Last week on Wednesday May 21 Meniscus contributor Jonathan Cody went out to support the annual El Museo del Barrio Gala 2014, this year held at Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Seeing the signature Cipriani Bellini was just what Jonathan and 500 other supporters needed to get their cocktail hour on.
Kicking off the proceedings, Tony Bechara and Jorge Daniel Veneciano gave some welcome remarks to set the stage for the prestigious awards of the evening. Designer, Alejandro Ingelmo was honored with the Artistic Achievement Award, Presented by Teen Vogue’s Editor-in-Chief, Amy Astley.
Andy Unanue presented Maria Eugenia Maury and Dr. William A. Haseltine with the award, named after his father, Joseph A. Unanue Trustee Leadership Award. The Gala Chair was CuCu Diamantes and the Gala Co-Chairs were Andrés Levin, Anita Durst, Lex Fenwick, and Cathy and Alex López Negrete.
Gala Chair Cucu Diamantes put a spin on the night by bringing original art and sounds to the evening. Ray Smith also auctioned off 50 of his unique sculptures that night.
This year’s Gala featured a memorable performance by Gala Chair CuCu Diamantes. Co-Chair Andrés produced the Gala’s entertainment, which included a special reunion performance by Yerba Buena, the Grammy nominated Latin fusion band which Andrés and CuCu founded. The opening performance was by The Pedrito Martínez Group.
“This was an evening of great pride for Latins and an evening of great interest to non-Latins; we couldn’t possibly imagine a better moment for our band to make a special reunion appearance, the first in five years—it was special. The gala was like no other with dancing till the wee hours,” said the Gala Chair. CuCu Diamantes performed with her band and with Levin’s reuniting their band “Yerba Buena” – and debuted her new song “Pecados de Picasso” (sins of Picasso) in collaboration with artist Ray Smith.
The event’s décor and entertainment were both inspired by Pablo Picasso; the night was led by a group of music and visual artists donating their time to celebrate a museum that supports the El Museo community.
Notable guests who attended include: Susan Sarandon, PJ Pascual, Gabriela Isler Miss Universe®, Jeisa Chiminazzo, Kiara Kabukurub, Alexandra Lebenthal, Shante Williams, Grace Mahary, Ambassador Sandra Fuentes-Berain, Francois Payard, Jessica Joffe, Amy Astley, Carlos Campos, Tony Bechara, Yaz and Valentin Hernández, Ray Smith, & Mark Seliger.
- by Jonathan Cody
Photography by Adhat Campos