Baby, it’s cold outside. I don’t know what to expect next, but I hope it’s not a blizzard.
Keeping warm and cozy was civil rights activist Faith Ringgold, who was awarded the Museum of Arts and Design Visionaries! Award. The presentation was made at the MAD’s annual gala held at Cipriani 42nd Street, where more than 500 guest were in attendance. This year’s gala carried on the theme of the Museum’s current exhibition, “Sonic Arcade: Shaping Space with Sound.” There to cheer Ringgold on was C. Virginia Fields and Recho Omondi. Former United States Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was also among the honorees. Besides the award ceremony being the highlight of the evening, it was announced that a new initiative reinforcing the MAD’s commitment to the next generation of artists will be awarded on an annual basis. The Burke Prize, named after Marian and Russell Burke, will award $50,000 to a professional artist under the age of 45 working in glass, fiber, clay, metals or wood. If you fit the
bill, the recipient could be you.
Also warm and cozy were those who gathered at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture for the National Jazz Museum in Harlem Uptown in Autumn 2017 annual Fall Benefit Concert. The audience was taken on a musical journey that traced the roots of jazz from Southern blues to Chicago, New York and beyond. Performing were W.C. Handy Award-winning blues vocalist Guy Davis (son of the late Ossie Davis and Ruby Dee), drummer Ronnie Burrage, saxophonist Ron Blake, bassist Curtis Lundy and Harlem-based pianist Marc Cary, with a special performance by jazz legends Randy Weston on piano and Reggie Workman on bass. The evening began with a preconcert reception that included light hors d’oeuvres and drinks, along with live music and presentations on the Sonny Rollins and Eddie “Lockjaw” Davis exhibits, which are now on view at the Schomburg Center and the Jazz Museum.
Also on exhibit is the Ralph Ellison record collection. The National Jazz Museum in Harlem acquired the Ralph Ellison collection in 2007, thanks to Todd Bryant Weeks, who said, “There seemed like no better time to use [the collection] as the basis for an exhibition than this, the year celebrated as Ellison’s centennial.”
Ralph Ellison was a writer, one of his most famous books being, “The Invisible Man,” which was first published in 1952. It was no secret that Ellison used music as his muse, his balm and his inspiration, believing jazz is the only true American art form. Highlighted throughout the exhibition is evidence of how Ellison’s “most eloquent thoughts emerged when writing about the music and the musicians he loved.”
The National Jazz Museum in Harlem visitors center is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Great for a class trip.
Just in case you thought nobody cared, the New York Society for Prevention of Cruelty of Children held a wine tasting and dinner at the Metropolitan Club that brought out some pretty big supporters. It is also worth noting that either these ladies drink a lot of wine or they don’t because they were all so physically fit, from head to toe. It was awe inspiring. They wouldn’t say how much money they raised, but from the look of things, it was a lot.
Meryanne Loum-Martin was clearly the best dressed woman at the cocktail party for the unveiling of interior designer turned fashion designer Charlotte Moss’ 2017 fall/winter season line for Ibu. Ibu is an apparel and accessories brand that partners with women artisans in developing countries around the world who craft every piece by hand, and is the brainchild of Susan Hull Walker.
Ticket prices were $1,000 and up for the Visiting Nurse Service of New York 2017 Benefit Dinner whose theme was, “Together, We Can Make a Difference.” At those prices, I hope so. Although I wasn’t there this year, I have attended in previous years and found the cause to be so worthy, it was a delightful evening. The Lillian D. Wald Award is named after the public health pioneer and founder of VNSNY. It is presented each year in recognition of those who have made significant contributions to the health and welfare of others. Proceeds support the widespread range of services and programs serving close to 7,500 children and their families throughout the city.
It was definitely ladies’ night at the 12th annual Savvy Ladies Benefit Gala held recently at the New York Hilton. The Savvy Ladies serve hundreds of women through its events, webinars, financial help line and other programs providing personal finance education and resources for women. Honored this year were Lisa Dolly, chief executive officer of Pershing; Hollie Fagan, managing director at BlackRock; Vanessa DeLuca, editor-in-chief of Essence magazine; Patricia Stryker, recording secretary, Local 237, of the International Brotherhood of Teamsters; Toni Blackman, social entrepreneur and creator of Rhyme Like a Girl; and Susanna Sexton, Savvy Lady of the Year, from Arlington, Va.. It’s a man’s world but it wouldn’t be nothing without a woman or a girl.
Not to be undone or outdone, the Boys Club of New York held its 69th annual Fall Dance at the Plaza Hotel. It was a fun-filled event with cocktails followed by dinner and dancing. All proceeds will benefit the BCNY’s free after-school programming for New York City boys.
If it’s boys and girls together you want to see, the Go Project Young Leadership program hosted their fifth annual cocktail party at the Bowery Hotel, which is tres chic. The Go Project consists of a dynamic group of committed young professionals. More than $50,000, which will go directly to support year-round programming for more than 700 struggling NYC public school student, was raised. There was a very impressive group of sponsors for the event, including Estee Lauder, Merrill Lynch and others too supportive to mention. There are several ways to get involved by either volunteering your professional skills to tutoring or by making a donation (always appreciated).
Until next week…kisses.