Short North Gala Exposes Community Spirit, Diversity

Short North Gala Exposes Community Spirit, Diversity

The Short North Gala is a community celebration featuring an exciting culinary experience, paired with the recognition of individual contributions to the Short North Arts District. 

Now in its eleventh year, the Gala attracted a long list of sponsors, and a sold-out audience of over 550 people to the elegant downtown Hilton ballroom on High Street. 

The Gala raises money to benefit public art, beautification efforts, and promotional initiatives of the Short North Arts District, known for arts, dining, and nightlife.

There was a silent auction fundraiser contributed by local businesses. One of the Style Packages included a Max the Salon "Girls Night Out" collection, Pursuit Suit, Fount Tote and Global Gifts Robe.  

In addition to the stage show provided by the Jazz arts group, this year's Gala was blessed with chefs and confectioners, serving theme-inspired cocktails and sweet and savory dishes alongside an exquisite three-course meal provided by Gallerie Bar & Bistro.

Executive Chef Sangeeta Lakhani presented a vegetable tart with arugala and almond pesto as beautiful as it was tasty. 


Rossi Bar and Kitchen Chef Matt Heagans delighted everyone's taste buds with a flavorful braised short rib gordita with salsa negra and queso fresco.


The Pearl pulled out all the stops with their charming staff, and Chef Jon Deutschle's inspiring jalapeno corn spoonbread, setting the standard for great cornbread.


Basi Italia Chef John Dornback delivered the high end taste of foie gras 'cone-noli' with rhubarb and fennel to inspire exotic flavor. After a multiple and complete sampling, it was clear – this was amazing food.

Popular Hubbard Bar and Grill Chef Jordan Zacharias made sure the tuna was ready to excite our tastes, serving a coffee rubbed tuna with a micro salad of arugula, ramps and candied orange, tinged with a blood orange vinaigrette.  


Ram Restaurant and Brewery Chef Juan Morales presented armadillo eggs with chicken, diced jalapenos, cream cheese and pepper jack cheese, with a secret sauce, requiring multiple samples to completely experience the flavor adventure.

Middle West Spirits lifted our spirit with a flavorful vim and petal gin sample that was perfectly smooth. 


As local fashionista Bill Bartonlini explained, the event could have served “rubber chicken” after the amazing appetizers dished out by local chefs, and people would have still been happy.

Jessica Minshall of The Amazing Giants was on the scene to add to the atmosphere.


Guests mingled and enjoyed the live jazz music as they were seated around tables in the ballroom. 


The Architectural Star award was presented to the Franklin County Convention Facilities Authority for the renovation and expansion of the Greater Columbus Convention Center.


Randy Malloy, owner of radio station CD 102.5, was recognized with a community partner award.


Further, the 2017 Short North Gala celebrated the district legacy of John T. Fleming and Joe Theibert, posthumously. The Business Beacons nod went to Tim Maurer and Sanito Mendoza; Unsung Heroes was awarded to Kevin and Lu Brammer, while Unsung Hero awards went to Victorian Village Commissioner Marc Conte, and Susan Mcgeean, of Hubbard Mastery School.

Presented by Borror, the  Eleventh Annual Short North Gala celebrated the artistry, diversity, community, and spirit of the Short North Arts District. 2017 marked the 15th anniversary of the Short North Arches, and the 130th anniversary of the Columbus reputation as the Arch City.

For the Short North Alliance, it is all about community, engaging and interacting with residents to develop culture important to urban revitalization. If you would like to experience this first-hand, you can, of course, plan to attend to Short North Gala next year, or go ahead and hit High Street every Saturday to experience Gallery Hop.


Tony Bentivegna

Tony Bentivegna writes reviews, articles and photographs for NID Magazine and can be reached at