The Criu de Sheela Masquerade Benefit & Gala returns for a second year of enchantment. A social aid and pleasure club founded in the likeness of their namesake Sheela Na Gig, the gala benefits a scholarship for a Morgan Park High School student pursuing a college degree in the arts and social sciences.
With an “enchanted forest” theme, organizers encourage ethereal costumes, masks, and head wear, with an emphasis on unique, handmade items that embody the spirit of the charming event. The gala takes place on Sat., Oct. 1, 6 to 10 p.m., Beverly Arts Center, 2407 W. 111th St. Tickets are $75 and can be purchased online at Eventbrite.com.
Guests will enjoy dancing to the tunes of the Lawrence Peters Duo, Environmental Encroachment Brass Band, and a special guest DJ. Open bar and hors d’oeuvres are served, alongside one-of-a-kind auction baskets to raise the funds for the scholarship.
While the group is based in Irish lore, all are welcome in the spirit of the group’s mission. The club is in the style of New Orleans Mardi Gras Krewes dedicated to community, culture, and costuming. The group is founded in the likeness of its namesake, the ancient Irish goddess Sheela Na Gig, who is known as many things: ancient fertility goddess, protector of loves ones from evil spirits, and possibly the wife of Patrick. Her feast day in Ireland is celebrated on March 18, and the Criu de Sheela honors the creative and fiercely loving spirit of Sheela’s manifestations. Storytelling and cultural transmission through costuming and community celebration is a central tenet of the group’s mission.
Criu de Sheela membership is a safe space for people of all genders and races. Email firstname.lastname@example.org, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram @CriuDeSheela.