How the Wolf Trap Ball Stands Out Among Washington Galas
The Wolf Trap Ball is one of the first black tie galas of the event season in Washington, though it serves as the culmination of the performing arts center’s summer season. What separates last Friday night’s gala from many others in D.C. though is the staging. Not the staging for the entertainment mind you, or even the run of show, but rather the fact that the entire event takes place on the stage of the park’s Filene Center. Guests receive a unique experience through a perspective usually only seen by the performers.
Interestingly, this perspective is not immediately evident upon arrival due to the extensive decor design by the Wolf Trap Foundation’s event team in conjunction with Design Foundry.
“Knowing they wanted to attribute this to the National Parks Service, we decided to bring the outdoors indoors,” said Meghan Malik, event designer at Design Foundry referencing the foundation’s choice to honor the National Parks Service’s 100th anniversary at the ball. “We wanted to split the space into three different areas to give a different look for guests.”
Malik’s team worked with EMT Productions, DC Rental, and Karin’s Florist to accomplish this. Inside the entrance ivy greenery walls held flatscreen TVs showcasing photos of the national parks hand-selected by the foundation’s events and development team, led by director of special events Kara Kurtz. These images were also projected onto 28- by 22-foot screens setup in the middle and downstage sections of the event space. Additional screens flanked both sides of the main podium to provide guests an up-close view of the night’s speakers, which included a surprise appearance by former President George W. Bush who introduced his wife Laura Bush, who is currently serving as co-chair of the National Parks Service’s Centennial Committee.
Karin’s Florist created centerpieces of varying heights and flower combinations to complement the different colored linens in each of the three spaces. Lighting designer Jeff Monner completed the experience through a mixture of green and yellow gobos and suspended white lights in the dining areas and blue ambient lighting on the dance floor, inspired by Glacier National Park.
Take a look at how it all came together: