On Monday, October 21, Americans for the Arts – the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, presented the 59th annual National Arts Awards at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City as part of National Arts and Humanities Month. The awards recognize individuals and organizations that exhibit exemplary national leadership in the arts and whose work demonstrates extraordinary achievement. All proceeds help support Americans for the Arts’ core programs and activities, which serve the needs of more than 150,000 members and stakeholders across the country each year.
The 2019 honorees included Broadway star Ben Platt, artist Luchita Hurtado, singer-songwriter Ben Folds, philanthropist Earle I. Mack, and nonprofit organization the CMA Foundation. The presenters included actor Alec Baldwin, country music singer Chris Young, Governor George Pataki, musician Jon Batiste, and actress Zoe Saldana.
Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch was joined by event Chair Carolyn Clark Powers, and supported by Co-chairs Sarah Arison, David and Susan Goode, Jeff and Justine Koons, and Nora C. Orphanides. During the award ceremony, Lynch noted that: “We are thrilled to celebrate the achievements of this year’s tremendous group of National Arts Awards honorees—all visionaries in the arts. We honor them for their own artistic contributions and for their advocacy on behalf of creating more opportunities for all to engage with the arts. Their persistence to strengthen the arts in communities across America will continue to serve as an inspiration.”
The evening began with an elegant cocktail reception, featuring large-scale works by artist and honoree Luchita Hurtado suspended from the ceiling at Cipriani 42nd St, followed by dinner and the award ceremony. Actor Alec Baldwin gave the opening remarks and handed it off to award chair Carolyn Clark Powers. Musician Jon Batiste presented the Marina Kellen French Outstanding Contributions to the Arts Award to singer-songwriter Ben Folds.
Singer Chris Young presented the Arts Education Award to the CMA Foundation’ Executive Director Tiffany Kerns, followed by Governor George Pataki, who presented the Philanthropy in the Arts Award to Earle I. Mack. Afterward, Ben Platt accepted the Ted Arison Young Artist Award presented by Julie Greenwald of Atlantic Records. To conclude the evening actress Zoe Saldana, presented the Carolyn Clark Powers Lifetime Achievement Award to artist Luchita Hurtado who was unable to attend the event but was live-streamed via Facetime. During the dinner, guests enjoyed a special musical performance by alumni of the National YoungArts Foundation, with musical direction by Jake Goldbas. Board Chair Julie Muraco gave the closing remarks.
Always a who’s who of the nation’s top policy leaders and art world luminaries, the attendees of this year’s National Arts Award included:
- HOSTS: Americans for the Arts CEO Robert L. Lynch and event Chair Carolyn Clark Powers.
- CO-CHAIRS: Sarah Arison, David and Susan Goode, and Justine Koons, Nora C. Orphanides
- ART WORLD: Marco Perego, John Mullican and grandchildren Cosmo & Lucy Mullican, Raymond Learsy (Collector), Sue Hostetler, Peter McGough, Simon Castet
- ENTERTAINMENT: Actors Alec Baldwin and Zoe Saldana, Julie Greenwald (Atlantic Records), Musician Jon Batiste, and singers Chris Young, and Ben Folds with wife Emma Sandall, Tony award-winning actor Patina Miller with David Mars, singer Kate K.S, actors Daniel Belnavis & Olivia Puckett, dancers Lloyd Boyd & Caleb Teicher
- BUSINESS/SOCIAL: Philanthropist Earle I. Mack, Alton Murray (Con Edison), Daniel and Fiona Paltridge (BVLGARI), Former New York Governor George Pataki and First Lady Libby Pataki, Lauren King, Charles and Persia Dime
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ARTS AWARDS
The National Arts Awards brings together more than 350 guests, including a “who’s who” of the art world in all disciplines; artists, professionals in the field, philanthropists; as well as leaders from the public and private sectors, to recognize and celebrate the achievements of individuals and organizations who have exhibited exemplary leadership in the arts. All proceeds help support Americans for the Arts’ core programs and activities, which serve the needs of more than 150,000 members and stakeholders across the country each year.
The National Arts Awards has garnered the support of individuals, foundations, and corporations across the country. Americans for the Arts extends special gratitude to Arison Arts Foundation, Carolyn Clark Powers, Marina Kellen French, and Scholastic, Inc. View the National Arts Awards Archive to learn more about previous honorees.
The National Arts Awards have been presented by Americans for the Arts since 1996.
Past honorees have included: Ai Wei Wei, Doug Aitken, Edward Albee, Herb Alpert, Dame Julie Andrews, Wallis Annenberg, Lin Arison, George Balanchine, John Baldessari, Alec Baldwin, Tony Bennett, Leonard Bernstein, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Chuck Close, Sofia Coppola, Andra Day, Clive Davis, Dakota Fanning, Aretha Franklin, Martha Graham, Frank O. Gehry, Susan and David Goode, Thelma Golden, Josh Groban, Agnes Gund, Jake Gyllenhaal, Helen Hayes, Judith Jamison, Sheila C. Johnson, Ellsworth Kelly, B.B. King, Jeff Koons, Angela Lansbury, Jacob Lawrence, John Legend, William Lehr, Gerald M. Levin, Wynton Marsalis, Kate and Laura Mulleavy, Gael Neeson and Stefan Edlis, Yoko Ono, Joseph Papp, Natalie Portman, Phil Ramone, Robert Rauschenberg, Robert Redford, Ed Ruscha, Salman Rushdie, Martin Scorsese, Joel Shapiro, Cindy Sherman, Beverly Sills, Anna Deavere Smith, Stephen Sondheim, Esperanza Spalding, David Rockefeller Sr., Isaac Stern, Paul Taylor, Uma Thurman, Kerry Washington, Wendy Wasserstein, Sanford I. Weill and Kehinde Wiley.
Americans for the Arts is the leading non-profit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of almost 60 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts.
www.AmericansForTheArts.org | @Americans4Arts | #NationalArtsAwards