The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) threw the season’s most stylish and artistic benefit bash. NYFA is a non-profit organization serving artists at critical stages in their creative lives, Monday night it hosted its Hall of Fame benefit recognizing the superlative careers of past NYFA Fellowship grantees.

The night was held at Espace on West 42nd Street and welcomed over two hundred guests, including world renown visual artist Chuck Close and others with a cocktail reception that included an interactive art installation piece.  The reception was followed by a dinner where guests were seated at forty-one tables with one NYFA artist at each table to commemorate the 41st anniversary of the benefit.

Hall of Fame inductees included architects Elizabeth Diller and Ricardo Scofidio (of firm Diller Scofidio + Renfro) who were awarded Fellowships in 1985, 1987, and 1998; multi-media artist Christian Marclay (whose most recent work The Clock has received international acclaim) who was awarded a NYFA Fellowship on 1985; playwright Suzan-Lori Parks (her latest project The Gershwin’s Porgy and Bess is currently on Broadway) received her Fellowship in 1990; and patron of the arts Ben Rodriquez-Cubeñas who is the program director with responsibility for the Rockefeller Brothers Fund’s New York City Pivotal Place program and currently serves on NYFA’s Leadership Council. The dynamic Suzan-Lori Parks who advised the audience during her acceptance speech “the greater the acclaim the more responsibility one has to be generous.”

The evening ended with music and a wide array of deserts that came pouring nonstop from the kitchen as the guests danced the night away on the dance floor courtesy DJ Lightbolt.

The New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA) was founded in 1971 to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives.  Each year we provide over $1 million in cash grants to individuals and small organizations.  Our fiscal sponsorship program is the largest and most established in the country and helps artists and organizations raise and manage over $5 million annually.  Our NYFA Learning programs provide thousands of artists with professional development training and our website,, received over 4.4 million unique visits last year and has information about more than 8,000 opportunities and resources available to artists in all disciplines.

– Darrel

Photos by Annie Watt, Eugene Mim/, and Matteo Prandoni/