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Paul Newman Charity Gets A Jacquard Backdrop for a Night of "SeriousFun"

Updated: May 7

Some Fun & Relaxation for Kids With Life Threatening Illness

For years the Paul Newman fundraising shows have been dedicated to SeriousFun, a charity that provides free summer camps and programs for children with life-threatening diseases from more than 50 countries. SeriousFun refers to themselves as a place “where kids are not defined by their illnesses.”


Polly Wood-Holland has been providing design services for these galas since 2009. For one of the recent fundraising galas, her design showcased a delicate and playful look for a backdrop using Rose Brand Jacquard Fabric. Holland chose a neutral gray tone for the fabric, which enabled it to reflect the colors of light that were projected onto it. With the help of front and backlighting effects, the backdrop colors ranged from warm reds to cool blues.


Rose Brand Jacquard Fabrication allows designers to create custom fabrics with elaborate patterns and imagery. The lavish Jacquard backdrop for the Paul Newman SeriousFun event embodied a delicate balance of sheer and opaque qualities.

Since SeriousFun supports and funds outdoor camps for children with life-threatening illnesses, Holland designed a tree motif for the fabric to incorporate the concepts of nature and summer camp. She also knew that she wanted to combine soft goods with projection. The Jacquard product piqued her interest because the design is digitally knit into the fabric as opposed to printed. This creates greater depth and a more luxurious look than printed fabric. 


Holland sensed that her projected light would work well on the fabric based on tests that she conducted with a sample of the fabric. The sample lit beautifully from the back, with areas of dense and transparent weave. She hoped that this would represent the capabilities of the final product and it did.


The fabric that Holland selected was 7 feet wide with a repeat of 15 feet, on a bolt that holds about 50 yards. To get the design right for the 22 foot by 32 foot backdrop, five panels were seamed together to hang beautifully. The backdrop also folded to a relatively small size for easy shipping. The nature of the fabric and its careful packaging resulted in a wrinkle-free backdrop upon installation. In the end, Holland felt that she had designed a backdrop that was novel and exciting, and without great expense.


Go to SeriousFun to learn more about this wonderful charitable organization.

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