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Dynamic design and accessories showcase children’s art

Project Briefs | August 1, 2011 | By:

Vibrant color set against a crisp white backdrop gives life to the party.

When the Boys & Girls Club of Boston wanted to give new life to its annual antique show fundraiser six years ago, it tapped into the expertise of Boston, Mass.-based Rafanelli Events. Rafanelli prides itself on being able to translate clients’ wishes into concepts and designs that creatively reflect their goals. “The Boston Boys & Girls Club had been around forever and had a huge following of supporters,” says Bryan Rafanelli, Rafanelli’s founder, president and CEO. “Back at the beginning of the organization’s capital campaign six years ago, we helped to completely concept the event theme, ‘House Party,’ to captivate the potential of their audience and take the event to a higher level.” The event takes place each year at the private residence of one of its board members, and each year Rafanelli oversees its design and production to support a new version of the theme.

This year’s iteration of the House Party was designed to celebrate the Club’s Art Initiative. Each facet of the decor was designed to elevate children and the power of artistic expression, resulting in a venue that practically vibrated with bursts of color and creativity.


Peterson Party Center (PPC), Winchester, Mass., worked closely with Rafanelli to design and provide the tenting needs for the event. With almost a year to plan, David O’Leary, from PPC’s tent sales and event logistics, presented numerous CAD drawings for the potential layout. About six months and several site visits later, the final layout was decided: two Losberger uniflex structures with glass walls and doors; flooring and turf; a stage; custom connections; and a full level floor five feet above the ground. From there, O’Leary built a production schedule that included other vendors, such as lighting, sound, decor and catering. About two weeks before the event, PPC began installation. The company hired police details so that it could stage tractor trailers on the street and unload from there with lulls and forklifts. A crane was brought in to stage some of the equipment and raise beams.

Art and color

Rafanelli’s decor for the 22.5-by-22.5-meter cocktail tent was designed to display art created by Boys & Girls Club children, collected and arranged by artist Caleb Neelan. The simple white backdrop, including white carpeting by PPC, allowed the children’s art to be the focal point. One glass wall invited natural light into the venue, illuminating the art.

The 25-by-40-meter dinner and dancing tent was decorated to complement the “art gallery” essence of the cocktail tent. Vibrant colors—magenta, red, orange, blues, lime green and yellow—were set against crisp white tent walls. Guests were enveloped by color—from the orange carpet to the playful floral tabletop designs to mobiles hanging from the tent ceiling.

Almost 500 people attended this year’s colorful and artistic Boys & Girls Club of Boston’s House Party. “The event has been an overwhelming success and has become one of the ‘it’ galas in Boston,” Rafanelli says. “We were able to give vision and direction to the client’s product.”

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