LOS ANGELES—Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum, will transform the California African American Museum (CAAM) into an elegant ballroom setting as 300 sponsors, statesmen, Los Angeles industry leaders and art enthusiasts gather to celebrate its 5th black-tie, gala affair, “An Artful Evening at CAAM” on October 9, beginning at 6 p.m. This annual gala will kick off with a camera-ready reception and an art-filled silent auction that will raise significant support for the ongoing collecting efforts, educational programs and exhibition programs of CAMM.

This year’s event will be hosted by 94.7 FM “The Wave’s” Pat Prescott and will be marked with special recognition to three esteemed honorees: brilliant watercolorist William E. Pajaud will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award, former Motown A&R legend and songwriter William “Mickey” Stevenson will be saluted with the Tom Bradley Unsung Hero Award and CAAM’s neighbor the California Science Center will be honored with the Community Partner Award. The evening will also see the unveiling of CAAM’s first commemorative collector’s coin. Dinner will be served at 8 p.m. with entertainment under the direction of Cornelius Grant with special tribute performances during dinner by a cappella vocal sensations, Sizzle, followed by a rockin’ party in the Club CAAM Lounge to music by dance and jazz musicians the “Timezone Ensemble.” At the last gala homage was paid to the legendary Muhammad Ali, Howard Bingham and KJLH Radio.

“An Artful Evening at CAAM expresses the sentiment for this annual night of festive art and renewed commitment to saluting the vibrant achievers and friendly supporters that make our community special,” remarked  Executive Director Charmaine Jefferson. “From our educational Gallery of Discovery depicting the unimaginable impact of an involuntary migration, to the MacArthur Fellowship endowed artistry on display in Our Love of John T. Scott to an exploration in ”˜how we roll’ of the cultural influences in surfing, roller skating and skateboarding, CAAM is vigorously committed to representing all the various nuances that make up the art, history and culture of African Americans. Times may be tough, but our art and culture is strong and nurturing. CAAM has been an incredible 2010 that has certainly been artful.”

The gala’s major contributors include lead sponsor Wells Fargo Bank, supporting sponsor Bank of America, with additional support from Disney, Target, Sempra Energy, Broadway Federal Bank, Union Bank, Diageo, San Joaquin Wine Company and Coca Cola.

Chartered by the California State Legislature in 1977, the California African American Museum, located in Exposition Park, is a state supported institution. In addition to its permanent collection, CAAM hosts specially borrowed and self-curated exhibitions, free public and school-age education programs and tours CAAM-owned exhibitions throughout California and the nation.

Admission to CAAM is free and open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Parking located at 39th and Figueroa streets is $8.

Friends, the Foundation of the California African American Museum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to provide resources, staffing, programming and exhibition resources in support of CAAM’s mission. Explore the California African American Museum’s offerings at caamuseum.org. For general CAAM information, call 213-744-7432.