At Saturday night’s Paintbrush Ball, Marwen celebrated its 25th anniversary, or silver birthday, with party hats, confetti, and ubiquitous pops of the metallic hue. Held on the River North grounds of the nonprofit organization—which provides free, art-based programs for under-served Chicago students—the event was designed by creative sponsor Leo Burnett USA and executed on a tight dime by local vendors.
“Marwen and a team from Leo Burnett led by [S.V.P. and senior design director] Alisa Wolfson collaborated on ideas for the look, feel, and theme,” said Johnny Merrifield, the nonprofit’s manager of special events and individual giving. “Leo Burnett designed the invitation and the program book. They also designed the vision of the evening. Event Creative and Balloons by Tommy then translated Leo Burnett’s vision into reality for the evening’s decor.”

Though he didn’t disclose the specific budget, Merrifield said that the event netted 73 percent of its gross. “For decor and audiovisual, we budgeted $45,000, and we spent $42,600.” The preliminary gross revenue for the event was $716,000, “making it the organization’s most successful fund-raising event ever,” Merrifield said.

Presenting sponsors were Northern Trust and U.S. Cellular; a long list of other corporate supporters included DLA Piper, Blick Art Materials, Aon, and several more.

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