As March approaches, many arts organizations throughout Gwinnett are gearing up for programming in a variety of ways. Fundraising, performances, workshops, contests, festivals and more are keeping local organizations busy making plans for 2015.

First on the calendar is a fundraiser that promises to offer partiers a great time. Gwinnett Ballet Theatre’s second annual “Mardi Gras Fundraiser” will occur in GBT’s Lawrenceville studios on Feb. 28 from 7 to 10 p.m. There is no admission price, but there are dozens of silent auction items up for grabs, including a $2,500 diamond from Barron’s Fine Jewelry. Passes to Walt Disney Theme Parks, World of Coca Cola, the Skyview Atlanta Ferris Wheel, Braves tickets, Aurora Theatre tickets, an Alex and Ani bracelet, Mac Stewart artwork and more items are up for bid. Food is by Boudreaux’s Caf Acadiana with special Cajun music by Danny Ray Cole. Plus blackjack is offered. Visit for more information or call 770-237-0046.

April takes art patrons to Norcross and the Kudzu Art Zone where a workshop in abstract painting and collage will be taught by Robert Burridge, a noted industrial designer and outstanding national and international workshop instructor and juror. This artist has won many awards for his work, including recognition from The Franklin Mint and the prestigious Crest Medal Award for achievement in the arts. Burridge teaches how to loosen up, let go and enjoy the process, using your own creativity and talent.

The workshops are described as “passionate, exuberant and fun” due to Burridge’s limitless talents and enthusiasm. These workshops are April 20 through 24 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Kudzu Art Zone in Norcross. To learn more or to register for this event, call 770-840-9844 or visit

May offers a deadline and a festival. First is a deadline for a creative contest. The city of Suwanee has put out a call for a design competition. Suwanee Fest will be held on Sept. 19 and 20 and the theme logo for the event is to be determined by local entries. The winner will receive $500.

This logo will appear on T-shirts and marketing materials. The competition is open to professional and amateur designers of all ages. The deadline is May 1. Entries should be submitted in both printed and electronic formats. For more information, visit .

May is also the month for Duluth’s Barefoot in the Park Arts Festival. This year’s event will be May 9 and 10 in the Duluth Town Green Park. The festival has become a true Mother’s Day favorite, with many families bringing Mom to enjoy the art and performances and to pick out that perfect Mother’s Day gift.

Barefoot, a juried show, has an open call for artists. Go to to apply. Although the main stage schedule of performances has been set, there are still openings on the Second Stage area for fine arts-related performers.

Holley Calmes is a freelance writer and public relations consultant specializing in the arts. E-mail her at