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Arts Auction Raises Drama Funds
Sipping wine, nibbling on fresh fruit and beguiled by romantic Italian songs, people drifted from table to table peering at paintings, photographs and sculpture by local artists, gift baskets crammed with wine, chocolate and other goodies and tickets to events ranging from a day spa to a blues festival - and occasionally stopped to scribble their offer on a paper tablet.

Prominent in the room was a large, autographed portrait of the singer Vittorio and a tall, untitled, metal sculpture of a figure that nobody seems to want but nobody can bear to throw away.

Saturday's Auction for the Arts at the Riverbank Scout Hall had everything going for it in ambiance but could have done with a few more bidders.

Rio Arts, however, brought in a little over $2,200 at its auction and in total had donations of gift baskets, goods, services, and art and gift certificates of over $7, 000.

"We are amazed at the generosity from the public and local businesses who donated and demonstrated a desire to help us keep Shakespeare in the Park admission-free for everyone," said the festival's producer Joey Huestis.