ArtsConnection Honors Russell Simmons During Tribeca Benefit


ArtsConnection recently celebrated its annual Spring gala at Tribeca Rooftop. During the event ArtsConnection raised $750,000 to continue its work ensuring that the arts are an essential part of all New York children’s education.

The gala, which honored Russell Simmons and Manuel Chinea of Popular Community Bank, was co-chaired by Lisa and Richard Plepler, and Emily and Harold Ford Jr. The award-winning journalist Soledad O’Brien hosted the event, which featured a puppet parade and percussion ensemble performance by the students of Brooklyn’s Public School 130, as well as a live auction led by Board Member Andrea Glimcher and Harold Ford Jr. During the event PS 130’s principal Maria Nunziata and ArtsConnection teaching artist Ruben Gonzalez received this year’s prestigious Janklow Award, named after Founder Linda Leroy Janklow, for their outstanding dedication to arts education.

Over 200 guests mingled and dined in an ambiance designed by David Monn, the acclaimed designer and ArtsConnection Board Member. Guests included news anchor Brian Williams, HBO creatives Terrence Winter, David Chase and Tim Van Patten, as well as Rory Tahari, Hana Nitsche, Arden Wohl, Richard Kirshenbaum, and Stephen Levinson.

The funds raised during the benefit will go to ArtsConnection’s in-school programs such as DELLTA (Developing English Language Literacy Through the Arts) and the sequential musical theater program with P94M, a cluster of NYC public schools for children on the autism spectrum.

Photo credit: ©Cullen Golden and ©Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan.