Washington Square News

Moonlight Ball Says ‘Goodnight’ to the Met

By Jendayi Omowale, Staff Writer

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Alessia Garcia
The IRHC’s Annual Moonlight Ball will be taking place at the Whitney Museum of American Art this year.

Some traditions are meant to be broken. For the first time in 20 years, one of NYU’s biggest events, the Moonlight Ball, will take place at the Whitney Museum of American Art instead of its past venue, the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Moonlight Ball is an annual formal hosted by the Inter-Residence Hall Council and features dancing, gallery tours and light desserts. The event, which sold out a day after tickets went on sale last Wednesday, will take place on April 19. In preparation for the event, IRHC members have been working tirelessly for the past months, organizing and reimagining the ball.

IRHC Vice Presidents of Events Karan Ganta, a Tandon sophomore, and Kyle Haynes, a Steinhardt sophomore, said that most of the event planning had to do with finding a new venue.

“One of the big difficulties this year is that we don’t have the Met anymore because they are low on money so they had to raise their prices for booking the special events,” Haynes said. “A lot of the beginning logistical parts were touring different venues, asking if they are able to accommodate us and seeing which one we thought was best for the NYU community.”

Haynes said that along with the views of the city and Hudson River at the Whitney, he looks forward to the gallery tour of the current exhibit “Grant Wood: American Gothic and Other Fables.”

“We’re opening one of the galleries on the fifth floor that students can do walkthroughs of and right now the exhibit that’s there is the ‘American Gothic,’” Haynes said. “It’s the painting of the farm couple, the mantle with the pitchfork and everything, so I am very excited about that, it’s a famous painting, people will love seeing it.”

Students think having the open gallery is a nice perk of the event being hosted at the Whitney.

“In my opinion, the Met’s cooler,” LS first-year Joey Mancini said. “But, seeing ‘American Gothic’ is just an added bonus to having the dance at the Whitney.”

Although IRHC is shaking things up with a new venue, the departure from the Moonlight Ball’s traditional venue was a difficult one. After finally landing on the Whitney for this year’s venue, the VPs are enthusiastic about the change.

“I think we were kind of going for that traditional Moonlight Ball look that it has with the Met, you know it’s like classic and grandesque, but I also really have gotten excited with the contemporary look the Whitney has,” Ganta said. “It’s going to be really nice for the 20th anniversary.”

Ganta said that on a weekly basis along with keeping their fellow IRHC members informed with the event-planning, Moonlight Ball preparation consisted of finding vendors, handling costs and even purchasing decorations.

As co-vice presidents of events, Ganta and Haynes are responsible for organizing a number of large events such as Flurry and UltraViolet Live The duo also mentors all of the directors of events in each residence hall and attend weekly meetings. Haynes said his experience at Flurry factored into him to running for VP of Events.

“I wanted to help others make great memories,” Haynes said. “I feel like people remember our events and they think back to that time on how much fun they had.”

Organizing IRHC events requires a lot of Haynes and Ganta’s time, especially for large-scale events like Moonlight Ball. However, they have learned to balance their IRHC responsibilities with their academics.

“I usually do most of my IRHC stuff after hours just so I can do school stuff during the day,” Haynes said. “I say I can handle it pretty well, I thrive under pressure really.”

All the hard work IRHC has put into planning Moonlight Ball is already paying off as students are becoming more and more excited for the event. “I’m excited to go with friends,” CAS first year Madison Conkle said. “Our RA [resident assistant] even made an event and we’re all going together as a floor.”

A version of this article appeared in the Monday, April 9 print edition. Email Jendayi Omowale at [email protected]

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