The Cool Culture UnGala took place on Wednesday, May 18th at Phillips Auction House from 7 PM to 10 PM. It was a celebration of #artforall, a fundraiser for Cool Culture programming and capacity building and the honoring of two artists who have used their platform to advocate for social justice and inclusion. Visionary interdisciplinary artist Sanford Biggers was honored and rising digital artist and photographer Ayqa Khan was also honored. Former Brooklyn Museum Director and current Senior Advisor at Phillips, Arnold Lehman was a guest speaker. He spoke on the importance of arts access for all and why Cool Culture programming is important.
The event was filled with established and rising artist, as well as preschool and museum educators, art enthusiasts, board members, host committee members, digital influencers, socialites, philanthropist, social justice advocates and Cool Culture advocates. The crowd was extremely diverse and reflective of the NYC landscape. In total we had 323 attendees.
The evening was catered by Bite Catering. Bacardi was a sponsor. There was a full open bar. Interactive activities included a live etch-a-sketch artist, Bryan Lee Maden and a Performance Art piece by artist Kenya “Cheeky LaSHAE” Robinson.
Host Committee included: Bevy Smith, Natasha Schlesinger, Dee & Ricky, Sheinelle Jones, Bradley Theodore
Ungava Committee included: Will DuBose, Samantha Gilbert (co-chair), Karen C. Liu, Risa Meyer, Lori Rotsko, Jonathan Van Antwerpen, Ahmed Yearwood, Lois Gelernt, Xochitl Gonzalez, Marisa Mayer, Edwina Meyers, Asthma Samadani, and Tara Woodley (co-chair).
Photo credit: Meg Stacker & Mangue Banzima