Museum of Arts and Design (MAD) hosted their annual MAD About Jewelry Benefit Dinner on Tuesday, April 26 honoring the iconic British fashion and textile designer, Dame Zandra Rhodes, and the Art Jewelry Forum (AJF).
Anna Sui, wearing a Zandra gown, recalled her first Zandra show in 1974, “seeing her fashion, all of guests there who I had only read about, it changed my life and started the friendship that continues to this day.” Zandra blew kisses, getting whoops and applause from her friends, as she declared “I always wear statement jewelry. A brooch or two, and bracelets. It’s part of who I am.”
Accepting the award for Art Jewelry Forum (AJF) Board Chair Bonnie Levine said, “since 1997 we have promoted and garnered critical attention for contemporary jewelry. AJF has become the leading voice for art jewelry’s advancement, serving to establish and elevate jewelry’s advancement.”
The festive evening celebrated more than 40 emerging and acclaimed international jewelry artists and allowed guests to acquire exquisite pieces directly from the world’s most innovative jewelry artists of our day.
MAD Board Chair Michele Cohen shared a few words about the mission of the Museum and Chief Curator Elissa Auther presented the MAD About Jewelry 2022 Acquisition Prize to Rebecca Hannon. The award recognizes an artist whose work reflects maturity in artistry and concept, exhibits both a superior and an experimental understanding of materials and form, and demonstrates expertise in technique and execution.
Guests included Museum Trustees Marcia Docter, Alexander Hankin, Lewis and Laura Kruger, Marsy Mittlemann, Barbara Tober, Barbara Waldman, as well as Carol Alt, Malu Byrne, Alva Chinn, Pat Cleveland and Paul Von Ravenstein, LoveShackFancy’s Rebecca Cohen, Sebastian Errazuriz, Alex Lundqvist, Fern Mallis, Anna Sui, Heather Thompson, Lynn Yaeger, David and Sybil Yurman, and MAD’s Nanette L. Laitman Director Tim Rodgers, and Deputy Director of Institutional Advancement Ben Strauss.
Proceeds from MAD About Jewelry support MAD’s educational programming and jewelry exhibitions. MAD is the only museum in the U.S. to have a permanent gallery devoted exclusively to contemporary jewelry. Founded in 1956, MAD welcomes 250,000 museum visitors to Columbus Circle annually to experience innovative art, design, and fashion exhibitions and educational programs.
On Monday, April 25, 2022, Orchestra of St. Luke’s (OSL) hosted their annual Gift of Music Gala at The Plaza Hotel in celebration of resilience, innovation, and renewal. The gala honored actor, writer, and OSL Board Member, David Hyde Pierce, and one of America’s leading composers, Valerie Coleman. Hosted by Tony and Emmy award-winning actress Bebe Neuwirth, the gala raised three-quarters of a million dollars to support OSL’s citywide artistic, education, and community initiatives.
The black-tie evening began with a cocktail hour, followed by speeches sharing the artistic visions and accomplishments of OSL from Bebe Neuwirth, host; Norman S. Benzaquen, Chairman of OSL’s Board of Directors; and James Roe, OSL’s President & Executive Director. OSL Board Member Josie Cruz Natori presented the Gift of Music Award to David Hyde Pierce, and OSL Board Member Emme Levin Deland presented the Gift of Music Award to Valerie Coleman.
Conductor Christian Reif led Orchestra St. Luke’s in Coleman’s Fanfare for Uncommon Times, an OSL commission that marked their return to live, in-person performances at Caramoor Center for Music and the Arts in June 2021. Following dinner, performances continued under the direction of Maestro Reif, including Mendelssohn’s Overture to Midsummer Night’s Dream and Saint-Saëns Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, featuring violinist Stefan Jackiw.
At the conclusion of the gala evening, attendees were invited to join in a time-honored OSL tradition of waltzing.
Also, on Monday, April 25th in the Stern Auditorium / Perelman Stage at Carnegie Hall, The New York Pops, led by Music Director and Conductor Steven Reineke, held its 39th Birthday Gala, For the First Time In Forever: The Songs of Kristen and Bobby Lopez, honoring the Academy and Grammy Award winning songwriting duo Kristen and Bobby Lopez.
Special guests included Samantha Barks (currently appearing as Elsa in Disney’s Frozen the Musical in London’s West End), Josh Gad (voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen; Tony Award nominee for originating the role of Elder Cunningham in The Book of Mormon), Maggie Lakis (Broadway’s Avenue Q), Rob McClure (Tony Award nominee; appeared in Broadway’s Avenue Q), and Andrew Rannells (Tony Award nominee for originating the role of Elder Price in The Book of Mormon).
They joined guest artists from across the Broadway, film and television community who performed selections from Kristen and Bobby Lopez’s wide-ranging catalog including selections from Frozen, Frozen 2, Coco, The Book of Mormon, Avenue Q, and more.
Participating artists included Jennifer Barnhart (original Mrs. T and Bad Idea Bear in Avenue Q), Kristen Bell (Film and Television star; voice of Anna in Disney’s Frozen), Jaime Camil (Film, Television and Broadway star; the voice of Papá Rivera in Pixar’s Coco), Stephanie D’Abruzzo (Tony Award nominee for originating the roles of Kate Monster and Lucy the Slut in Avenue Q), Santino Fontana (Tony Award winner; Hans in Disney’s Frozen), Jordan Gelber (original Brian in Avenue Q), Ann Harada (original Christmas Eve in Avenue Q), Nikki M. James (Tony Award winner for originating the role of Nabulungi in The Book of Mormon), Mykal Kilgore (first national tour of The Book of Mormon), Caissie Levy (original Elsa in Disney’s Frozen the Musical on Broadway), Rick Lyon (original Nicky and Trekkie Monster in Avenue Q), Patti Murin (original Anna in Disney’s Frozen the Musical on Broadway), and Betsy Wolfe (originated leading role in world premiere of the Lopez’s musical Up Here), in addition to the Lopez’s daughters Katherine and Anne Lopez. Phew!
In addition to its Music Honorees Kristen and Bobby Lopez, the Gala paid tribute to Corporate Honorees Nicola Heryet (Principal, Avison Young) and John Osborn (Chief Executive Officer of OMD USA); Legacy Honoree June Freemanzon, founding board member of The New York Pops; and and PopsEd Honoree Ron Schaefer (Founder and Director of French Woods Festival of the Performing Arts).
Proceeds from the Gala support The New York Pops orchestra and the organization’s PopsEd music education programs that reach throughout all five boroughs of New York City. The concert was followed by a black-tie optional dinner and dance at the Mandarin Oriental New York.
Photographs by Matteo Prandoni/BFA.com (MAD); Banga Studios (OSL); Rob Rich (NY Pops).