2021 Gala

ARTBEAT: Kemper Gala 2021 was inspired Rafael Lozano-Hemmer: Pulse Topology, an immersive environment featuring 3,000 light bulbs that pulse to visitors’ heartbeats, and Aliza Nisenbaum: Aquí Se Puede (Here You Can), an installation of large-scale portraits of djs, musicians, and dancers connected to the salsa dance and music communities in Kansas City. 

This was a PARTY! There was no speeches or auctions, just fantastic cuisine, and entertainment. PLUS, by supporting ARTBEAT, you played an important role in ensuring free access to contemporary art and programs for all.

Those who’ve attended for years know this: the Kemper Gala has always been a celebration—and a fashion show. Throughout history, fashion has been informed, shaped, and advanced by world events—both traumatic and hopeful. All this had creative minds wondering—how might the emergence from a year-long quarantine and ongoing effects of a global pandemic influence the future of fashion? 

We imagined the future will be defined by exuberance. 

As we collectively resurfaced, many were anxious to finally pull something out of the closet that excited us. What had you been yearning for an occasion to wear… or splurge-purchase? How did you imagine your reentry into society? Whether it was runway high-style, classic glamour or impulsive creativity, here’s the key: If you had to ask “Is this too much?,” the answer was…it’s just right.