Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's Showtime ...

The after party at the Apollo Theater's annual Spring Gala.
A week ago last Tuesday (June 10th), the legendary Apollo Theater on 125th Street in Harlem celebrated its 80th Anniversary with a big Birthday celebration version of their annual Spring Gala. Departing from its tradition of inducting legends into the Apollo Hall of Fame, this year’s Gala celebrated the eight decades of artistic brilliance that have been presented on the Apollo stage since 1934. The gala was their most successful so far, raising a record-breaking $2.3 million.

It was an amazing event with performances by Gladys Knight, Natalie Cole, Doug E Fresh, The Isley Brothers, Joss Stone, Amateur Night winner Matthew Whitaker, and hosted by Wayne Brady. The evening explored the Apollo’s contribution to American culture over the last eight decades spanning music, comedy and dance. For example, Brady performed Ray Charles’ “Georgia” with the 2010 Amateur Night Child Star of Tomorrow and jazz musician Matthew Whitaker, a 13-year prodigy who happened to have been born blind. Savion Glover performed an unrehearsed number with Doug E Fresh on beatbox.
Jonelle Procope
Yolanda Ferrell Brown
Ron and Ernie Isley
Natalie Cole
Gladys Knight
Wayne Brady and Matthew Whitaker
Savion Glover with Doug E Fresh on beatbox
Doug E. Fresh
Human Nature
Ron Perelman presented his friend Richard Parsons, Chairman of the Apollo’s board of directors, with the Leadership Award, and  Gerald Hassell, CEO of BNY Mellon, on behalf of BNY Mellon.

Gala Chairs were Ron Perelman and Anna Chapman, John Demsey; Mellody Hobson and George Lucas, Marcus Samuelsson, James L. Dolan, CEO of Cablevision; Marcella and Terry Jones; Sonya and Paul Jones, Debra Shriver of Hearst; and Bronson van Wyck.
Darren Walker, Gerald Hassel, Dick Parsons, and Ronald Perelman
Deborah Roberts, Gerald Hassel, and Apollo president and CEO Jonelle Procope
The following night, Wednesday, the Isley Brothers were inducted into the Apollo Walk of Fame, with a special presentation.  Ronald and Ernie Isley received a standing ovation from the Amateur Night audience accepting their honor on the very stage where they began their careers on almost six decades ago.

The evening was produced by Ron Weisner of Ron Weisner Entertainment, and there was an after-party in a stylish lounge created by Bronson van Wyck.
Iva and Scott Mills, Jonelle Procope, and Karen and Charles Phillips
The Apollo is a national treasure. It has had a significant impact on the development of American culture and its popularity around the world. Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, the Apollo Theater has played a major role in cultivating artists and in the emergence of innovative musical genres including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, Sammy Davis, Jr., James Brown, Michael Jackson, Bill Cosby, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, and countless others began their road to stardom on the Apollo’s stage.
Joannie Danielides, Rita Jammet, Debra Shriver, Pamela Fiore, Jonelle Procope, and friends
The Apollo Theater’s new artistic vision builds on its legacy. New Apollo programming has music as its core, driving large scale and more intimate music, dance and theater presentations. The Apollo will continue to present historically relevant presentations, as well as more forward-looking, contemporary work. Based on its cultural significance and architecture, the Apollo Theater received state and city landmark designation in 1983 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. For more information, visit

The evening’s gala sponsors were: BNY Mellon, MacAndrews and Forbes Holdings Inc., Hearst, JP Morgan Chase & Co., Al Jazeera America, BET Networks, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Cablevision, Coca-Cola Company, Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, The Madison Square Garden Company and TV One.
Marcus Samuelsson and Maya Haile
Jonelle Procope and Alfred C. Liggins
BNY guest, Melody Parker, Daisy Holmes, Jonelle Procope, BNY guest, and Wendy Neikirk Rhodes
Jonelle Procope. Brett Wright, and Yvonna Kopacz Wright
Apollo president and CEO, Jonelle Procope and Apollo board chairman Richard Parsons with a friend
DJ D Nice
Doug E Fresh and friends
Joannie Danielides and friends
Yolanda Ferrell Brown and Jonelle Procope with a friend
Paula Ramsey and Jonelle Procope
Sheena Wright and friends
Agnes Hassell, Jonelle Procope, and Samuel Scott
Sue Cary (center) and friends
Michelle Tate and friends
Vanessa Bell Calloway and Star Jones
Bronson van Wyck, Meredith Melling-Burke, and Adam Shapiro
Chef Alexander Smalls and friend
Jacqueline Nickelberry and Patricia Zollar
Michael Diamond, Amy Diamond, and friend
Marilyn Booker and friends
Deborah Wright and Carol Lewis
Gerald Hassell, Agnes Hassell, Daisey Holmes, and friends
Valentino Carlotti and friends
Jason Matthews and friend
Joanne Camuti and friends
Eileen Naughton and Alfred Liggins with a friend
Steve Pamon and friends
Carolyn and Mark Mason
Ray and Vivian Chew
Nia Jones and Briana Bigham with friends
Gary McElyea and Hazel Dukes
Karu Daniels and friends
Jacqueline Nickelberry and Debra Shriver
This past Saturday afternoon, over 250 guests including artists, architects, designers, collectors, and modernist enthusiasts celebrated The Glass House Summer Party and 65th anniversary bringing in a record $300,000, supporting the Glass House site and preservation projects.

Guests sipped Taittinger champagne and enjoyed canapés and picnic by Elm Restaurant. Each of the picnic baskets was adorned with elegant Swarovski crystals. DJ Arp played his melodic music while harpist Mary Lattimore performed her modernist melodies under the trees in front of the painting gallery. Guests were able to stroll the grounds and interplay with the Fujiko Nakaya: Veil fog installation, as well as enjoy the new exhibition: Six Panels: Al Taylor organized by Robert Storr.
The scene at The Glass House Summer Party
Guests enjoyed giant chess and ping pong and had fun taking portraits in front of the Glass House with Design Within Reach's photo booth while Makerbot designed limited edition Glass House models and bookmarks for guests to take home. Fierce bidding took place for work by Richard Barnes, Richard Serra and his nephew Shelter Serra, as well as for Adam Fuss, Nan Goldin, and other artists including David Diao, Olaf Bruening, Holton Rower, Crash (John Matos), and Julia Chang.

A private collector snapped up the Glass House overnight and dinner package, as well as a trip to Fogo Island, the Modernist resort in Newfoundland. Also drawing a lot of attention was the beautiful crystal necklace by Atelier Swarovski by Maison Martin Margiela. The VIP gift bags included Ralph Lauren candles, two beautiful books from Monacelli Press, Aesop products, a DWR gift certificate and more.
Amr Abdelaziz and John Calcagno
Adam Fuss and Henrietta Otto
Vincent Pages, Scott Drevnig, and Alexandra Pages
David White and Anthony Gamardella
Debbit Taylor and Rob Storr
Anna Carlin and Anh Tuan Pham
Wynn Burson and Grazia D'Annunzio
Kasia Reed, Paula Winicur, Tucker Mays, and Gabriella Mays
Jacob Staron and Gosia Staron
Scott Fellow, Hilary Lewis, and Craig Bassam
Clare Carter and Victoria Hely-Hutchinson
Chris Strauss and Caileen Schafer
Crawford Roark and Julia Malacoff
Tory Kronberg and Laura Einstein
Trent Biltoft, Elad Yifrach, and Nicholas Manville
Spencer Grimes and Lindsay Grimes
Beckany Jeffrey and Carolyn Jeffrey
Jackie Ekholm and Cindy Rinfret
David Ladik, Sarah Meltzer, Matthew Weinstein, and David Bers
Rebecca Friedman and Barbara Lissner
Susan Magrino
Christa Carr and Hilary Lewis
Henry Urbach and Melissa Feldman
Mariann Soderberg, Barbara Heizer, and Phyllis Tuchman
Erik Bruce and Craig Bassam
Joel Mendalson and Alexandra Nahlous
Mara Abrams, Wyatt Kronberg, and Eileen Lehrer
Vanessa Sheldon and Lisa Sheldon
Natalie deCleve and Ashley Gail Harris
Philip Gefter and Richard Press
Michael Hagney and Terrence Charles
Ray Kurdziel and Scott Drevnig
Antoine Pham and Anna Carlin
Sabina Stone, Paul Salvatore, and Susan Fender
Henry Urbach and Joseph LaPiana
Nick Rosser and Matthew Foley
Pamela Johnson and Lisa Schultz
Misha Nonoo and Holly Greenfield
Inger Stringfellow, Susan Magrino, and Janet Lindstrom
Jennifer Kraisinski and Meghan Dailey
Rory Hermelee and Henry Urbach
Richard Barnes and Alexia Borden
Joseph Becker, Henry Urbach, Pantea Tehrani, Murray Moss, and Franklin Gretchell
Picnicing inside Donald Judd's first concrete work, Untitled, 1971
Three hundred members of New York City's philanthropic, business, design and development communities gathered on June 11th at 583 Park Avenue for the 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medals hosted by the Municipal Art Society (MAS). Emceed by Vin Cipolla, MAS President, the event raised over $1,000,000 to support the organization and its mission to advance holistic urban planning, preservation and design solutions that enhance the quality of life across New York. David M. Childs, Chairman Emeritus of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill, and Larry A. Silverstein, Chairman of Silverstein Properties, served as the event's Co-Chairs.

The highlight of the evening was the presentation of The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, MAS's highest honor, to Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman, and MaryAnne Gilmartin, President & CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies (FCRC). MAS paid tribute to Mr. Ratner and Ms. Gilmartin for their longstanding commitment to New York City and the organizations and partnerships that make it a more just and equitable place, and in recognition of their efforts to promote world-class design, architectural innovation and public art.
Cocktails at 583 Park
The tables set for dinner
The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal, MAS's highest honor, is presented annually to individuals or institutions whose work or deeds have made outstanding contributions to New York City. The medal, launched in 1950, was renamed in 1994 to commemorate Mrs. Onassis' efforts to champion and preserve New York's great architectural treasures.

Previous recipients of MAS's Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal include last year's honorees, David Rockefeller, Jr., Board Chair, and Dr. Judith Rodin, President, The Rockefeller Foundation at the time of its centennial; philanthropists Peter G. Peterson and Joan Ganz Cooney, Agnes Gund, Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman, Peter L. Malkin, Wade F.B. Thompson and Janet and Arthur Ross; preservationists Margot Gayle and Brendan Gill; fashion icon and urban advocate Diane von Furstenberg; and architects I. M. Pei, James Stewart Polshek and Robert A.M. Stern.
Vin Cipolla, president of The Municipal Art Society; David M. Childs, Chairman Emeritus, SOM; Genie Birch, Chair of the MAS Board of Directors; Bruce Ratner, Executive Chairman, Forest City Ratner Companies and 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal honoree; MaryAnne Gilmartin, President & CEO, Forest City Ratner Companies and 2014 Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Medal honoree; Vishaan Chakrabarti, Principal at SHoP Architects; and Gregg Pasquarelli, founding partner of SHoP Architects
Vin Cipolla, Margaret Newman, MAS Executive Director; Gabriel Calatrava, MAS Board; Natalia Gouzi; Celine McDonald, and David M. Childs, Chairman Emeritus, SOM
The evening offered a cocktail reception, award ceremony, dinner and an after-dark party.

The Municipal Art Society is New York's leading organization dedicated to creating a more livable city. For 120 years, MAS-a nonprofit membership organization-has been committed to promoting New York City's economic vitality, cultural vibrancy, environmental sustainability and social diversity. Working to protect the best of New York's existing landscape, from landmarks and historic districts to public open spaces, MAS encourages visionary design, planning and architecture that promote resilience and the livability of New York. For more information, visit
Bruce Ratner and MaryAnne Gilmartin
Julio Peterson, MAS board member; Peter Howard, MAS Emeritus Chariman, and Vin Cipolla
Genie Birch and Paul Beirne, MAS board member
Carl Skelton and wife Vivian Selbo with Peter Marren and his wife Margaret Newman
Jessica Lappin, NYC Council member; Stephen Lefkowitz, Fried Frank Partner; Jon Mechanic; and Ronda Wist, MAS Vice President
Tomas Redner, Celine McDonald, Thomas Wyaux, and Dianne Watson
Paul Aferiat, MaryAnne Gilmartin, Peter Stamberg (Stamberg Aferiat + Associates), and Adam Greene (Forest City Ratner)
David Childs, Bruce Ratner, and Jon Mechanic, Fried Frank Partner
On June 5, 2014, The New York Landmarks Conservancy held its 26th Annual Chairman’s Award Luncheon at The Metropolitan Club. The Conservancy recognized some of those involved with the recent restoration of the Thurgood Marshall U.S. Courthouse: Beyer Blinder Belle, Cauldwell Wingate, Davis Brody Bond, Evergreene Architectural Arts, General Services Administration, Integrated Conservation Resources, Lend Lease, WSP and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs.
U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs, Landmarks Conservancy Chair Lloyd Zuckerberg, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer
The Courthouse, at 40 Centre Street on Foley Square in lower Manhattan, was completed in 1936 to the designs of Cass Gilbert and his son, Cass Gilbert, Jr.  It is in the neoclassical style, with Minnesota granite for the building exterior and glazed terra cotta for the pyramid and lantern.  The Courthouse is a designated New York City landmark and on the National Register of Historic Places.  Despite its significance, it suffered from decades of inattention and insensitive modifications.  But last year, the Courthouse emerged from a comprehensive ten-year, $314 million renovation.

 “This magnificent restoration brings back an extraordinary landmark Courthouse honoring citizens, the judges and the law,” said Peg Breen, President of The New York Landmarks Conservancy.  “We are pleased to honor so many of the firms and people involved in this lengthy and painstaking transformation.” 
Helen Post Curry, Great Granddaughter of Cass Gilbert (architect) and U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs
Denise Pease, GSA Regional Administrator
Glenn Boornazian - Integrated Conservation Resources, President
Bill Paxson - Davis Brody Bond, Partner
The Conservancy’s singular mission for more than four decades has been the protection of New York’s built environment, from the iconic buildings that define the City’s spectacular skyline to the diverse neighborhoods where New Yorkers live, work and play.

The Thurgood Marshall U.S Courthouse is owned by the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).  Beyer Blinder Belle served as architects for the renovation and Davis Brody Bond as associate architects.  The engineering firm was WSP, the general contractor Cauldwell Wingate and the construction manager Lend Lease.  Integrated Conservation Resources served as materials conservation consultants.  Evergreene Architectural Arts produced interior finishes.  U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Dennis Jacobs presided as chief judge during the renovation.
Preston Roberts - Lend Lease, Project Engineer
Jim Standish - WSP, Senior Vice President
Jeff Greene - EverGreene Architechtural Arts, President & Founder
The New York Landmarks Conservancy has led the effort to preserve and protect New York City’s architectural legacy for more than 40 years.  Since its founding, the Landmarks Conservancy has loaned and granted more than $40 million, which has leveraged more than $1 billion in 1,550 restoration projects throughout New York, revitalizing communities, providing economic stimulus and supporting local jobs.  The Conservancy has also provided countless hours of pro bono technical assistance to building owners, both nonprofit organizations and individuals.  The Conservancy’s work has saved more than a thousand buildings across the City and State.  For more information, please visit
Steven F. Jureller - Cauldwell Wingate, Chief Operating Officer
Larry Gutterman - Beyer Blinder Belle, Senior Architect & Project Manager
Photographs by Shahar Azran (Apollo); & Sandra Hamburg (Glass House)