The Santa Monica-based Virginia Avenue Project will hold its annual Inspiration Gala fundraiser Wednesday, Oct. 26 at the Casa Del Mar hotel, 1910 Ocean Way, Santa Monica.

The gala will celebrate the success of Virginia Avenue Project, a free after-school program using the performing arts in conjunction with one-on-one mentoring to help children ages 6 to 18 think creatively, critically and confidently about their lives

“The most important job we have as artists is to make sure the coming generations care about the arts,” said Leigh Curran, the project’s founder and artistic director. “Anything we can do as artists to turn kids on to theatre, writing, music, dance… is helping the arts today as well as in the future.”

The “Magic of Music”-themed event will honor three leaders in the community who project officials say have shown ongoing support for efforts to bring arts and education to students. Maggi Kelley, general manager of Tribeca West and former generalmanager of Lantana Center, will receive the True Original Award; while the Community Hero Award will be presented to Anthony Mollica, general manager and owner of La Vecchia Cucina, and his brother Mark Mollica, chef and owner.

The gala will include a silent auction, dinner, and songs written by Virginia Avenue Project youths that will be performed by professional singers.

Information, (310) 264-4224, or