Honoring the world’s most talented, creative, and devoted individuals in the visual and performing arts, The Nelson A. Rockefeller Awards, presented by Purchase College, SUNY, have become a marquee event in New York City. Purchase College gives the awards bi-annually during the School of the Arts Gala, to be held this year on Monday, November 19th at Gotham Hall, in Manhattan, beginning at 6 pm.
This year’s distinguished awardees include: American minimalist painter Jo Baer; choreographer and dancer Bill T. Jones; chief film critic (New York Times) Manohla Dargis; renowned pianist Gabriela Montero; television and film actress Joanna Gleason, and philanthropists Emily and Eugene Grant. Steven Weber, of Broadway and TV’s “Wings” fame, will host the festive cocktail and dinner soiree. Proceeds from this event benefit students through the School of the Arts Fund, which provides needed scholarship and production support.
Established in 2007 with the generous approval of Mrs. Nelson A. Rockefeller, the awards affirm the continued importance of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller’s vision in 1969, when he established Purchase College to be the main campus of New York’s state university system for professional training in the visual and performing arts. “Funds raised at this gala help to sustain Governor Rockefeller’s vision,” said Thomas J. Schwarz, president of Purchase College, SUNY. “He wanted Purchase to be an open gateway to opportunity. Today the campus includes 4,200 students, many of whom are the first in their family to attend college.”
Arts Gala 2012 is chaired by Ronni R. Bolger and Dian A. Petrillo. The star-studded honorary committee includes: Mikhail Baryshnikov, Paquito D’Rivera, Carmen DeLavallade, Susie Essman ’77, Ming Cho Lee, Santo Loquasto, Elizabeth McCormack, Ivan Menchell ’83, Meredith Monk, Jessye Norman, Lynn Nottage, Senator Charles Schumer, Karen Sillas ’85, Paul Taylor, Joseph Volpe, Chris Wedge ’81, and Fred Wilson ’76 – many of whom are expected to attend the event.
Cocktails begin at 6 pm; dinner and awards at 7 pm. Festive attire is requested. Individual ticket prices range from $500 to $2500; sponsorship packages are priced from $5,000 to $100,000. For information about tables and tickets, please call Jessica Luna at The JFM Group at 212.921.9070, ext. 14 or e-mail PurchaseCollege@thejfmgroup.com.
For information about journal ads, please contact Raysil Galán at 914.251.7909 or email Raysil.Galan@purchase.edu.
Purchase College, part of the State University of New York (SUNY) network of 64 universities and colleges, was founded in 1967 by Governor Nelson Rockefeller. His aspirations for Purchase were to combine on one campus conservatory training in the visual and performing arts with programs in the liberal arts and sciences. Today, Purchase College, SUNY is a community of students, faculty, and friends where open-minded engagement with the creative process leads to a lifetime of intellectual growth and professional opportunity. For more information about the College, visit www.purchase.edu.
About the Honorees:
Jo Baer, a key figure among celebrated protagonists of Minimalist painting in New York in the 1960s and first half of the ‘70s, is known for her vertical and horizontal rectangles in the hard-edge style; and today for her ‘mage’ paintings, often distinguished for their forceful colors.
Bill T. Jones, one of the world’s best known choreographers and dance performers, is the recipient of the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors, a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography of the critically acclaimed FELA, a 2007 Tony Award and a 2007 Obie Award among dozens of other awards. He has created more than 140 works for his company and in 2011 was named Executive Artistic Director of New York Lives Arts.
Manohla Dargis is the chief film critic for The New York Times, which she joined in 2004. She has written frequently about the avant-guard film scene in New York. Her work has been anthologized in Action/Spectacle Cinema: A Sight and Sound Reader. Her reviews are featured in the anthology American Film Critics: From the Silents Until Now.
Gabriela Montero, born in Venezuela, is a pianist whose visionary interpretations and unique improvisational gifts have won her a quickly expanding audience and devoted following around the world. Her engagements include acclaimed performances with the New York Philharmonic, LA Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl, Cleveland Orchestra and others. She recently composed a work entitled ExPatria for piano and orchestra, with a grand opening performance in London.
Joanna Gleason most recently won the Best Actress Tony Award for Stephen Sondheim’s Into The Woods. She has a long list of Broadway credits, including Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle nominees), and has had recurring roles in TV series such as The West Wing, Friends, and The Good Wife.
She has been teaching for 25 years in high schools and colleges across the U.S.A.
Emily and Eugene Grant are dedicated arts patrons of leading Westchester County and NYC artistic and cultural institutions, and avid supporters of higher education. Their philanthropy extends globally to causes they believe in. Emily Grant joined the board of the Purchase College Foundation in 1969, serving for eighteen years as Chairwomen. Recognizing the vested interest in maintaining the quality of public higher education in their community, the Grants have funded hundreds of deserving students at Purchase College through the Emily and Eugene Grant Merit Scholarship and the Emily and Eugene Grant Music Scholarship.