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American Folk Art Museum
Annual Benefit
Tribeca Rooftop
November 9, 2010


Written by Wendy R. Williams
Photographed by
Patrick McMullen

Opposite Photo:
Berry Bloomingdale, Betsy Bloomingdale, Hayley Bloomingdale, Polly Bloomingdale
and Justine Bloomingdale

The American Folk Art Museum hosted its annual benefit honoring the American Folk Art Museum's 2010 Advocates for the Arts. This year's Advocates are: designer, style icon and author Betsy Bloomingdale; artist Kiki Smith; philanthropists Edythe and Eli Broad of The Broad Foundation; famed decorator Maria Buatta; Shafik Gabr, the chairman and managing director of the Artoc Group and Orientalist art collector; entrepreneur and philanthropist Sheila C. Johnson; and humanitarian and philanthropist Latifa Kosta.

The evening begin in the lobby; guests sipped cocktails and sampled hors d'oeuvres while they looked at the fabulous pieces of art on the walls and placed their "silent" bids to take the art off the walls of the Tribeca Rooftop and "bring it on home."

Laura Parsons, Richard Parsons, Yaz Hernandez and Valentin Hernandez

Dinner was served in the main ballroom of the Tribeca Rooftop. Maria Ann Connelli, the Executive Director of the Museum, welcomed the crowd. Then the evening's chair persons, Laura and Richard Parson and Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, presented the awards. Each honoree spoke, telling about the importance of art in their lives and their desire that all children be exposed to art. Kiki Smith said that everyone needs to create and artistic creation encompasses the creation of children and creation of art. Sheila Smith told the partygoers that her original career was that of a music teachers and that her love of art had enriched and helped to create her business career.

Shafik Gabr, Richard Parsons and Gigi Gabr

Then it was time for the live auction. The partygoers bid on vacation weeks at exotic locales. Shafik Gabr and Latifa Kosta purchased vacation weeks at the auction.

The Bloomingdale Family

Then it was time for dancing. Betsy Bloomingdale was first on the floor, followed by her children and grandchildren.

The Dinner Chairs were: Richard and Laura Parson and Valentin and Yaz Hernandez. Vice Chairs were: Barry D. Briskin, Evan R. Chesler, Esq., Lucy and Mike Danziger, Phyllis L. Kossoff, Petra and Stephen Levin, Dorothy Lichtenstein and Elizabeth and Irwin Warren.

The event raised over three quarters of a million dollars for the American Folk Art Museum.

Petra Levin, Valentin Hernandez and Patti Roberts

Cathy Hardwick, Shafik Gabr, Elenora Kennedy,
Yaz Hernandez and Latifa Kosta

Joyce Cowin, Jan Willem van Bergen Henegouwen
and Phyllis Kossoff




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