Jazzkapelle: Van and Elizabeth Tilbury Support the Arkansas Arts Center

Don’t underestimate the power of a blind date. Elizabeth and Van Tilbury sure wouldn’t. “A mutual friend from church set up Van and me on a blind date. We knew nothing about each other,” said Elizabeth Tilbury.

Van Tilbury told us that he actually first recognized Elizabeth in an issue of Soirée in the party pictures. “I had heard of this Elizabeth Loveless girl but had never seen her,” he said. “Finally, she showed up in an edition of Soirée. Not long after, I got up my courage, called her for lunch and scheduled the second date before the first one was over. We’ve been dating ever since.”

The Tiburys have four children: three girls and one boy. “Each of our children is unique in their own special way. It is fun to watch them grow and emerge into their individual personalities. We have a lot of fun and a lot of laughs,” the couple said.

“They [the kids] teach me every day,” Elizabeth said. “The most important thing is they hold me accountable to practice what I preach. I think children have a unique way of refining us.” She also said her current job is dramatically different from where she was a few years ago. “I stay home with our four children. It is not the most glamorous job, but it is the most important work I can be doing right now.”

While Elizabeth stays at home, chasing her little ones, Van works as a partner at East-Harding, Inc. a commercial construction company. “My favorite thing about my job is that we work with great clients in many different industries,” he said, “so one meeting might be about UAMS, the next about Lyon College, the next about First Arkansas Bank & Trust and the next about the new CALS Children’s Library. It’s never boring.”

When Elizabeth and Van are not at home with their kids or serving with the Junior League of Little Rock and the Little Rock Regional Chamber of Commerce (among other boards and committees), they are avid patrons of the Arkansas Arts Center (AAC). “The Arts Center is so important to our community,” said Elizabeth. “I can remember taking classes as a young girl, and now my daughters have loved attending the Junior Arts Academy. The AAC is such a gem for the city of Little Rock.”

In July 2011 the AAC welcomed new Executive Director Dr. Todd Herman. “My first board meeting was also Todd’s first,” Van explained, “so we have had somewhat parallel experiences. He has new and substantial relationships with arts organizations worldwide that can benefit our exhibitions, collections and programs long term.”

Herman, the Tilburys and other board members are proud to present a new event that will support and promote AAC. “After the overwhelming success of the Studio Party after Tabriz in 2011, the Studio Party has evolved into its own event. The event is designed as an exciting prohibition party that supports the AAC,” said the Tilburys.

The theme of the party was inspired by the 1921 drawing by Max Beckmann titled Jazzkapelle, which is German for jazz band. “The atrium of the Arts Center will be transformed into a Deco-drenched cabaret experience of the early 20th century,” Elizabeth explained.

“There is no auction, seated dinner or buffet,” said Van, “just good people, good cocktails, a great atmosphere and dancing the night away to the band Liquid Pleasure of Atlanta.

“Our board has a goal to enhance the benefits to our existing members and patrons while broadening our appeal to new potential members and to the next generation of AAC patrons,” he continued. “The Arkansas Arts Center is also excited to announce a $100,000 matching grant from the Wingate Foundation.  All new memberships, new sponsorships, donations and ticket purchases will be matched.  So, become a sponsor of Jazzkapelle or buy your tickets to Jazzkapelle and double the financial impact to the Arts Center.”

Jazzkapelle Studio Party
when: 8 p.m.-midnight, Saturday, March 31
where: Arkansas Arts Center, Alice Pratt Brown Atrium
tickets:$100 per person; VIP tickets $250 per person
info:327-4000, ArkArts.com



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