Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Boston, L.A., Chicago, Miami Social Diary

the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston welcomed about 120 for cocktails and dinner on the Rooftop Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel.
Last Tuesday night in New York, Malcolm Rogers, the Ann and Graham Gund Director of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, welcomed about 120 for cocktails and dinner on the Rooftop Terrace at the Gramercy Park Hotel. The theme of the event was Great Museums in a Changing World.

After cocktails, Mr. Rogers shared his thoughts about the role of great museums today. The MFA was delighted to bring out so many of their New York friends -- including Trustees, Overseers, collectors, and gallerists -- and to thank them for their interest and support. 

The MFA is in the midst of a $500 million campaign for its Building Project, of which $455 million has been raised. The Building Project, designed by architect Foster and Partners (London), includes the construction of a new American Wing, the creation of the glass-enclosed Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Family Courtyard, the development of new educational facilities and conservation labs, the renovation of existing galleries, and the addition of new visitor amenities, such as the Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf Visitor Center and the opening this June of the Museum’s grand, historic entrance, the State Street Corporation Fenway Entrance. The Building Project is expected to be completed in late 2010.
Cliff Ackley and Pat Jacoby
Ward Mintz, Cheryl Brutvan, and Adam Fuss
Magda Saleh and Edward Saywell
Warren Adelson and John Hays
Leslie and Johanna Garfield
Jane Chesnutt and Nancy Lane
Barbara Alfond, Carol and Allen Wyett, and Tav Holmes Berry
Heidi Johnson, Rebecca Abrams Benn, and Esperanza Mayobre
James Cohan, Carol Noble, Kate Shepherd, Jane Cohan, and Malcolm Rogers
Ellen Israel and Jean Sharf
Elliot Bostwick Davis with Sloane and Wick Simmons
Malcolm Rogers with Silvia and Bruno Eberli
Jan Adelson, Terry Wall, Dick Button, and Carol Wall
Parker Ladd, Arnold Scaasi, and Malcolm Rogers
Banking giant Wachovia and literary icon Larry McMurtry were two honorees at an awards dinner benefiting the Los Angeles Public Library two weeks ago at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel.

600 guests gathered to help celebrate the honorees and support the Los Angeles Public Library. The more than $600,000 raised by the event will help fund adult literacy programs, children and teen reading programs, technology enhancements and cultural programs that would not otherwise be supported through city revenues.

Wachovia received the Library Foundation of Los Angeles’ corporate philanthropy award, while Mr. McMurtry accepted the Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award.  (Previous awardees have included Tony Kushner, Norman Mailer, Harper Lee, and Susan Sontag). In addition, John Cooke, chairman emeritus of the Library Foundation and a prominent Los Angeles businessman and philanthropist, received the Foundation’s Light of Learning Award for his tireless work and behalf of both the Foundation and the Los Angeles Public Library.

Wachovia announced a significant two-year partnership with the Foundation in the form of a $225,000 grant from The Wachovia Foundation, which will be used to “adopt” several L.A. Public Library branches in underserved neighborhoods, fund new computers and support a new ALOUD at Central Library lunchtime series focuses on business authors, leaders and entrepreneurs.
Linda Cardellini reads from “Comanche Moon”
Diane Keaton presents Larry McMurtry with the 2008 Los Angeles Public Library Literary Award
Rick Schroder reads from the opening chapter of “Lonesome Dove”
“At Wachovia, our goal is to make every community where we do business a better place to live and raise our families,” said Frank Newman, Wachovia’s President for Southern California in accepting the award. 

In accepting  his literary award from actress Diane Keaton, Larry McMurtry, the Pultizer Prize winning author of Lonesome Dove as well as more than 40 other works, expressed his fondness for Los Angeles at the same time he voiced his concern for the number of independent bookstores that have closed in the region.  He reminisced about the “defining moment” of his life—receiving at age six the gift of 19 books.  “The fact of books—and what they can lead you into—into the vast world of the imagination—has been the dominant force in my life,” he said.

Cooke, in accepting his award from producer and writer Gary David Goldberg, thanked the Foundation, “whose board members I love and deeply respect for their support of the library—an organization that last year had 16 million visitors and 112 million hits on its web site.”

The Library Foundation of Los Angeles seeks private contributions to benefit the Los Angeles Public Library.  Since its creation in 1992, the Library Foundation has raised more than $75 million for programs and services that reach thousands of people each year.

The Los Angeles Public Library serves the largest population of any library in the nation.  Its Central Library, 71 branch libraries, more than 6 million books and state-of-the art technology accessible at provide everyone with free and easy access to information.
Judi Davidson and husband, director/producer Gordon Davidson
Library Foundation Chairman Jeff Brown, Light of Learning award winner John Cooke, L.A. City Librarian Fontayne Holmes, and Larry McMurtry
Diane Keaton presents Larry McMurtry with a photograph of a taxidermied sheep that was taken on one of their road trips together
Diana Ossana, Larry McMurtry, and Fontayne Holmes
Writer-producer Diane English (“Murphy Brown”), Larry McMurtry, Diane Keaton, and City Librarian Fontayne Holmes
Actor Tony Shalhoub (“Monk”) and Library Commissioner Robert Chick
Gary David Goldberg presents John Cooke (left) with the Light of Learning Award
Rick Welch and Tawny Little Welch (former newscaster and Miss America) with Gayle Wilson and Pete Wilson (former California governor)
Caroline and Richard Nahas with philanthropist Eli Broad
Cecilia Peck-Voll with Veronique and Anthony Peck (family of Gregory Peck)
For the 19th year, the Women’s Association of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra sponsored Corporate Night at Symphony Center. However, the major excitement of the evening was the announcement that Riccardo Muti has been appointed Music Director of the CSO. Before the concert began, Chairman William Osborne brought Deborah Card, President of the CSO, on stage to accept kudos!

How does Corporate Night work? Corporations/companies purchase dinner and concert packages that include 2 –16 seats. It is an evening with elegant cuisine, magnificent décor and stellar music for Chicago’s corporate community and their guests. There were several dining areas, each with a different cuisine and a different floral display. One venue had lamb loin, another beef tenderloin, and all had chocolate desserts. The guest list numbered 1700.

The 2008 Corporate Night concert headliner was Tony Award Winner, Kristin Chenoweth, with music by members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra (CSO). Conducting the Orchestra was Andrew Lippa and the program included The Barber of Seville Overture, a Kern medley and songs from Wicked.
Decor of one of the dining areas in the Hall
Ms. Chenoweth has a bachelor’s degree in musical theater and a master’s degree in opera performance. She performed a solo concert at the Metropolitan Opera in 2007 and is scheduled to return to the Met in 2010 to appear in John Corigliano’s The Ghosts of Versailles

The presenting sponsor of Corporate Night 2008 was the Citadel Group Foundation. Additional sponsorships were provided by Merrill Lynch, PriceWaterhouseCoopers, Exelon, Ernst & Young, Infiniti, Kirkland & Ellis LLP., Northern Trust, Winston & Strawn and National City Bank. Music students and teachers were seated in the Gallery as guests of BlueCross Blue-Shield of Illinois and Sidley Austin LLP.

The 2008 Corporate Chairman was John Pratt, Director, Merrill Lynch. Julia Goalby of Chicago was the CSO Women’s Association Chairman. Members of her committee from Chicago included Diane Collison, Jennifer Burnbu, Judy Goldberg and Sue Tice. From the north shore were Jetta Bushonville, Susan Stein both of Winnetka, and Mary Plauche of Evanston. 

This project is the main fundraiser for the CSO Women’s Association.The sales were over $1million and the net for the evening is projected at $850,000
Julia Goalby, party Chair, with William Strong
Markie Huber, Christin Chenoweth, and Julia Goalby
Michelle Lee and John Koehl
Judy Konen, president of the CSO Women's Board with Amelia Silva
Anne Griffin, Scott and Mary Rafferty, and Mark Godvin
David Kerber and Nichole Mann
Phyllis and Larry Barden
David Speer, CEO of ITW with James Wooten
Parkways Foundation in Chicago their annual dinner dance ...
Susan Gohl, Tony White, and Laurie Davis
Abby Winkler and Dusty Stemer
Megan McKinney and Tom Gorman
Cookie Cohen and Julius Walton
Bunky Cushing and Sherry Holson
Bill Zwecker and Tom Gorman
Susan Grimm
Two weeks ago in Bal Harbour, textile designer Lulu de Kwiatkowski celebrated the debut of her highly-anticipated first monograph, LULU, at Oscar de la Renta Bal Harbour.

Guests were greeted by boutique manager Gina Hong and with flutes of Veuve Clicquot. The hostesses including Sarah Arison, Courtney Parmenter, Michelle Rubell, Jennifer Sazant, and Deborah Wecselman assembled a good group of Miami to come and toast the author.The event was followed by an intimate dinner for 30 at La Marearestaurant at The Tides Hotel which was recently renovated with the décor done by designer Kelly Werstler.
Courtney Parmenter, Deborah Wecselman, Lulu de Kwiatkowski, Jennifer Sazant, Michelle Rubell, and Sarah Arison
Guests included Lulu’s husband Alfredo Gilardini, her mother and stepfather who just arrived that night from Italy, photographer Eric Cahan who contributed to the book, ODLR ‘s Edith Taichman and Steven and Susan Mathieu and close friend Cooper Ray. Although the author and designer is four months pregnant with twins, the promotional tour will go on with events at one of Chicago’s premier boutiques Elements hosted by designer and The Big Give host, Nate Berkus among others and in Los Angeles at the Oscar de la Renta boutique on Melrose.
Carmel Dubuque, Harry Kohlmann, and Amy Deve
Alfredo Gilardini and Cooper Ray
Lulu de Kwiatkowski
Lily Watters and Raquel Watters
Carol Bell and Jaume Elias
Neil Sazant, Jennifer Sazant, and Cooper Ray
On a Wednesday night in Miami, Blumarine, the Italian luxury boutique officially opened its first flagship in the U.S. Blumarine founder and designer, Anna Molinari, along with Filippo and Helena Alzetto, who own the rights to the US Blumarine boutiques, invited guests to celebrate the new store at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables.

Guests were dressed in Blumarine’s ultra chic and sexy apparel, and in the spirit of Capri, where Mrs. Molinari has a home, a special cocktail was created by Snow Queen vodka, Limoncello martinis. Apparently they were very deceptive -- sweet but with a powerful punch. Fueled by this tropical concoction guests including actress Brittney Murphy, CEO of Blufin SpA and son of Molinari, Gianguido Tarabini, Shari Lui Paleologos, Marisa Cisneros Rizzon, Sarah Arison, actress Candela Ferro, art collector Ella Cisneros, Kristen Munroe and author Lora Drasner shopped till they dropped.

The celebration spilled outside into the atrium of Village of Merrick Park, under a tented lounge, where guests enjoyed music and relaxed on trendy white couches topped with hot pink and leopard pillows. A percentage of the evening’s sales benefitted Holtz Children’s Hospital at The University of Miami, Jackson Memorial Medical Center.
Brittany Murphy
Anna Molinari
DJ Amalia
Alitia DAgostino and Helena Alzetta
Maritza Ciseros and Ella Fontanals Cisneros
Flippo Alzetta, Brittany Murphy, Simon Monjack, and Helena Alzetta
Candela Ferro and Kothan Fernandez
Blumarine CEO Gianguido Tarabini, Anna Molinari, and Filippo Alzetta
Lora Drasner
Marysol Patton and Martha De Cesperes
Alan Randall and Sarah Arison

Photographs by Loren Philip/Howard Pasamanick Photography (L.A.).

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