Wednesday, December 11, 2019. More rain in New York yesterday, sometimes heavy, and through the night, with temps in the mid to high 50s. Then turning colder into the night.
Last night was the Animal Medical Center’s annual “Top Dog Gala” at Cipriani 42nd Street. They honored Dylan Lauren, known to many as “The Candy Queen” and also a major supporter of animal programs and animal-welfare organizations ending animal cruelty. The “Gala” is always a major attraction on New York social calendars. The Animal Medical Center is now on a fund-raising campaign to expand their facilities here in New York.
The holiday spirit has come to town. JH took a brief tour of it in his nabe on the Upper East Side …
Around the town.
The Asian Cultural Council’s global community of supporters, grantees, and friends gathered recently to benefit the ACC Program, which makes grants to support international travel and cultural exchange between Asia and the U.S. and among the countries of Asia.
At this event, five decades of ACC grantees joined Executive Director Miho Walsh, representing a diverse, international family strengthened by human connection, cultural understanding, and mutual respect.
They honored philanthropist Elizabeth J. McCormack (ACC Chairman Emeritus) with the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Award; and internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985) with the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award.
Ms. McCormack, who is in her 96th year, is a remarkable humanitarian in her own right. A New York native, She served as a member of the Society for the Sacred Heart (a nun, for the unfamiliar) for thirty years, and was President of Manhattanville College.
She left the sisterhood to head the Rockefeller Family Philanthropic Office. Her years of experience in service as a nun, combined with her administrative and fundraising strengths as head of a college made her the ideal choice to run the charitable wing of the wealthiest family in history.
In addition to advising the Rockefellers and their many heirs on their giving responsibilities she would engage across the philanthropic spectrum. She chaired the Partnership for Palliative Care; served as a director of the Atlantic Philanthropies; was a trustee at Juilliard School of Music. More recently, she was a featured guest on Season Sh3 of Open Door Philanthropy – a season of philanthropy interviews featuring woman-identified philanthropists.
At the ACC evening, she spoke of the pivotal moments in ACC’s history, as well as her long standing friendship with the first ACC Chairman, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, and the indelible impact of her travels in Japan. She announced to the applause of the audience that at age 96, her great wish was to return to Japan, a country and community that had shown her incredible kindness.
ACC’s founder John D. Rockefeller 3rd believed that immersive experiences outside one’s home country not only enable greater understanding of another culture, but also provide the opportunity to learn about one’s own.
Honoree Kengo Kuma spoke to this concept in regards to his 1985 ACC Fellowship as a visiting scholar at Columbia University. During that time, he was not only able to meet architects and designers introduced by ACC, but also developed a deeper appreciation of his own culture.
The theme of community resonated throughout the night, starting with Chen Yu-An’s (ACC 2017) Taiwanese opera performance “Happiness for an Extending Family.” Jennifer Wen Ma (ACC 2006, 2015) led gala attendees through an interactive performance utilizing sound-generated visual projections, channeling the audience’s collective voice to convey the impact of individuals coming together through art. Fourth-generation puppeteer Basil Twist (ACC 2004, 2014) wove smoothly through the audience, bringing his mesmerizing puppetry from the stage to the tables in an intimately scaled performance.
From their active and visionary board, to their brilliant grantees, and generous donors, the ACC members are enabled to uphold the mission of advancing international dialogue, understanding, and respect through cultural exchange.
Last Thursday, the New York Botanical Garden hosted a luncheon at La Grenouille in anticipation of their annual Spring Gala which will be held on May 12th in the New Year and will celebrate the opening of KUSAMA: Cosmic Nature. Guests will enjoy cocktails in the Garden surrounded by by specially commissioned Kusama pieces.
Maureen Chilton will serve as the Honorary Chair of the Gala. Gala Chairs include Janet Montag, Marc Porter, Deborah Royce, Mish Tworkowski, Georgina Bloomberg, Lili Buffett and Ariana Rockefeller, several of whom attended the luncheon.
Meanwhile, thinking of the season and Santa Claus coming to town, tomorrow, December 12th, over at Doyle at 175 East 87th Street (between Lex and Third), the Mollie Brewster Broussard Collection of exceptional jewelry and colorful accessories are being auctioned.
Mrs. Broussard is remembered with affection and admiration to many lawyers, doctors, professors, politicians and authors for having taught Speech as well as coaching students for public speaking competitions in Oklahoma and Texas before moving to New York in 1962 to teach at Hunter College.
In 1968 Mollie married Thomas Broussard and moved to Los Angeles where her husband served as General Counsel for Technicolor, before finally returning to New York. Mollie’s collection was presented to her over the years by her husband over 51 years of birthdays, anniversaries, and holidays.
Highlights of the collection feature more than 70 signature designs by David Webb and such prestigious firms as Bulgari, Cartier, Schlumbrerger, Tiffany and Van Cleef & Arpels. Fabulous is the operative word for all of it. See for yourself!