|Susan L. Taylor’s recent National CARES Mentoring Movement Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street was hosted by Tamron Hall of MSNBC Live; and Georgetown University Distinguished Professor of Sociology and prolific best-selling author of “Tears We Cannot Stop: A Sermon to White America,” Michael Eric Dyson.
The event raised funds to support critical training and replication of the organization’s transformational in-school program, The Rising, which provides holistic large-scale, trauma-informed mentoring support to entire schools where nation’s most unprotected and harmed population—Black children living in poverty—are struggling to achieve their education despite extreme social and economic disruption.
|The star-studded gala also honored three trailblazing Black men with the National CARES North Star Award — Charles D. King — executive producer of the critically acclaimed film Fences, and Founder and CEO of the firm, MACRO. King was introduced by filmmaker and gala co-chair Crystal McCrary and praised by living legend Cicely Tyson for his dedication to supporting and presenting content that explores the complexity and beauty of African-American, Latino and multicultural lives.
Honoree Russell Simmons was introduced in true hip-hop fashion with freestyle rhymes by Renée Elise Goldsberry, the Tony Award-winning Broadway show Hamilton. Finally, CARES Board Chair Reginald Van Lee presented the North Star Award to honoree Lonnie G. Bunch III—the driving force and founding director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture. Bunch was unable to attend due to illness, but gave remarks via video address.
|Since 2006, National CARES has recruited, trained and connected more than 200,000 caring mentors to local youth-serving programs in 58 U.S. cities from Seattle to San Diego, Boston to Chicago and New York to Atlanta. Funds raised at this year’s gala will directly support these efforts and other programs, including The Rising: Elevating Education, Expectations and Self-Esteem, University for Parents and HBCU Rising, a program that mentors middle-school children in STEM and literacy and prepares college students for career success.
Special guests at the National CARES gala event included: Rev. Jesse Jackson; Rev. Al Sharpton; Danny Glover; Essence Editor in Chief, Vanessa DeLuca; Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem; Bethann Hardison; Hill Harper; Debra Lee and Stephen Hill of BET; Omari Hardwick, Maxwell, Bevy Smith, artist, Kehinde Wiley; author Terry McMillan; journalist Suzanne Malveaux; Attallah Shabazz, eldest daughter of Malcolm X; Jonelle Procope, President and CEO, the Apollo Theater, and many more.
|The program featured a rousing performance of Nina Simone’s Everything Must Change by 15-year old jazz singer Mae-Ya Carter. In addition, Jon Batiste—pianist and musical director for the Late Show with Stephen Colbert—led a “love riot” in honor of Susan L. Taylor’s birthday to close the evening.
For more information about the National CARES Mentoring Movement, please visit: www.caresmentoring.org.
|The Jewish Museum held its 31st Annual Purim Ball at the Park Avenue Armory on Wednesday, February 22, 2017, honoring Chairman Wang Jian and HNA Group, celebrated artist Deborah Kass, and philanthropist Fanya Gottesfeld Heller. Purim Ball 2017 raised in excess of $2.2 million in support of the Museum.
The event began with cocktails at 6:30 pm, and featured a special welcome by Michael R. Bloomberg and a unique Purim pageant of giant puppets created by Great Small Works.
|Dinner for 700 guests followed at 7:30 pm in the Armory’s vast drill hall. Guests dined on fig and rosemary glazed chicken, and fun deserts such as whoopee pies and cinnamon sugar donuts. The colorful décor was created by David Stark Design and Production. The eye-popping 100-foot-wide by 24- foot-tall backdrop was composed of lights and brightly-hued party favors— including traditional Purim noise-makers (groggers), crowns, streamers, paper balls, fans, fish and hamantaschen sculptures, Hebrew letters, and masks. At each place setting, a mask with a self-portrait of honoree Deborah Kass got guests into the Purim spirit. Throughout the evening, Don Byron with Jack Falk performed the music of Mickey Katz.
Fanya Gottesfeld Heller, a long-time Museum trustee, received the Mayer Sulzberger Award, which recognizes individuals for their contributions to the perpetuation of art, culture, and education in the context of the Jewish experience. Claudia Gould, Helen Goldsmith Director of the Jewish Museum, presented an elegant, handcrafted Kiddush cup to Heller, who was accompanied by her great-grandson, Simcha.
Artist Deborah Kass, whose work is in the Museum’s collection, was honored for her outstanding artistic achievements. Kass was introduced by Norman Kleeblatt, Susan and Elihu Rose Chief Curator of the Jewish Museum.
The Purim Ball continued with an After Party until midnight, attended by a multi-generational mix of 400 young revelers and dinner guests, and featured music by DJ Cameron Smalls & Tully. The giant Purim puppets also made an appearance, where they danced and engaged with the crowd of revelers.
|On January 30, 2017, Liza Pulitzer Calhoun and Bob Calhoun hosted a reception at their home in Palm Beach to honor New York School of Interior Design. The college, ranked the #1 program in interior design in the US, graduates its 100th class of designers in May.
A host committee of distinguished designers and connoisseurs of design joined in Liza and Bob in celebrating the college: Geoffrey Bradfield, Mario Buatta, Kim Coleman, Mary Davidson, Leta Austin Foster, Jennifer Garrigues, Mark Gilbertson, Nicole Limbocker, Grace Meigher, Dennis Miller, Muffy Miller, David Ober, Scott Snyder, Percy Steinhart and Roric Tobin.
|Guests included Jodie W. King, Gerry Holbrook, Frances and Kevin Asbacher, Norma P. Ayee, Nellie Benoit, Bruce Bierman, Lars Bolander, Virginia Burke, John D. Corey, Diane de la Begassiere, Ashton de Peyster, Judith Guest, Milan Hughston, Thomas and Carol Kirchhoff, Sofia Maduro, Tom Quick, Renny Reynolds, Frances Scaife, Betsy Shiverick, Jack Staub, Steven Stolman, Carleton Varney, Kenneth Walker, Michel Witmer, Jane Ylvisaker, and Clelia Zacharias.
In remarks thanking his hosts NYSID president David Sprouls, invited guests to the College’s Gala Dinner which will take place this coming Monday at a private club here in New York. The dinner, chaired by Alexa Hampton, Maria Spears and Newell Turner will honor David Kleinberg with the Albert Hadley Lifetime Achievement Award; Charlotte Moss with the NYSID Centennial Medal; Brian Sawyer with the Thomas N. Armstrong III Award in Landscape Design and Paul Scialla, CEO of Delos.
|On February 28th, The Animal Medical Center (AMC) was the toast of the town at the beautiful home of Elizabeth Monaco and Neil M. McCarthy in Wellington, Florida. Georgina Bloomberg was among the nearly 120 guests who enjoyed a lively evening of drinks, hors d’oeuvres and a silent auction with all proceeds benefitting Animal Medical Center’s compassionate Community Funds. Ms. Monaco and Mr. McCarthy, a long-time AMC board member, were instrumental in establishing the AMC to the Rescue Fund. Event co-chairs included: Donna Acquavella, Jenny Dunion, Emilia Fanjul, Alex Hamer, Keith Johnson, Emilia Krimendahl, Elaine Langone, Neil McCarthy, Elizabeth Monaco, Barbara Nitsch, Holly Orlando, Patty Raynes, Glen Senk, John Talley, Lyman T. Whitehead and Cathy Zicherman.|
|The Kravis Center for the Performing Arts rolled out the red carpet for its 25th anniversary with an all-star lineup for its Gala “Night of Stars,” on Saturday, February 11, in Dreyfoos Hall. This season, the Raymond F. Kravis Center for the Performing Arts celebrates a quarter-century on stage. As the Center celebrates its silver anniversary, the Center renews its commitment to the community to present the gold standard of excellence in the performing arts.
500 Gala guests attended a pre-show cocktail reception and a spectacular post-performance dinner dance. The annual benefit was chaired by long-time Kravis Center supporters Monika Preston and Kathryn Vecellio.
|Michael Feinstein hosted the star-studded sold-out performance. The show opened with a surprise tap ensemble by Nouveau Productions followed by organist Cameron Carpenter, Alan Cumming, Darren Criss, Denyce Graves, Neil Sedaka and Storm Large. Movement artists Lil Buck and Jon Boogz seemed to defy gravity with their dance performance, while costumes from famous movies of the past graced the stage in Greg Schreiner’s Hollywood Revisited. Emmy-nominated director Robert Pullen directed the show. Conductors Sam Kriger, Luke Frazier led the Kravis Center Pops Orchestra.
|Gala sponsors included Sondra and David S. Mack; Stephen Brown and Jamie Stern, Lori and Bruce Gendelman, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Henni and John Kessler, Dorothy and Sidney Kohl, Jane M. Mitchell, Monika and John Preston, SBA Communications Corporation, Susan and Dom Telesco, Kathryn and Leo Vecellio; The Breakers Palm Beach, Neiman Marcus Palm Beach, Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein; Dr. Nettie Birnbach, The Miriam and Alec Flamm Charitable Fund, Ingrid and David Kosowsky; Tom and Sherry Barrat, Braman Motorcars, Sherry and Ken Endelson, Diane and Bruce Halle, Harless & Associates, Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, Bonnie and Steven Stern, and Lois Silverman Yashar and Dr. James Yashar. Special support was provided by Tiffany & Co., with media support by Palm Beach Illustrated.|
|Photographs by Terrence Jennings & Bennett Raglin / Getty Images (National CARES); Julie Skarratt (Jewish Museum); Capehart Photography (Kravis Center & NYSID).|