Wednesday, Apr 12, 2017 - 10:26 am

San Diego, CA—The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) will present its 41st annual gala, themed “POP Factory,” from 6 PM to 12:30 AM on Saturday, July 29, 2017. The fundraiser garners significant support for the Museum’s ambitious exhibition schedule and public programs, yielding more than $5 million in the last 15 years.

This year the gala will be held at the Museum’s Jacobs Building downtown, as the La Jolla location is temporarily closed for a major renovation and expansion project. The Museum’s downtown location is set in the historic site of the Santa Fe Depot Baggage Building, a 1915 structure on the National Register of historic landmarks. With soaring ceiling heights and site-specific works by Jenny Holzer, Richard Serra, Richard Wright, and Roman de Salvo, the change of venue presents the traditional event within a fresh, new context.

This year’s event Chairs are Jay and Jennifer Levitt. Involved with the Museum since 1998, Jay and Jennifer are particularly committed to engaging the next generation of MCASD supporters and ambassadors. Jay currently serves on the MCASD Board of Trustees and is an active member of the organization’s Development Committee. They both joined MCASD’s former membership group, stART Up! in 1998, and became part of Contemporary Collectors group in 2013.

“Jay and I are honored to serve as Chairs for POP Factory,” said Jennifer Levitt. “The funds we raise will support the Museum’s dynamic exhibitions and enriching programs, many of which are free to the public and expose young audiences to contemporary art for the very first time.”

“It’s exciting to be part of an organization that is committed to artists creating work in our time,” said Jay, who looks forward to breaking tradition by holding the event downtown. “This is a chance to breathe new life into a San Diego staple.”

Artist Jean Lowe will be the 2017 Gala Artist Ambassador for POP Factory. Lowe is a painter and sculptor who has been exhibiting nationally in galleries and museums since the late 1980s. Her work has been featured at MCASD in the one-person exhibition The Evolutionary Cul de Sac in 2000, as well as Southern Exposure (2006) and The Very Large Array (2013).

She has received numerous awards and grants including 2 WESTAF/NEA Regional Fellowships (sculpture); a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Grant; a California Art Council grant; the Alberta duPont Bonsal Foundation Purchase Award; CalArts/Alpert Ucross Residency Prize; and The SD Art Prize cash grant presented by San Diego Visual Arts Network.

Lowe will create an original, hand-painted artwork inspired by Andy Warhol’s Brillo boxes for POP Factory donors at a certain level and above.

For interviews and high-resolution images, please contact Communications & Marketing Manager Leah Straub.  For more information about the event, please visit

More about the Chairs

Jennifer and Jay each fulfill a number of leadership roles in various community organizations—particularly those centered on social justice, human services, education, and the arts. Jennifer is immediate past President of the Board of Directors of Jewish Family Service of San Diego, and past chair of Jewish Women’s Foundation. Currently she serves on a number of non-profit boards and committees including Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest Board of Directors, The Francis Parker School Board of Trustees, and the Grants Leadership Team of Women Give San Diego.

Jennifer’s interest in social justice and community problem solving is informed by her work as a former Doctoral Candidate in the Department of Sociology at UCSD. There, she studied social inequality, with an emphasis on the intersection of gender, race, and class and the social construction of motherhood. In the course of this study, Jennifer taught undergraduate classes in Sociology of the Family and Social Inequality.

Jay moved to San Diego after graduating from the University of Iowa. He currently manages an ownership interest in a substantial portfolio of commercial real estate throughout the country and serves as CEO of Lofta, a San Diego-based healthcare company involved in creating a comprehensive path for the screening, diagnosis, and treatment of sleep apnea through an innovative VirtualCare platform.

Jay follows in the footsteps of his family's long-time tradition of supporting contemporary art and he and Jennifer are enthusiastically building their own collection. They happily reside in La Jolla with their proudest achievement, a 16-year old daughter. 


Founded in 1941, the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (MCASD) is the preeminent contemporary visual arts institution in San Diego County. The Museum's collection includes more than 4,700 works of art created since 1950. In addition to presenting exhibitions by international contemporary artists, the Museum serves thousands of children and adults annually at its varied education programs. MCASD is a private, nonprofit organization, with 501c3 tax-exempt status; it is supported by generous contributions and grants from MCASD Members and other individuals, corporations, foundations, and government agencies. Kathryn Kanjo is The David C. Copley Director and CEO at MCASD. Institutional support for MCASD is provided by the City of San Diego Commission for Arts and Culture.

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