|Last Wednesday, May 20th, American Friends of the Louvre's Young Patrons Circle hosted its annual spring gala at the exquisite Lotos Club. This year's theme, La Belle Epoque, celebrated the birth of the modern Louvre. The turn of the 20th century marked a critical time in the development of the Louvre as the global cultural institution that it is today. The proceeds of the evening support American Friends of the Louvre and its efforts to make the Louvre's collections and exhibitions more widely accessible to art lovers in the U.S. and around the world.
Guests enjoyed drinks and canapés before being seated in the elegant Library for a delectable 3-course menu. Sue Devine, Executive Director of American Friends of the Louvre, welcomed 60 dinner guests and highlighted some of the Louvre's impressive upcoming projects and loans in the United States, such as exhibitions at the Kimbell Art Museum, Getty Museum and the National Gallery of Art.
|After dinner, approximately 100 more Francophiles and young philanthropists joined the festivities for a cocktail soirée in the club's dazzling ballroom. DJ NatDodge energized guests with the evening's lively soundtrack. Guests indulged in competitive but friendly bidding during the silent auction, which featured the opportunity to jet set with Air France along with a carry-on by Victorinox Swiss Army. Boutique luxury items from Assouline, Baccarat, Baume & Mercier, Brown Taher, Christofle, Copious Row, Isharya, Perrin Paris, as well as a custom-made evening gown by Vionnet were hot ticket items. Experiential opportunities courtesy of American Friends of the Louvre, French Institute Alliance Française, GLAMSQUAD, and Maggie Norris Couture were also attention-grabbers. Opportunities to tickle the palate were available for bidding from Château de Reignac and Financier Patisserie. Guests departed the event with exclusive gift bags generously donated by Clarins. The evening concluded with a surprise concert by baritone David Kelleher-Flight accompanied by pianist and YPC member Harry Mackenzie Inglis.|
|Among the sophisticated crowd, notable guests included: Marie-Gabrielle Arco, Emir Bahadir, Annika Connor, Denalda Cupa and Ardit Hamataj, Tiffany Frasier, Kristofer Ghadry, Catherine Malandrino, Chad Mims, Michael Tisch, Nathaniel Wertheimer and Guy Wood.
Council members of Young Patrons Circle Advisory Council are Liddy Berman, David Chines, Daniel Colón, Jr., Jennifer A. Cuminale, H.I.H. Prince Napoléon, Meghan Thrash and Curtis Young.
The Gala Committee includes Noreen K. Ahmad, Countess Olympia Arco, Renna Brown-Taher, Rodolfo de Rothschild, Lin Gao, David V. Griffin, Miranda Guo, Harry Mackenzie Inglis of Glencorse, Astrid T. Hill, Susi Kenna, Tracey Langfitt, Christopher M. Laconi, Colleen Ritzau Leth, Charlie Manzo, Thomas E. Moore III, Christina Pacetti, Elizabeth Pantaleo, Arielle Patrick, Scotlan Ryan, Patti Ruiz-Healy, Gina Safdar, Jared Seligman, Lacary Edward Sharpe, Savannah Smith, Rebecca Taylor, Laura Waelbroeck, and M.B. Whitney.
|American Friends of the Louvre (AFL) has entered its second decade as an important support organization in the United States for the Louvre Museum. Through the generosity of individuals, foundations and corporations, AFL has supported a variety of worthy projects at the Louvre, including educational tools for English-speaking visitors, gallery restorations, conservation of works of art, exhibitions and related publications, acquisitions and contemporary art programs. Through its partnership with the Louvre, AFL raises awareness of the museum's collections and scholarly expertise and helps makes its vast resources more accessible in the U.S. and around the world.
Through special fundraising events and activities in New York City, the Young Patrons Circle supports AFL's mission to raise awareness for the Louvre's collections and museum expertise. Now in its sixth year, the Young Patrons Circle's annual benefit has become a prime example of Franco-American support for the Louvre Museum.
| Also on Wednesday, May 20th, The Central Park Conservancy hosted its Playground Partners Annual Family Party in Central Park's Heckscher Playground at 62nd Street. This is the only event of the year held inside a Central Park playground, offering a special opportunity for New York City families. The party raised $400,000.
Guests enjoyed storytelling and crafts with Eloise at The Plaza, music of The Little Gym, performed by Randy McCoy, a puppet show by Bank Street Book Store, cupcake decorating by Sprinkles Cupcakes, a soccer relay by Super Soccer Stars and Kick & Play, Bulldog Ball Club fast pitch, chess games and demonstrations by Chess at Three, Spin Art by Craft Studio, slam dunk with Dribbl Basketball, tennis games by Hampton Racquet Tennis, a magic show by Magic Al, performances by Sammie and Tudie, and much more.
This year's Party Co-Chairmen were Shirin Christoffersen, Ranika Cohen, Kimberly Klimzack, Lara Marcon, and Michelle Mara and Grandparents Committee Chairman was Gail Golden Icahn. They were joined by Playground Partners Co-Chairmen Paige Hardy and Sarah Kurita, and Women's Committee President Karen T. May.
Proceeds from the Family Party support Playground Partners and its mission to keep Central Park's 21 playgrounds safe, clean and well-maintained.
|The Benefit Committee and guests included: Arthur Wayne, Kristy & Jonathan Korngold, Tracey Huff Eleanora Kennedy, Gillian Miniter, Cena Jackson, Jane Bloomingdale de Cisneros, Karen LeFrak, Nanar & Tony Yoseloff, Kamie Lightburn, Amy and Jeff Tarr, Shana Gary, Amanda Waldron, Virginia Apple, Nancy & Dan Paduano, Jennie Tarr-Coyne, Michele Felsher, and Nyssa Kourakos.
The mission of Central Park Conservancy, a nonprofit organization founded in 1980, is to restore, manage, and enhance Central Park in partnership with the public, for the enjoyment of all. Central Park Conservancy raises 75% of the annual budget essential to keeping Central Park beautiful.
|The mission of Central Park Playground Partners is to maintain the quality and cleanliness of Central Park's 21 playgrounds. The funds they raise go directly towards the preservation, care, and daily inspection of these play spaces. For more information on the Playground Partners, visit www.centralparknyc.org/playgroundpartners.|
|On Tuesday, May 19th at the Four Seasons Restaurant, Hope for Depression Research Foundation (HDRF) held its Inaugural Chairman's Council Dinner to honor its top donors.
The dinner for 50 was hosted by HDRF Chair Audrey Gruss and co-chaired by William Flaherty, Susan Lloyd and Scott Snyder. A unique aspect of this event was that a leading psychiatrist or neuroscientist headed each table, and guests engaged them with interesting questions about depression and its related mind-brain issues. An ongoing major benefit of Chairman's Council membership is that each member is given insider access to the acclaimed doctors and researchers affiliated with HDRF.
|The entire private room adjacent to the iconic Pool Room was draped floor to ceiling in silver grey curtains. The organization's signature colors of grey and yellow seemed to float within the space, with tables covered in grey silk and stunning yellow rose centerpieces. The elegant environment was designed by co-chair Scott Snyder.
The program consisted of a welcome by Audrey Gruss followed by an introduction of the doctors by HDRF Executive Director Louisa Benton. A five-minute video gave the audience an overview of the breakthrough research of the Depression Task Force (DTF) that HDRF created in 2010. The DTF is a unique collaboration of seven world-renowned brain scientists who share ongoing research at the HDRF Data Center. Dr. Eric Nestler, a world figure in molecular psychiatry and a member of the DTF, spoke briefly about new research developments, including three new gene areas and three potential new medications and clinical trials. HDRF is the most advanced non-profit organization focused solely on depression research in the country today.
|At the end of the evening, each departing guest received a box of HDRF custom M&Ms in bright yellow.
Attendees included: Jim Aman, Gigi and Harry Benson, Bonnie Pfeifer Evans, Martin Gruss, Kim Heirston, Kristen and Charles Krusen, Maggie Norris, Thomas Quick, Diana Quasha, Hilary and Wilbur Ross, and Hunt Slonem.
|Audrey Gruss created the organization in 2006 in memory of her mother Hope, who struggled with clinical depression. The mission of HDRF is to fund cutting-edge, neuroscience research into the origins, diagnosis, treatment and prevention of depression and other mood disorders – bipolar disorder, postpartum depression, post-traumatic stress syndrome, anxiety disorder and suicide. In 2010, HDRF launched its Depression Task Force (DTF) – an outstanding collaboration of seven leading scientists, at the frontiers of brain science, from different research institutions across the U.S. and Canada. These scientists have developed an unprecedented research strategy that integrates the most advanced knowledge in genetics, epigenetics, molecular biology, electrophysiology, and brain imaging. To accelerate breakthrough research, they share ongoing results, in real time, at the new HDRF Data Center. For more information, visit: www.hopefordepression.org|
|On Monday, May 18th, the Jewish Museum held its 22nd annual Most Amazing New York Art & Design Tour. The event attracted over 200 attendees who enjoyed an exhibition viewing and breakfast at the Museum, at Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, followed by self-guided tours of magnificent private art collections in some of New York's most spectacular East Side residences. Nazee Moinian and Emily Blavatnik were the 2015 Art & Design Tour co-chairs. This event raised a record $350,000, and the proceeds benefit the Jewish Museum.
|On Tuesday, May 19th, One To World honored four outstanding global leaders at its 25th Annual Fulbright Awards Dinner, held at the Waldorf-Astoria on Tuesday, May 19th. This event supports One To World's work to create cross-cultural understanding and a more peaceful world through education and community, in the spirit of the late Senator J. William Fulbright.
The Honorees were:
Chancellor James B. Milliken, a national leader in global education who became Chancellor of The City University of New York in 2014 after a decade as president of the University of Nebraska;
Alan J. Pomerantz, Vice Chairman of the Kimberlite Group, senior counsel with Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP, Fulbright Scholar to Chile, and university lecturer on U.S. Constitutional Law;
Ambassador Kenneth D. Taylor, who served as the Canadian ambassador to Iran during the 1979-80 hostage crisis, orchestrating the rescue of six American diplomats stranded in Tehran. His heroism is the true Argo story; and
Dr. Patricia Taylor, a former Fulbright travel grantee whose internationally recognized work as a microbiologist has made significant contributions in the field of epidemiology including research on HIV and Hepatitis B and C.
Harriet Mayor Fulbright served as Honorary Chair of the event. Susan Carmel Lehrman served as Global Underwriter, providing support that helped make the evening the most successful in One To World's history.
|Event Co-Chairs were One To World Board Chair Wenke Thoman Sterns, Managing Director of Industrial Mineral Holdings; J. Frank Brown, Managing Director and COO of General Atlantic; Marc Ganz, Principal, International Tax Services of Ernst & Young; and Jennifer Raab, President of Hunter College.
A number of former Honorees were present at the event, where the creation of a new Honoree Circle was announced to recognize those who have received One To World Fulbright Awards over the past 25 years. Past honorees attending included Sherry Mueller, Jean Karoubi, Mariam Assefa, Robert Schweich, Harriet Fulbright, and Susan Lehrman.
|Awards were presented by current Fulbrighters studying at universities in the New York Area: Fernanda Andre from Mozambique, who is completing a Master's degree in Public Health at Montclair State University and plans to bring disease prevention and education methods to developing communities; Daan Bauwens, a journalist from Belgium hosted by City Lore, who is investigating how New York City and its people overcome racial tensions in the hope of applying best practices to his own society; and Berni Moestafa from Indonesia, who is completing a Master's degree in Liberal Studies from the Graduate Center, CUNY, studying political science to better understand the context and impact of U.S. policies.
In her remarks, Honorary Chair Harriet Fulbright spoke of the origins of the Fulbright program of international education exchange. The late Senator J. William Fulbright introduced its founding legislation in 1945, following the devastation of World War II, to make future wars less likely.
|She went on to laud the role One To World plays in furthering this vision. "The positive effects of educational exchange are compounded dramatically by the role of cultural diplomacy—and by that I mean informal, spontaneous contacts between private citizens of two countries such as what occurs between Fulbright scholars and citizens of the host country. This is exactly what organizations such as One To World encourage. Their work to strengthen the positive, productive nature of educational exchanges provides a valuable service to our country, and to the world," she said.
Present at the event were 400 leaders in business, philanthropy and academia, including 150 representatives from 44 colleges and universities whose students benefit from One To World programs. College and university presidents in attendance included Diane Bova Call, Queensborough Community College; Dario A. Cortes, Berkeley College; Scott Evenbeck, Stella and Charles Guttman Community College; William J. Fritz, College of Staten Island; David Gómez, Hostos Community College; Sue Henderson, New Jersey City University; Russel K. Hotzler, New York City College of Technology; Eduardo J. Martí, Bronx Community College; Antonio Pérez, Borough of Manhattan Community College; Jennifer J. Raab, Hunter College; and Jeffrey von Arx, S.J., Fairfield University.
|Photographs by Patrick McMullan; BFA (AFL, CPC Playground); Christine Butler (Jewish Museum)|