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Cocktail Party to Benefit
American Folk Art Museum
Annual Fall Gala
Home of Laura and Dick Parsons
September 23, 2010

Written by Wendy R. Williams
Photographed by
Patrick McMullen

Opposite Photo:
Host Dick Parsons and
Opera Singer Jessye Norman


There was art on the floor and art walking the floor when Laura and Dick Parson hosted a party at their expansive Tribeca loft. The party was in honor of the American Folk Art Museum’s Annual Fall Gala which takes place on November 9, 2010 at the Tribeca Rooftop (see details below).

The Parsons are major collectors of American folk art and their home is filled with the wonderful pieces that they have collected throughout their years together. Art hung on the walls, filled the shelves and literally stood on the floor. The art walking the floors was the presence of art luminaries: opera singer Jessye Norman, dancer Arthur Mitchell, actress Cicely Tyson, artist Kiki Smith and Agnes Nixon, the creator of One Life to Live and All My Children.

Laura Parsons spoke to the crowd and asked them all to buy tables for the Gala. She also spoke of the importance of folk art and its definition as all art that was not created by trained artists, not just the quilts that may first come to mind.

Laura and Dick Parsons with Yaz and Valentin Hernandez are chairing this year's gala for the second year in a row. Laura and Yaz a announced that the museum will honor seven Advocates for the Arts at their upcoming gala: Betsy Bloomingdale, Edythe and Eli Broad, Mario Buatta, Shafik Gabr, Sheila C. Johnson, Latifa Kosta, and Kiki Smith who will all attend.

Guests included (scroll down for photos): Yana Avis, Tony Bechara, Henry Buhl, Elli Cullman, Alberto Cribione, Lucy Danziger, Jackie Weld Drake, Michael Gross, Jan Willem Van Bergen Henegouwen, Yaz and Valentin Hernandez, Petra and Stephan Levin, Phyllis Kossoff, Joel Klein, Rikki Klieman and former Police Commissioner Bill Bratton, Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Ronald and Jo Carole Lauder, Jerry Lauren, Charlotte Moss and Barry Friedberg, Agnes Nixon, Ms. Jessy Norman, Bill Rhodes, Kimberly and Steve Rockefeller, Jill Y. Roosevelt, Mr. and Mrs. Evelyn de Rothschild, Kiki Smith, Samantha Thompson, Carlo Tunioli, Cicely Tyson, Veronica Webb and Barbara Winston.

Guests drank Brunello Di Montalcino 2001 red wine from the Parsons' vineyard in Italy.

Here are the details of the Gala:

American Folk Art Museum Celebrates
Advocates For The Arts
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
6:30 PM cocktails
7:30 Dinner, Awards and Dancing
Tribeca Rooftop

The annual Fall Benefit gala provides the primary source of funding for the museum’s acclaimed educational programs, which serve more than 8,000 New York City schoolchildren each year. The museum has a long-standing commitment to arts education, as demonstrated by the exhibition series Perspectives, organized by the education department, and the website developed specifically for educators. Your support will allow the museum to sustain and expand these exceptional initiatives, helping to make the arts accessible to an even broader audience of children.

The Fall Benefit Celebrates Advocates for the Arts: Betsy Bloomingdale • Edythe and Eli Broad • Mario Buatta • Shafik Gabr • Sheila C. Johnson • Latifa Kosta • Kiki Smith

The evening will include an auction of artwork and exceptional items.

Click here to purchase tickets:

Tribeca Rooftop | Two Desbrosses Street | New York City

Cicely Tyson

Laura Parsons and Jackie Weld Drake Yaz Hernandez
Phyllis Kossof Eleanora Kennedy and Yaz Hernandez

Yaz Hernandez, Toni Colon and Eleanora Kennedy





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