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'Human Candelabras' Meet Hedge-Fund Managers at Times Square Art Party

 Real estate tycoons and banking scions rub shoulders with hundreds of New York avant-garde artists — some of them performing amid the party — at Chashama's annual gala and after-party Monday night, June 10, 2013.
Chashama Gala and After-Party
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TIMES SQUARE — Worlds will collide in a Times Square open-air passageway Monday night.

More than 400 real estate scions, corporate tycoons, philanthropists and well-heeled art enthusiasts will rub shoulders with 15 New York avant-garde artists — some of them performing amid the party — at Chashama's annual gala in Anita's Way, essentially a large hallway that connects 42nd and 43rd streets.

"The gala is a free-flowing event, and we have stationary and roaming performers that interact with guests," said Anna Chan, project manager for Chashama, which is based in Midtown. "That's kind of the highlight and driving energy of the evening."

Chashama, launched in 1995, finds vacant or underutilized spaces around New York City and converts them into art spaces, an endeavor it says "connects art and real estate." Anita's Way, named for Chashama founder Anita Durst, is one of 208 spaces managed by Chashama, and it periodically hosts performances there in addition to the spring gala.

"It's a privately owned public space," Chan said. "It's open-air, but for the gala evening, we make sort of a fortress in front of it for the entrance."

On Monday night, performers will include a "human candelabra," ventriloquists and live silk-screening, and attendees can also take part in an auction. Then, at 9:30 p.m., the evening transitions to a "Wear Your Art" after-party hosted by See Me, with music by DJ Spooky and a performance by "Afro-punk" artist TK Wonder. In addition, the winner of See Me's annual "Art Takes Times Square," which displays digital works from thousands of artists on the bow tie's world-famous electronic billboards, will be announced.

Ticket prices to the Chashama gala range from $500 to $25,000. Last year's gala raised about $170,000, Chan said. Tickets to the Wear Your Art after-party, which were free, are sold out.