Parties

Hail to the Arts Chiefs at Guild Hall Gala

by Michael Gross Photographed by Patrick McMullan/PMC
Tuesday, March 14, 2017
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“You know, Alec, sometimes I think it’s you who is the most famous man on the planet,” said Martin Cohen, chairman of the board of Guild Hall in East Hampton, as he opened his remarks at Monday night’s Academy of the Arts Achievement Awards at the Rainbow Room. The Hall’s president, Alec Baldwin, whose fame has indeed hit new heights thanks to his election, er, selection, as America’s president, er fake president, by half of the American electorate and Saturday Night Live was the first person one encountered, entering the pre-event cocktail party, where a stunning tequila sunset and Manhattan’s skyline had even jaded New Yorkers gaping. Or were they gaping at Baldwin’s wife Hilaria, who is pretty stunning herself? Hard to say.

Baldwin said, “I have fun” impersonating President Donald J. Trump on SNL, but “not reading about it,” singling out the conspiracy peddling far right radio show host Alex Jones‘s recent challenge to Baldwin to, in Jones’ words, “Get in the ring with me, I will break your jaw in seconds.” Baldwin added, apparently referring to Jones’ predictions of a new Civil War in America, that he’d accept the challenge if he and Jones could read passages from Eyes on the Prize, the acclaimed PBS documentary on Civil Rights, between rounds.

Words did not fail the evening’s host, Eric Fischl, honorees Philip Schultz, Susan Stroman, Edwina von Gal and Cheryl and Michael Minikes, or presenters Maya Lin, Alice Quinn and Roy Furman, either. “You, too, could be a lifetime achiever if there is something you can do to bring art and community to bear on the challenges we face,” said von Gal. Paying tribute to Furman, the Broadway producer and penultimate president of the organization, Fischl joked that in inducing him to take the job, Furman had “thrown a beautiful carpet over the quicksand of obligation.” He added that ever since, his mantra has been, “Kill Roy, kill Roy, kill Roy.”

Guild Hall, the visual and performing arts center in East Hampton, on eastern Long Island, was founded over eighty years ago and serves as a year-round visual and performing arts center for the diverse community. In 1985 its Board of Trustees initiated an awards program to recognize achievement in the arts. This year was the 32nd presentation of the awards.

Also among the guests were Judy Baron, Ronald Baron, Renee and Robert A. Belfer, Edward and Magda Bleier, Kim Charlton, Blythe Danner, Eric Fischl and April Gornik, Roy L. Furman, Agnes Gund, Gilbert and Shelley Harrison, Arthur and Janie Indursky, Herbert Kasper, Carol Lederman, Denise Lefrak Calicchio, Michael and Ninah Lynne, David, Phyllis, Sondra and William Mack, Trish McEvoy, Henry S. and Peggy Schleiff, Cindy Sherman, and Renée and Richard Steinberg.


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