • When you hear your name, call out the number of the artwork you want, loudly and clearly. Staff with walkie-talkies will be nearby to relay your selection to the nerve center on the first floor. Congratulations!
  • Keep track of what’s already been taken. These numbers will be announced over the PA and shown on the projection.
  • Stay seated until the break. If you’ve chosen your artwork, the break is your time to go grab it and “check out” at the computers. If you’re still waiting to hear your name, this is your chance to review your list and get psyched up for the next round.

How to prepare

As you can tell, it’s not enough to just pick your favorite — it might be gone by the time we get to your name! That’s why you’ve seen those huge lists other people are preparing.

  • We recommend making a list at least 100 works long. Many people have much longer lists!
  • There are a number of tools to help you:
  • Before you finalize your list, make sure to view all the artwork in person in the gallery. After all, it’s the artwork that will be hanging in your home — not the photo of the artwork!
  • If you’re using the app, be sure to update one last time before you leave home on Sunday. There’s no public wifi in the building, and data might be iffy.
    • You can email your list to yourself (Options → Email List) as a backup.

Enjoy yourself

The Patrons’ Show Fundraiser has been described as a block party. Here are some guidelines for an enjoyable experience:

  • Refreshments are welcome. Please keep your coolers small enough to fit under a chair, and please — no tables, other furniture, or food deliveries.
  • Unfortunately, there is no room for babies or pets. They wouldn’t have a good time, anyway: it gets crowded and noisy.
  • On that note, please keep your conversations at a low volume. It’s important to make sure people can hear the announcements, names, and numbers being called out.
  • Please remain seated until the announced breaks.
  • Be kind to your neighbors.

Don’t miss out

The main drawing isn’t the only fun to be had!

First choice raffle: The first choice raffle is a separate drawing that happens just before the main event. When you buy a ticket, you mark the piece you want most of all. A single ticket is drawn at 4:00 pm, and the piece marked on it is set aside for that lucky person to pick up! You do not need a regular Patrons’ Show ticket to participate.

Raffle tickets are $15 each or two for $25, available for purchase in the gallery up until 3:00 pm Sunday.

After-auction: There will be a few pieces left over at the end of the drawing. Join us immediately after for the aptly named after-auction, where you can get more artwork for a steal! You’ll register for a paddle and bid on artworks just like in a regular auction.

Door prizes: The last few names called each round get special prizes!


Any questions we didn’t answer? We want to make your first Patrons’ Show experience a good one! Call us at 703-683-1780 to get in touch.

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