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San Francisco MOMA Comes Alive For 1st Art Bash Since Pandemic

SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) -- Crowds gathered Friday night as the city's biggest art celebration and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art's largest fundraiser -- the Art Bash -- returned in-person for the first time since 2019.

The gathering came just hours after the San Francisco Giants played their home opener in front of a ballpark full of fans for the first time in three years.

Both were signs of San Francisco's return to normal in the wake of the COVID pandemic.

The night at the museum drew hundreds of people to the dance floor, to check out several floors of exhibits and to see one-of-a-kind live performances

"It is an opportunity for the San Francisco community of art lovers, art makers and art visionaries to come into the museum and celebrate the fabulous works that are on our walls and on our galleries, and also celebrate arts that are upcoming in the local Bay Area," said SFMOMA Associate Director of Special Events Kellee Dawkins.

Last year the annual Art Bash went virtual, after being postponed in 2020.

The pandemic has been mostly quiet for artists like Kate Tova.

"It's a big change, us artists - mostly in our studio alone, for the past couple of years, so now it's like you need to emotionally prepare yourself," she said.

Judging by the turnout, Art Bash is a welcome change.

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Gina Schock from The Go-Go's was among the night's special performers. The drummer performed with punk rock group The Linda Lindas. Schock said her legendary band had three years of touring canceled due to the pandemic.

"It is my first time and it's just very exciting," she told KPIX of her performance. "Happy to be a part of something that is raising funds to keep this going."

1,200 guests turned out across seven floors to help the museum reach its goal of raising more than $2 million through ticket sales and a live auction. The funds go toward SFMOMA's education and community programs.

"It's amazing, super inspiring to be around other artists and just people that appreciate art," said photographer Iann Ivy.

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