The Imagine Bus Project Freedom Gala

The Imagine Bus Project Freedom Gala raised nearly $200,000 to bring arts education to teens facing juvenile detention in Sonoma, San Francisco and San Mateo counties. Imagine Bus Project board members Celia Tejada, Kate Schermerhorn and Maria Cristini chaired the event that attracted some 300 supporters to the Mark Hopkins Hotel on May 17, 2016. Funds raised represent an increase of 40 percent over last year and make up 33 percent of the organization’s annual budget.

The evening included powerful stories from formerly incarcerated youth and past Imagine Bus Project students. Scott Budnick, board member of President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, founder of the Anti-Recidivism Coalition, and executive producer of the Hangover series of movies, and Allen Nance, Chief Probation Officer for San Francisco, talked about engaging and inspiring incarcerated youth. Basketball star Steph Curry and his wife, Cooking Channel star Ayesha Curry, surprised guests with a video message and an Instagram post that highlighted Imagine Bus Project in front of three million followers. Ayesha Curry also offered to host two dinner parties as live auction items, each scooped up for $15,000.

Scenes from The Imagine Bus Project Freedom Gala 2016:

Event photos by Nathan DeHart Photography
Photo booth photographer Andrew Moore

Watch The Imagine Bus Project students talk about incarceration and art here.

— Related: click here for more Red Carpet Bay Area coverage of The Imagine Bus Project