Friendship and Impact through the Arts and Science

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Lining up outside the Guggenheim. Photo: JH.

Tuesday, June 11, 2024. Another beautiful late Spring day in New York with lots of sunshine and temps in the low 80s; plus those astounding masses of clouds moving slow across the bright blue skies.

This time of year is when the pace of socially philanthropical events slow to a standstill as we enter the summer months. It used to be, not long ago, when the annual New York Botanical Garden’s Conservatory Ball marked the end of the season on the New York social calendar. 

Always held in the first week of June, for many who attended it was regarded as the end of the season. And the beginning of summer life.

Guests during the cocktail reception at The New York Botanical Garden’s annual Conservatory Ball.

I knew quite a few who attended this lovely event in the midst of Mother Nature; and at the end of the evening, often went directly, or the following day, to the Hamptons and elsewhere. That remains true for some, but the social calendar has changed also. This is the result of the flourishing of activities addressing the needs of our community. 

Social activities in this day and age are involvement in helping others in the community. By the end this month, one’s natural focus is on “cooler” environments (like the beach). 

So goes the madding crowds of metropolitan life in New York; a rest for the weary (who can afford it). Although as you may know or imagine, all the crowds can get “madding” as the Summer temperatures rise. People need and want to take a break. And who can blame us/them?

This year’s Conservatory Ball celebrated its summer exhibition, Wonderland: Curious Nature, inspired by the classic story of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There.

Meanwhile, we’ve still got more — two very important recent events to register for the end of this season. And impressive. Firstly:

The Council for Canadian American Relations (CCAR) hosted its Gala 2024 at a black-tie dinner in New York City on May 14th. 300 guests attended from across the United States and Canada.

The Awards for Distinguished Contributions to the Arts in Canada and the United States were presented to artist Stan Douglas, and architect Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA.

Rob Sobey, Chair of the Sobey Art Foundation, received the Council’s Arts Leadership Award. Pamela J. Joyner, Founding Partner of Avid Partners LLC, received the Arts Patronage Award.

Distinguished Contributions to the Arts Award recipients Annabelle Selldorf and Stan Douglas.

A Special Tribute was presented to Margaret Atwood.

Tom Clark, Consul General of Canada in New York served as host for the evening. Award Presenters were: Glenn D. Lowry, Director of The Museum of Modern Art; Michael J. Audain, arts leader and supporter; Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America; and David Zwirner, art dealer and founder of David Zwirner Gallery.

Gala leadership included Agnes Gund, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, ONEX, and RBC and the National Gallery of Canada Foundation. Dinner Chairs were Judy Ney and Jay Smith.

Guests included cross-border leaders in the fields of arts and culture, business, philanthropy and government.

Among them: Stéphane Aquin, Director, Montreal Museum of Fine Arts; Jean-François Bélisle, Director and CEO, National Gallery of Canada; Melissa Chiu, Director, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden; Christopher Deacon, President & CEO, National Arts Centre, Ottawa; artist Marcel Dzama; Alissa Friedman, Senior Director, Stephen Friedman Gallery; Denise Gardner, Chair, Art Institute of Chicago; performance artist and sculptor Miles Greenberg; Stephan Jost, Director and CEO, Art Gallery of Ontario; Bobby Le Blanc, CEO, ONEX; Chicago-based artist Faheem Majeed; Cree artist Kent Monkman; Sarah Moore Fillmore, CEO Art Gallery of Nova Scotia; Japanese artist Mariko Mori; Brian Porter, Principal, Two Row Architect; Donald Schmitt, Principal, Diamond Schmitt Architects; art collector Jay Smith; Sasha Suda, George D. Widener Director & CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art; Brazilian artist Tadáskía; and Matthew Teitelbaum, Director, MFA Boston.

2. Pamela J. Joyner, Glenn D. Lowry
Pamela J. Joyner and Glenn D. Lowry.

Current and RET diplomats included: David L. Cohen, United States ambassador to Canada; The Honourable Bob Rae, Ambassador and Permanent Representative of Canada to the United Nations; Tom Clark, Consul General of Canada in New York; Elizabeth Dowdeswell, former Lieutenant Governor of Ontario; Bruce Heyman, former Ambassador of the United States to Canada; David MacNaughton, former Ambassador of Canada to the United States; The Honourable Bill Morneau, former Canadian Minister of Finance; Phyllis Yaffe, former Consul General of Canada in New York; and Catherine Loubier, former Quebec Delegate General in New York.

The evening celebrated CCAR’s legacy in fostering cross-border “Friendship and Impact Through the Arts,” including its Cross-Border Student Scholarship Program, which provides support to young Canadians training at US cultural institutions and to young Americans training at arts institutions in Canada, as well as future plans for cultural collaboration and exchanges between the two countries. A portion of the funds raised were provided to cultural organizations selected by honorees.

Earlier in the day, CCAR presented “Art With A Conscience: Beyond Architecture” with curator Bridget Colman, artist Faheem Majeed, and architects Brian Porter and Annabelle Selldorf, FAIA, at The Museum of Modern Art | MoMA. The program explored issues and impact in the arts.

3. Michael J. Audain, Rob Sobey.JPG
Michael J. Audain and Rob Sobey.

Since its creation in 1972, originally as American Friends of Canada, by David Rockefeller and the late Prime Minister of Canada, The Right Honourable Pierre Elliott Trudeau, the Council has initiated programs and activities devoted exclusively in support of arts and cultural institutions functioning in and between Canada and the United States. CCAR’s donations program beneficiaries include more than 250 cultural organizations ranging in scope. Grantees have ranged from the Art Gallery of Ontario to MoMA, the Canadian Opera Company to The Metropolitan Opera, and many more.

For more information about CCAR, visit

5. Ambassador Bob Rae, Ambassador David L. Cohen, Rob Sobey, Consul General Tom Clark, David W. Binet
Ambassador Bob Rae, Ambassador David L. Cohen, Rob Sobey, Consul General Tom Clark, and David W. Binet.
L. to r.: Pamela J. Joyner, Fred Giuffrida, and Denise Gardner; Alissa Friedman and Victoria Jackman.
6. David Zwirner, Annabelle Selldorf, Glenn D. Lowry, Stan Douglas
David Zwirner, Annabelle Selldorf, Glenn D. Lowry, and Stan Douglas.
7. Melissa Chiu, Mariko Mori, Carol Appel
Melissa Chiu, Mariko Mori, and Carol Appel.
8. Museum Directors.JPG
Top L-R: Melissa Chiu, Stephan Jost, Sasha Suda, Nicholas Bell, Sarah Fillmore, and Jean-François Bélisle. Bottom L-R: Matthew Teitelbaum, Glenn D. Lowry, Stéphane Aquin, Jessica Morgan, and Gaëtane Verna.
9. Tadáskía, Pamela J. Joyner
Tadáskía and Pamela J. Joyner.
10. Consul General Tom Clark, Gail O'Brien
Consul General Tom Clark and Gail O’Brien.
12. Jay Smith, Judy Ney
Jay Smith and  Judy Ney.
13. Miles Greenberg, Stephan Jost, Ambassador Rae, Judy Matthews
Miles Greenberg, Stephan Jost, Ambassador Rae, and Judy Matthews.
14. Pierre Lassonde, Michael J. Audain; Rosamond Ivey, Sarah Evans, Ann Bowman
L. to r.: Pierre Lassonde and Michael J. Audain; Rosamond Ivey, Sarah Evans, and Ann Bowman.
16. Kent Monkman, Laurent Bergeron, Marianne Tesler, Lancy Lan Shi, James Burn.JPG
Kent Monkman, Laurent Bergeron, Marianne Tesler, Lancy Lan Shi, and James Burn.
17. Barry Campbell, Michelle Koerner, Nancy McCain
Barry Campbell, Michelle Koerner, and Nancy McCain.
18. Bobby and Jill Le Blanc, Amir Motamedi
Bobby and Jill Le Blanc, with Amir Motamedi.

Catching up — last May 14th, The Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine held its 70th Spirit of Achievement Awards Luncheon at the Rainbow Room.

This annual “Women Funding Science” event recognizes notable achievements in the arts, philanthropy, and medicine to raise funds for comprehensive health care through cutting-edge research that changes the course of human health.

This year’s honorees included Carol Einiger, a Trustee of Albert Einstein College of Medicine for the Leadership Award; Betsy Herold, MD, Harold and Muriel Block Chair in Pediatrics, Vice Chair for Research in the Department of Pediatrics, Chief of the Division of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, and Director of the Translational Prevention Research Center for the Award for Scientific Advancement; and American Contemporary Artist Deborah Kass for the Trailblazer Award.

JS_072 Carol Einiger, Ruth Gottesman, Deborah Kass
Carol Einiger, Ruth Gottesman, and Deborah Kass.

History: This amazing awards began as a mother-daughter luncheon honoring Marlene Dietrich and her daughter Maria Riva in 1954.

It was the very first “benefit luncheon” in Manhattan. It is now considered a power-house luncheon for women in all fields, from the arts, theatre, fashion and music to journalism and medicine.

Past honorees with the Spirit Luncheon is unparalleled and includes Eleanor Roosevelt, Meryl Streep, Barbara Walters, Sharon Stone, Christine Baranski, Anne Bancroft, Jane Pauley, Gloria Steinem, Twyla Tharp, Candice Bergen, Barbara Corcoran, Hoda Kotb, Cynthia Nixon, Whoopi Goldberg, Cindy Crawford, Katie Couric, Vera Wang, Iris Apfel, Shirley MacLaine, Elsa Peretti, Joyce Carol Oats, Diane von Furstenberg, Patricia Field, Susan Lucci, Glenn Close, Diane Sawyer, Nora Ephron, Evelyn Lauder, Jill Martin, Donna Karan and many others.

R_115 Terri Goldberg, Trudy Schlachter
Terri Goldberg and Trudy Schlachter.

The dedicated members of the Women’s Division of Albert Einstein College of Medicine are a driving force in aiding medical research and education for the development of innovative treatments and cures for life-threatening conditions.

This year’s event was attended by nearly 250 supporters and hosted by Co-Presidents of the Women’s Division Terri Goldberg and Trudy Schlachter, and Luncheon Chairs Carol Roaman and Andrea Stark.

Since its inception, the Women’s Division has raised more than $100 million and has established: a Wing for Prenatal Studies and Research in Birth Defects, a Clinical Research Institute for Child Development, and funded major research in immunodiagnosis and immunotherapy in cancer.

Ruth Gottesman and Carol Einiger.
R_172 Andrea Stark
Andrea Stark.

Albert Einstein College of Medicine is one of the nation’s premier centers for research, medical education, and clinical investigation.

In 2022, Einstein received more than $202 million in awards from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This includes the funding of major research centers at Einstein in aging, intellectual development disorders, diabetes, cancer, clinical and translational research, liver disease, and AIDS.

Other areas where the College of Medicine is concentrating its efforts include developmental brain research, neuroscience, cardiac disease, and initiatives to reduce and eliminate ethnic and racial health disparities. Its partnership with Montefiore, the University Hospital and academic medical center for Einstein, advances clinical and translational research to accelerate the pace at which new discoveries become the treatments and therapies that benefit patients.

Einstein is home to 711 medical and graduate students and more than 1900 faculty members. Over its six decades the College of Medicine has conferred nearly 8,500 M.D. and 1,700 Ph.D. degrees. Einstein also runs one of the largest residency and fellowship training programs in the medical and dental professions in the United States through Montefiore and an affiliation network involving hospitals and medical centers in the Bronx, Brooklyn and on Long Island.

Learn more at:

JS_089 Melissa Ceriale, Yaron Tomer, Stacey Lane
Melissa Ceriale, Yaron Tomer, MD, and Stacey Lane.
Philip O. Ozuah, Trudy Schlachter; Philip O. Ozuah, Karen Mandelbaum
L. to r.: Philip O. Ozuah MD, PhD and Trudy Schlachter; Philip O. Ozuah, MD, PhD and Karen Mandelbaum.
JS_104 Claudine Bacher, Carol Roaman
Claudine Bacher and Carol Roaman.
Amy Wechsler, Andrew Levin; Nancy Druckman, Jim Druckman
L. to r.: Amy Wechsler and Andrew Levin; Nancy and Jim Druckman.
JS_108 Dorian Goldman, Yaron Tomer, Gitit Tomer, Carol Einiger, Amy Wechsler
Dorian Goldman, Yaron Tomer, MD, Gitit Tomer, MD, Carol Einiger, and Amy Wechsler.
JS_151 Helen Stambler Neuberger, Deborah Kass
Helen Stambler Neuberger and Deborah Kass.
S_145 Lauren Gutfreund Table
Lauren Gutfreund’s table.
Einstein Montefiore Group
Einstein Montefiore Group.

Photographs by Kennedy Pollard (CCAR); John Sanderson/ (Spirit of Achievement)

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