On April 18, the Guild Hall celebrated the 37th annual Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards Dinner with everything a perfect night requires — food, fun and plenty of high-energy entertainment.
The annual event recognizes lifetime achievements of artists, creative professionals and individuals who passionately support the arts, so who better to honor than renown architect Peter Marino (who was just tasked to renovate Tiffany & Co.’s iconic Fifth Avenue flagship boutique) to receive the Achievement Award for Visual Arts? Tiffany & Co. President & CEO Anthony Ledru presented Marino with the award.
Arts advocates Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner were also honored and given the Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy recognition from artist Hank Willis Thomas.
“We are lucky to live among visionaries like Peter Marino and arts advocates like Tom Roush and LaVon Kellner, coming together to celebrate their contributions and induct 13 accomplished individuals to the Academy, while building support for Guild Hall, was a beautiful thing,” said Andrea Grover, Executive Director, Guild Hall.
New inductees to the Academy of the Arts were also honored and included Nanette Carter, Jeremy Dennis, Arcmanoro Niles and Virginia Jaramillo, photographer Annie Leibovitz, novelist Jay McInerney, designer Isaac Mizrahi, actor Maulik Pancholy, designer Lisa Perry, chef Eric Ripert, President of Jujamcyn Theaters Jordan Roth, author Iris Smyles and writer Andrina Wekontash Smith.
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To get the crowd energized after cocktail hour, Music From The Sole — a tap dance and live music company celebrating tap’s Afro-diasporic roots — took the stage. Guests enjoyed a three-course meal of smoked salmon on a garden of vegetables with a yuzu vinaigrette, seared branzino and a medley of desserts. After the second course, clarinetist Kinan Azmeh, harpist Maeve Gilchrist and guitarist Kyle Sanna performed a Syrian wedding song.
This year’s event raised over $600,000 which will allow Guild Hall to continue celebrating those who champion the institution’s mission as an inventive, artist-driven establishment. The museum, performing arts and education center was founded in 1931 as a place that inspires creativity and conversation. The Academy of the Arts is a community of over 200 of the nation’s most accomplished artists and creative professionals who lend their talent and expertise to Guild Hall.
During the event, Guild Hall previewed its new theater seat-naming campaign, Take A Seat, where attendees could purchase the rights to name seats in the newly redesigned theater, opening in 2024.