Sound of Motown at UF


Ilene Silverman, right, president of the Florida Museum Associates Board, gets funky with Michael Hutley, saxophonist for local neo-soul/acid jazz band "Grčvtherapy" at the "Night in Detroit" fund-raiser for the University of Florida Cultural Plaza at the Harn Museum on Saturday. The theme of the party was Motown.

BRIANA BROUGH/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 22, 2006 at 12:00 a.m.
Sabrina Jones had her hair done for the University of Florida Cultural Plaza fund-raiser Saturday.
It may seem like an odd fit for Motown's greatest studio musicians to play a benefit for the University of Florida cultural plaza.
But Doug Jones, director of the Florida Museum of Natural History, said it makes a certain sort of sense.
"Museums are all about giving you the real thing," he said.
A fund-raiser held Saturday at the plaza carried a Motown theme and included a performance by the Funk Brothers. As studio musicians for The Supremes, Marvin Gaye and other musical legends, the band played on more No. 1 records than the Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys and Elvis Presley combined.
The event benefited the Florida Museum of Natural History, Harn Museum of Art and Phillips Center for the Performing Arts. The fund-raiser marks the third year that a combined benefit has been held for all three institutions.
"It's just fun to celebrate the cultural plaza together," said Judy Blachly, co-chairwoman of the event.
About 550 people were scheduled to attend the pre-concert benefit and more were expected for the show. Planners hoped to raise $90,000 to be split evenly among the institutions, Blachly said.
The natural history museum's board will decide how to spend the money, Jones said, but it could be used for programs to bring children to the museum and its exhibits to schools.
Jones wore a vest and bow tie printed with images of Motown stars, designed by his wife, Sheila. Others also came dressed in Motown-related attire.
The event included classic cars parked at the cultural center and pre-concert festivities at both the natural history and art museums.
"We're hoping more people will consider this area the gateway to the University of Florida," said Ilene Silverman, another co-chairwoman.
Nathan Crabbe can be reached at 352-338-3176 or crabben@gvillesun.com

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