|El Museo del Barrio's sold out annual spring Gala was held on Thursday, May 14th at The Plaza Hotel. Board member Yolanda Santos was presented with the Joseph A. Unanue Trustee Leadership Award by long-time friend Marifé Hernández; Senior Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at Time Warner Inc., Lisa Garcia Quiroz, received the Corporate Excellence in the Arts Awards presented by Lin-Manuel Miranda; and the Founder and President of Fundación Jumex Arte Contemporáneo, Eugenio López Alonso, was honored with the Excellence in the Arts Award presented by Jane Holzer.
Christofle again generously donated the three silver awards for the Gala. Cocktails, including specialty tequila concoctions, began at 7pm in the Terrace Room. Dinner and dancing to music by Avenida B followed at 8pm in the Grand Ballroom. This year's Gala borrowed its aesthetic themes from El Museo´s current exhibition, which explores the work and legacy of Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa. The event was designed by Jeronimo Gaxiola and featured a multidisciplinary performance by Erika Harrsch in collaboration with singer Magos Herrera. An emotional appeal was led by Sotheby's Gabriela Palmieri. The Gala raised $1 million dollars for the museum.
|Maria Eugenia Maury who, with her husband William A. Haseltine, chaired the Gala. Maria Eugenia wore a Giorgio Armani, black label black satin evening gown with Swarovski crystal embroidery applique and a Prive black fishnet mantilla with giant black patent paillettes.
The Young Gala Committee Chairs included Jamie Diamond, Karla Farach de Athanasopoulos, Jessica Garza-Bueron, Karina Palma, Jana Pasquel de Shapiro, and Leticia Pittman Presutti.
The Honorary Committee included Pedro Almodóvar, Miguel Bosé, Maria Cornejo, Ambassador Sandra Fuentes (Consul General of Mexico), Erika Harrsch, Magos Herrera, Ambassador and Mrs. Jorge Montaño (Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations), Dascha Polanco, Candy Pratts Price, Narciso Rodriguez, Andres Serrano, Maricruz and Ray Smith, Isabel and Ruben Toledo, and Iké Udé.
|El Museo del Barrio, the nation's leading Latin American museum, is known for its wide-ranging collections, groundbreaking exhibitions, complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs.
This spring the museum showcases Mexican art and culture in grand cinematic style. The central event of this celebration is the exhibition "UNDER THE MEXICAN SKY: Gabriel Figueroa—Art and Film," which explores the work and legacy of Mexican cinematographer, Gabriel Figueroa, one of the most renowned cinematographers of the 20th Century. Figueroa worked both in Mexico and Hollywood during the Golden Age of Cinema and built an enduring image of Mexico though his visionary style. El Museo's Spring Gala borrowed its aesthetic themes from the exhibition, which is on view now through June 27, 2015.
|The Gala was Black Tie. Inspired by Figueroa's black and white work, ladies were asked to dress in black and white with gloves and veils. The Official Milliner of the Gala was hat designer Patricia Underwood, who has designed numerous veils and custom-order veils for ladies the Gala. Patricia designed a special veil for actress Dascha Polanco, whose gown was by Badgley Mischka.
The Gala is El Museo's single most important fundraising event of the year. This event brought together luminaries from the worlds of fashion, entertainment, business, society, politics, and the arts. Each year it raises essential support for the Museum's critically acclaimed exhibitions and valued public and educational programs. Funds raised at the Gala enable El Museo to continue their important work and keep expanding the scope of their reach.
| Guests dined on an heirloom tomato and burrata salad with mozzarella mousse, followed by grilled filet mignon with Dancing Ewe's blue potato gratin, morel ragout, asparagus, English peas, and caramelized onions, and a dessert of 5 texture chocolate cake, devils food cake with milk chocolate mousse and chocolate Macaroon, and mango frozen soufflé with passion fruit broth, seasoned fresh fruit salad, and vanilla pink peppercorn "pocky."
Guests attending included Luis Medina Abascal (Grandee of Spain, and brand ambassador for Dolce Gabbana), Carolina Alvarez-Mathies, Cheryl Anhava, Tony Bechara, Barbara Berger (Jeweler), Violaine and John Bernbach, Maria Cornejo, Laura and John Desmarais, Valdislav Dornin, Jacqueline Weld Drake, Anita Durst, Ambassador Sandra Fuentes (Consul General of Mexico), Council Member Julissa Ferreras, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos and Paul Kanavos, Ambassador Jorge Montaño (Permanent Representative of Mexico to the United Nations), Enrique Norten, Council Member Annabel Palma, Florence Peyrelongue, Congressman Pedro Pierluisi, Dascha Polanco (Orange Is The New Black), Assembly Member Robert Rodriguez, Rodolfo de Rothschild, Julian Schnabel, Andrew Solomon, Maurice Sonnenberg, Andres Serrano, Jean Shafiroff, Jana Pasquel and Adam Shapiro, Maricruz and Ray Smith, Daisy Soros, Deputy Commissioner Edwin Torres, Adrienne and Gianluigi Vittadini, Carmen Ana Unanue, and many more.
|On Monday, May 4, Fountain House raised over one million dollars at its annual Symposium and Luncheon. Titled "Challenges and Possibilities: New Research on Schizophrenia," the event took place in the Grand Ballroom of The Pierre, where more than 500 guests gathered in support of Fountain House, winner of the 2014 Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Fountain House is the first mental health organization to be honored with this, the world's largest and most prestigious humanitarian award.
The attendees who convened at The Pierre on this afternoon were on hand to learn cutting-edge information, geared to a lay audience, from the frontlines of mental health research, treatment and public policy. The panel, comprising three preeminent physicians in the field of schizophrenia, illuminated not only the challenges of living with this serious mental illness but also the possibilities for recovery.
|The distinguished panelists were: Nancy C. Andreasen, MD, PhD, a recipient of the President's National Medal of Science, who is Andrew H. Woods Chair of Psychiatry and Director of the Iowa Neuroimaging Consortium at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine; John M. Kane, MD, Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health Services at the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Professor and Chairman of Psychiatry at the Hofstra North Shore-LIJ School of Medicine, who directs the Advanced Center for Interventions and Services Research in Schizophrenia at the Zucker Hillside Hospital; and Peter J. Weiden, MD, Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Illinois Medical Center in Chicago and Chief Medical Officer of Uptown Research, Inc., whose research has focused on bridging psychopharmacology and public health in the treatment of schizophrenia. Consuelo Mack, Managing Editor and Anchor of Consuelo Mack WealthTrack, was the engaging and engaged master of ceremonies.|
|Hawley Hilton McAuliffe, Director of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, graciously addressed the assembled guests. In announcing the recipient of the 2014 Hilton Prize last July, the Foundation cited Fountain House/Clubhouse International as a "pioneering organization that has created a proven model to help those suffering from mental illness reclaim their lives and realize their potential through work and the support of a caring community."
Fountain House, founded in 1948 in New York City, has inspired the creation of hundreds of similar programs in 32 countries that serve more than 100,000 people annually. And each year, more than 1,300 members come to Fountain House's home base on West 47th Street to contribute their talents, learn new skills, access opportunities and forge friendships.
|Fountain House member Betty Eastland candidly and movingly spoke to the gathering about the struggles she had faced on her journey to recovery from mental illness. Her eloquent personal account brought the energy in the room to an exhilarating and inspiring high.
The Fountain House Symposium and Luncheon was founded by Lorna Hyde Graev and Lynn Nicholas, PsyD, to advance community knowledge about mental illness and to reduce the associated stigma. Funds raised support Fountain House's innovative programs in areas including employment, education, housing, and wellness.
The dedicated Chairs who worked tirelessly to ensure this event's success were: Patricia Begley, Kitty de Chazal, Alexandra A. Herzan, Podie Lynch, Carolyn B. MacKenzie, Anne Mai, and Ilyse Wilpon. Camille Tibaldeo served as Program Chair.
To learn more about Fountain House, visit: www.fountainhouse.org.
|World-renowned researcher and National Institute on Drug Abuse Director Nora Volkow, MD, joined author and journalist Ana Marie Cox on April 29th at the Gray Matters at Columbia Spring Benefit Luncheon at The Plaza Hotel. The nearly 400 guests surpassed last year's fundraising effort, raising $590,000.
Each year, Gray Matters at Columbia honors an individual who has made significant contributions to promote brain research on mental illness. Dr. Volkow pioneered the use of brain imaging to investigate the toxic effects and addictive properties of drugs of abuse. Ms. Cox, who was this year's special guest speaker spoke movingly about the struggles of addiction and inspired the audience with her touching remarks. Past honorees at the Spring Benefit Luncheon include Glenn Close, Andrew Solomon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Congressman Patrick Kennedy, Paula Zahn, Anne Ford and Jane Pauley.
|Jeffrey Lieberman, MD, chairman of psychiatry at Columbia University Medical Center, noted, "Research continues to be critical in advancing the development of life-saving treatments for psychiatric disorders. Support from families and committed citizens is more important than ever given the economic pressures and reductions in funding that researchers face."
Funds raised by the luncheon support research fellowships to help young scientists pursuing brain research to help solve the mystery of serious mental illnesses like schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, depression and autism. The chosen fellows benefit from the multidisciplinary expertise of a peerless team of clinicians and scientists that includes two Nobel laureates.
|The 2014-15 Gray Matters Fellows are Guillermo Horga, MD (Schizophrenia), Kathleen Taylor, PhD (Schizophrenia), Sander Markx, MD (Autism, Schizophrenia), Diana Martinez, MD (Addiction), Marisa Spann, PhD, MPH (Prenatal Epidemiology, Infant Brain and Cognition, Early Childhood Mental Health).
Columbia University Medical Center provides international leadership in pre-clinical and clinical research, in medical and health sciences education, and in patient care. The medical center trains future leaders and includes the dedicated work of many physicians, scientists, nurses, dentists, and public health professionals at the College of Physicians & Surgeons, the College of Dental Medicine, the School of Nursing, the Mailman School of Public Health, the biomedical departments of the Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, and allied research centers and institutions. For more information, visit www.cumc.columia.edu.
|Empowers Africa, a non-profit foundation based in the United States that supports programs on the ground in Sub-saharan Africa, held its annual gala dinner at The Explorers Club. The event raised over $150,000 for human empowerment and wildlife protection in Africa. Master of Ceremonies for the evening was Richard Wiese, Host and Producer of ABC series "Born to Explore". The Auctioneer was Eliza Osborne, Executive Director at the Centre Pompidou Foundation. Guests included: Beth Rudin DeWoody, Dennis Basso, Nina Griscom, Chris Mack, Jenny Kennedy, Sandra Ripert and Jennifer Creel.|
|The organization is honored Global Witness and its co-founding Directors Patrick Alley, Charmian Gooch & Simon Taylor — winners of the 2014 Ted Prize and the 2014 Skoll Award for Social Entrepreneurship. Global Witness. Their work includes investigating and documenting environmental crimes depicted in 2006 blockbuster Blood Diamond and the 2015 Academy Award Nominee for Best Documentary Feature Virunga. 100% of the proceeds from the event will be granted to wildlife protection and human empowerment projects in Africa.
Empowers Africa is a 501(c)(3) that focuses on funding programs in communities that surround protected conservation and wildlife areas or World Heritage sites; programs in urban communities where tourism is a strong source of development; and programs that support the protection of wildlife and land conservation. Visit the organization's website at www.empowersafrica.org.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan (El Museo); Eve Vagg/Bruce Gilbert (Grey Matters); Annie Watt (Empowers Africa).|