The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens is a dynamic group of men and women who have a special interest and commitment to raising additional resources for Brookgreen Gardens. If you are interested in becoming a Friend, please email Jay Rowe or call (843) 235-6018.
Spring Gala Fundraiser
Saturday, May 6, 2017 Carnevale di Venezia
Expect an evening of masks, music and merriment at this year’s Brookgreen gala, Carnevale di Venezia. Set for May 6th in the enchanting Poetry Garden, the event promises a flavor of Venice with opulent décor, masked guests, a silent auction, and fanciful festivities.
The Friends have been planning this black tie optional affair with a unique attention to detail. Dance to the tunes of “Paperwork”, dine on Italian-themed delicacies, and sip luscious libations.
The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens are proud to be the presenting sponsor of the unique experience, “Ribbit the Exhibit” created by J.A. Cobb and proceeds from the gala will help support this enchanting exhibit.
Tickets for the event are $175 per person or $300 per patron ( includes reserved seating and printed program recognition). Call or email Jay Rowe at (843) 235-6018 to purchase tickets.
History of The Friends
The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens was created by action of the Board of Trustees of Brookgreen Gardens on October 6, 1990 for the purpose of creating awareness of and raising funds for Brookgreen Gardens. Fifty members met for the first time on March 16, 1991; The Friends is now a group of more than 100 members comprised of men and women from across South Carolina and adjacent states, who have a special interest in and a commitment to Brookgreen Gardens.
While members of the Friends individually support Brookgreen’s many programs, the group’s primary function is planning and conducting fundraising events. The group’s premier fundraising event has had several incarnations over the years. From 1992 to 2010, it was the Brookgreen Gala. In 2011 and 2012, the Friends hosted Derby Day in the Gardens. Brookgreen En Blanc was in 2013, the spring of 2014 and 2015 guests enjoyed An Evening Under the Palmettos and in 2016 The Friends presented Masquerade at the Muses.
On Saturday, May 6, 2017, the Friends will again host a gala, but it will take place in the recently renovated Poetry Garden. This black-tie optional affair will feature cocktails, elegant hors d’oeuvres, entertainment and a silent auction. The airing of the 2017 Kentucky Derby is also part of the evening’s activities.
In the fall, The Friends’ newest event, Brew at the Zoo, is on tap for the last Saturday in September. Held adjacent to the Zoo at Brookgreen, this event features craft beers, live music, a silent auction, drawings, and lowcountry cuisine.
Proceeds generated by the Friends’ events have supported many projects over the years including: The Welcome Center Plaza featuring “Fillies Playing”, the purchase of the tram which transports visitors to various locations in the gardens, the funding of the rice field restoration project, the River Otter Exhibit, the Arboretum Enhancement, the redesign and planting of the front entrance plaza surrounding the “Fighting Stallions” by Anna Hyatt Huntington and the planting of the entrance corridor. And that is just to name a few!
The Friends of Brookgreen Gardens continues to play a key role in the acquisition, preservation and promotion of America’s largest collection of outdoor sculpture. In addition, the organization assists in carrying out all aspects of the mission at Brookgreen Gardens. The a portion of the proceeds from last year’s An Evening Under the Palmettos funded the purchase of “The Peacocks” by Dan Ostermiller, currently on loan to Brookgreen Gardens. In addition, funds raised by the Friends in 2016 helped fund the construction of the new Bleifeld Sculpture Gallery located behind the Brown Sculpture Court.
The Friends newest project is sponsoring next spring and summer’s exhibit, “Ribbit the Exhibit”. This collection is a display larger-than life copper frogs taking part in a variety of activities, including playing instruments, catching butterflies, and meditating on a lily pad. The sculptures are the work of Wilmington, North Carolina-based sculptor, J.A. Cobb, who handcrafts each piece from copper, colored with natural patina and secured to a solid stone tread. Each piece is hand drawn, cut from sheets of copper, then hammered and folded into the desired shapes, much like origami. The sculpture is assembled with a brazing process of solid copper, usually around an armature. Sizes range from 5 to 7 feet; on average, it takes 120 hours to create one piece.