Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Back to Business

Late afternoon cityscape. Photo: JH.
Tuesday, March 5, 2013. Cold, fair weather with the weatherman speculating that tomorrow we may get an edge of a big snow storm coming in from the West. Big maybe.

Sarah Sze.
Donald and Shelley Rubin.
Back to Business, a Night for the Arts. It was a busy one in New York on the charity gala circuit. Down at Three Sixty on 10 Desbrosses Street, the Bronx Museum of the Arts hosted its Spring Gala and Auction – “The Bronx in Venice” – (you had to be there), chaired by Claire Danes and Hugh Dancy, and Laura Blanco and Robert Shainheit were chairs of the evening. Tim Rollins and Dahn Vo were Artist Chairs.

They were honoring the artist Sarah Sze, Wallace Edgecombe, former Director of the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture, and Shelley and Donald Rubin, the co-founders of the Rubin Museum of Art.

We covered the inaugural opening of the Rubin several years ago. The Rubins have been lifelong collectors of the art of the Himalayas and surrounding regions. A number of years ago they decided on another, greater adventure – starting a museum of their art. New Yorkers who share their interest and aesthetic know that it is a great success and has added a new factor to the culture.

I’m familiar with the Bronx Museum, having been introduced to its work by our great late friend Roger Webster who was an early supporter. Perusing the Benefit Committee, and considering the participation of the Rubins, the museum is a force to watch here in New York.

At the same hour, just up West Side Highway at the Chelsea Piers C-Cap was holding its annual Benefit 2013 (Grand Tasting of 40 of New York’s Finest Chefs). I covered this for the first time last year. An enormous room (that can hold a thousand) with scores of tables and booths of the chefs and their chef d’oeuvres. And thousands (well, maybe hundreds) really happy to be there to partake (and partake and partake).

Chef Chair was Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster Harlem. Last year they honored Michael McCarty of Michael’s (which is how I first heard about them). This year it was Tony May, “The Ambassador of Authentic Italian Cuisine.” Chairs for the evening were Clarissa and Edgar Bronfman Jr. Sponsors were Zabar’s, A. L. Stuart Family Office, investments; Nina and Tim Zagat and Ronne and Alan Fisher.
The McCartys at last year's Culinary Arts Program (C-Cap) benefit.
Master of Ceremonies was Maurice DuBois. The charity’s charter is “Careers through Culinary Arts Program.” In short, they raise to support culinary programs for young people (in need) to develop talents for careers. It’s a very successful program and last night among the 40 participating chefs, several were graduates of the programs.

Meanwhile at the same hour up at
the Plaza, Guild Hall of East Hampton was holding its 28th Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards  benefit gala.

This was Arts & Culture Star Time uptown. Honorees were John Alexander, the painter; Walter Isaacson, biographer and editor; Nathan Lane (needs no introduction to all theatre-goers), and Mickey Straus, who with his wife Leila, is a longtime supporter of the work of Guild Hall.

Guild Hall is a serious institution out there in the land of tycoons and billionaires by the sea. It is one of those New York phenomena of being “local” (East End-wise) and yet with a wide range of influence and activity because of men and women like Mr. Straus – who professionally is in the investment business here in New York, and keep the show on the road.
Clockwise from top left: Nathan Lane; John Alexander; Mickey and Leila Straus; Walter Isaacson.
Just to give you an idea of Guild Hall’s stature in the community, last night’s presenters were: Dan Aykroyd, Ken Auletta, Alec Baldwin, Lorne Michaels and Jack O’Brien the award winning Broadway director. Marshall Brickman was emcee.

Because it’s a “local” in the Big Town, the atmosphere at the Plaza last night was very much like a homecoming (summer and weekend-wise) for many of the guests, A lot of these people are longtime neighbors, so the mood was naturally up and en famille. 

Founded 80 years ago, Guild Hall is the Hampton’s year-round visual and performing arts center wholly dedicated to serving the residents, members, families, and artists of the East End. The center offers the community, as well as visitors and tourists, enriching experiences by presenting relevant and meaningful programs and events, working in collaboration with artists, and providing a meeting place for the community. For more information visit www.GuildHall.org
Leslie Kirby, Denver Frederick, Eunice Hong, George Chrisafis, and Amber and James Macedonio.
Catching up:  last Wednesday, following a successful year of Battle of the Bands fundraisers, and after ringing the opening bell at The New York Stock Exchange, the co-founders of Wall Street Rocks distributed $100,000 in aid to Wounded Warrior Project, ReserveAid, Project Hospitality and The Salvation Army of Greater New York at The Sanctuary Hotel in Midtown.

Wall Street Rocks co-founders Leslie Kirby, Peter Carrara, James Macedonio and George Chrisafis thanked Salvation Army Greater New York’s Director of Development and Community Relations Denver Frederick and Business Development Manager Eunice Hong, ReserveAid’s Board of Directors members John Withrow and Gabriel Szerda, and Project Hospitality’s Director of External Relations Father Jack Ryan and Executive Director of the St. George Theatre Doreen Cugno for their tireless work and presented each with a $25,000 donation to kickoff the 2013 year of events planned by the non-profit organization.
Leslie Kirby, George Chrisafis, and James and Amber Macedonio.
John Withrow and Gabriel Szerda.
Wall Street Rocks is a collaboration of employees across the financial, technology and entertainment industries who focus on supporting heroic Americans who serve our nation. From brave soldiers deployed around the world, to first responders who selflessly venture into dangerous emergency situations here at home, these courageous men and women have our backs every day. For more information on the Wall Street Rocks, visit www.wallstreetrocks.org.  
Amber Macedonio, Leslie Kirby, James Macedonio, Doreen Cugno, George Chrisafis, and Jack Ryan.
Also early last week, more than 500 guests raised nearly $700,000 at One Hundred Black Men’s 50th Anniversary Celebration and 33rd annual benefit gala at the Marriott Marquis Grand Ballroom, celebrating Fifty Years of Leadership, Advocacy and Community Service.

They saluted five national civic and business leaders: The Hon. David N. Dinkins, Former New York City Mayor and One Hundred Black Men founder; The Hon. H. Carl McCall, Chairman, Board of Trustees, SUNY and former New York State Comptroller; Kevin Newell, Executive Vice President and Global Chief Brand Officer, McDonald’s Corporation; Vivian Pickard, President of GM Foundation, General Motors Corporation, and James Reynolds, Jr., Chairman & CEO, Loop Capital Markets. Eytone Ruiz, Andrew Lyttle and Tochukwu Agouji were honored as Mentors of the Year.
Tuskegee Airman and OHBM past President Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr., OHBM founder Cyril D. Tyson, Fitzgerald Miller, and Ed Cox.
Hilton O. Smith, Honoree Kevin Newell, Fitzgerald Miller, and Noel Hankin.
Dari Alexander, anchor of Fox 5 News, and David Ushery, anchor of NBC News 4 New York and host of “The Debrief with David Ushery,” served as co-emcees of the Black tie fundraiser that featured a cocktail reception followed by dinner, program and dancing, and a post-awards reception featuring R&B Diva Meli'sa Morgan to end the evening.

OHBM President Fitzgerald Miller welcomed the several hundred guests to the VIP reception including Congressman Gregory Meeks;  New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli; New York City Comptroller John Liu;  Former New York City Comptroller William Thompson; 100 Black Men of America Chairman Emeritus Thomas Dortch; 100 Black Men of America Chairman Curley Dossman, Jr. and immediate Past President and Chairman Emeritus Albert Dotson, Jr.; President and CEO of the New York Urban League (NYUL) Arva Rice; former Empire Blue Cross Blue Shield President Mark Wagar; New York State Senators Eric Adams and Ruth Hassell-Thompson; CEO and President of United Way of NYC Sheena Wright; ESSENCE Editor Emerita Susan L. Taylor; Tuskegee Airman and OHBM Past President Dr. Roscoe C. Brown, Jr.; Medgar Evers College President Dr. William Pollard; students from the Eagle Academy for Young Men;  President of the Academy Foundation and founding principal of the Eagle Academy, David Banks, Esq.; Eagle Academy Special Assistant Yvette Crespo, benefit committee member and OHBM immediate past President Philip Banks, Jr.; Hazel Dukes, President, NY State NAACP Conference; and former MTA Board member James Harding, Jr.
Gala co-chair Michael J. Garner, Honoree James Reynolds Jr., and Fitzgerald Miller.
One Hundred Black Men, Inc. of New York City was founded in 1963 when a group of successful African-American men came together to pool their resources to positively impact the Black community. One Hundred Black Men, Inc.’s service projects focus on mentoring, education, health and wellness, and economic development.  A celebrated example is the establishment of The Eagle Academy for Young Men in the Bronx, a public school with a focus on academic excellence, leadership and character development and more recently, Eagle Academies have opened in Brooklyn, Queens and Newark, NJ.

For more information or to support the programs of the organization, log on to www.ohbm.org.
Meli'sa Morgan and Mrs. and Mrs. Paul Williams Jr.
Darwin M. Davis, News 4 New York Anchor David Ushery, and Lloyd Williams.
ESSENCE Magazine E-I-C Emerita Susan L. Taylor, Thomas Dortch, Curley Dossman, Jr., Honoree and President of GM Foundation, Vivian Pickard; OHBM Past President and Chair Emeritus Albert Dotson Jr.
Vivian Pickard and friends.
OHBM President Fitzgerald Miller and Mark Wagar. Mayor David N. Dinks (Honoree), NY State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, and H. Carl McCall.
Congressman Charles Rangel.
H. Carl McCall and daughter Marci McCall.

Contact DPC here.