2023 Downtown Dinner
We celebrated and supported arts and culture in Manhattan at LMCC’s annual Downtown Dinner on May 10th at Cipriani 25 Broadway, honoring long-time LMCC Board Member Francis Greenburger of Time Equities, Inc. and legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp. The Downtown Dinner was a highlight of the spring season in Lower Manhattan and a celebration of the role that artists played in building a vibrant and resilient community.
The Downtown Dinner brought together over 500 of the City’s most important business, civic, and cultural leaders, and funds raised from the event supported LMCC’s groundbreaking programs and initiatives that bolstered artists in Lower Manhattan, across the Borough, and throughout NYC.
Francis Greenburger had served on the LMCC Board since 2004 and over the last two decades had been one of our most important arts advocates. Francis was the Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer of Time Equities Inc., and the founder and Chairman of Art Omi, a sculpture and architecture park and arts center founded in 1992. Most recently, Francis had founded the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice in 2014, which advocated for reforms to the criminal justice and mental health systems.
In addition to Francis, LMCC also honored legendary choreographer Twyla Tharp, who received the Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership. Twyla had choreographed over 125 dances, five Hollywood films (including Hair, Ragtime, and Amadeus), directed and choreographed two Broadway productions, written two books, and received numerous awards.
The evening also featured an immersive performance of Gregory Corbino’s Murmurations–a collective puppetry performance of oceanic proportions, responding to the impacts of climate change and plastic pollution on the ocean. Giant puppets crafted of plastic trash removed from New York City waterways and beaches transformed Cipriani 25 Broadway into a seascape of androgynous oysters, stunning sturgeon, and captivating cetaceans.
Francis J. Greenburger is an American real estate developer, literary agent, author, philanthropist, activist and founder of Time Equities Inc., Art Omi, Inc., and the Greenburger Center for Social & Criminal Justice.
Francis Greenburger is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Time Equities Inc. Founded in 1966, Time Equities Inc. (TEI) has been in the real estate investment, development and asset & property management business for more than 50 years. He is also the Chairman of Sanford J. Greenburger Associates (SJGA), a literary agency founded by his father in 1932.
He is the Founder and Chairman of Art Omi, a sculpture and architecture park and arts center founded in 1992, which also provides residencies for visual artists, writers, dancers, musicians, and architects from all over the world. Most recently, Mr. Greenburger founded the Greenburger Center for Social and Criminal Justice in 2014, which advocates for reforms to the criminal justice and mental health systems. He also serves on the board of several not for profit organizations and is an active donor to over 300 charitable organizations.
Mr. Greenburger graduated from Baruch College in 1974 with a degree in Public Administration. He is an avid tennis player and traveler. He resides in Manhattan with his wife Isabelle Autones and is the proud father of four children: Morgan, Noah, Julia and Claire.
Twyla Tharp is a New York-based dancer and choreographer. Her dance company, Twyla Tharp Dance is known for its creativity, wit and technical precision coupled with a streetwise nonchalance. By combining different forms of movement – such as jazz, ballet, boxing and inventions of her own making – Tharp’s work expands the boundaries of ballet and modern dance. Her publications include Push Comes to Shove (1992) ;The Creative Habit: Learn it and Use it for Life ; and The Collaborative Habit: Life Lessons for Working Together.
Her awards include a Tony Award, two Emmy Awards, nineteen honorary doctorates, the Vietnam Veterans of America President's Award, the 2004 National Medal of the Arts, the 2008 Jerome Robbins Prize, and a 2008 Kennedy Center Honor. Her many grants include the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship. She is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and an Honorary Member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters. She received a B.A. at Barnard College in 1963.
Mei Lum is the 5th generation owner of her family’s over century-old porcelain ware business and the oldest operating store in NYC's Chinatown, Wing on Wo & Co. (W.O.W.). In light of Manhattan Chinatown's rapid cultural displacement, Mei established a community initiative, the W.O.W. Project in 2016 out of a desire to amplify community voices and stories through art, culture, and activism. Since its inception, the W.O.W. Project has become a trailblazer in becoming one of the neighborhood’s very first women and non-binary led initiatives to transform a storefront into an alternative space for community dialogue and grassroots action for Chinatown’s future. Mei has grown as a community leader alongside the W.O.W. Project with recognition as a 2017 emerging voice in the APA community by NBC Asian America, she received the 2019 Community Builder Award from OCA Asian Pacific American Advocates, 2019 Rubinger Fellowship from the Local Initiatives Support Corporation and was a 2020-2022 Civic Practice Partnership Artist-in-Residence at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
David Thomson is an interdisciplinary collaborative artist working in the fields of music, dance, theater, and performance with Trisha Brown, Ralph Lemon, Marina Abramović, Kaneza Schaal, Yvonne Rainer, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Matthew Barney among many others. His work has been presented by The Kitchen, Danspace Project, Dance Theater Workshop, Roulette, The Bronx Museum, Performance Space NY, and Movement Research. Thomson’s practice centers on the interrogation of presence and absence in the performance of identity. He has been Artist-in-Residence at Movement Research, Baryshnikov Arts Center, Gibney Dance Center, The Invisible Dog, Mount Tremper Arts Center, and The Lunder Institute of American Art. Thomson has been awarded fellowships from United States Artists|Ford (2012), NYFA in Choreography (2013,2022), MacDowell (2013), Yaddo (2014), The Rauschenberg Foundation (2018), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (2018-21) and is a Foundation for Contemporary Arts Awardee (2022). Thomson was honored with a New York Dance and Performance Award (“Bessie”) for Sustained Achievement (2001), and for Outstanding Production for his first evening-length work he his own mythical beast (2018). In 2017, he initiated The Artist Sustainability Project to expand the practice and discourse of financial, artistic, and personal empowerment for artists.
Lisa Hsiao Chen is the author of Activities of Daily Living (W.W. Norton, 2022), which was a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Debut Novel Award and the Gotham Book Prize, longlisted for the Center for Fiction First Novel Prize, and selected by The New Yorker and Vogue as a Best Book of 2022 and by Publishers Weekly as one of its Top 10 Books of 2022. Her book of poems, Mouth (Kaya Press, 2007), received an Association for Asian American Studies Book Award. Her work has received support from the Rona Jaffe Foundation, the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council, the Center for Fiction, Art Omi: Writers, Saltonstall Foundation, Blue Mountain Center, and Vermont Studio Center, where she was a visiting writer. Born in Taipei, she now lives in New York City.
2023 Guest Performance
Greg Corbino is a multidisciplinary artist, puppeteer and educator whose work investigates how object performance crafted from plastic detritus and engaged by community can create queer ecologies of care and action in public space. His work is deeply invested in nature and aspires to be an act of repair, creating puppets from materials collected from New York shorelines to draw attention to the calamitous environmental impact of the plastics industry. Gregory is a long-time collaborator with Peter Schumann and The Bread and Puppet Theater and has worked with Jennifer Miller and Circus Amok, Reverend Billy, Savitri D and The Stop Shopping Choir, Xaviera Simmons, Sanford Biggers, Cecilia Vicuña, Amy Trompeter and Cathy Weiss among others. His fabrication and design work has been seen at The High Line, The Queens Museum, The Leslie Lohman Museum of Art, The Brooklyn Academy of Music, and the Smithsonian Institution. Residencies have included QueerLab (Rome) Isadora Duncan Dance Center (Greece) and Togo Village Art Museum (Taiwan). In 2021 he was a resident at The Arts Center at Governors Island and presented the premier of MURMURATIONS at the River to River Festival in 2022.
2023 Guest Emcee
Darrell Martin, owner of Hip Parties, has collaborated with such stars as Pink, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Rupaul, and Howie Dorough of the Backstreet Boys throughout his production and entertainment career. His career in entertaining at private affairs include such clients as Wells Fargo, American Express, Readers Digest, The Chris Berman Family (SportsCaster), the Ron Howard family, the Howard Stern family as well as a host of others.
The Downtown Dinner 2023 Supporters
As of April 20, 2023
Time Equities, Inc.
HLW International Architects
The Howard Hughes Corporation
Jack and Susy Wadsworth
Linda Genereux and Timur Galen
Wide World Technologies
Elizabeth and Michael Ashworth
Ken and Kim Blacklow
Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Trinity Church Wall Street
Richard & Rony Menschel
STO Building Group
Downtown Lower Manhattan Association
Duncan & Susan Brown
Marie Christine Katz
Morgan von Prelle Pecelli
About Downtown Dinner
Since 2002, The Downtown Dinner has stood as a beacon of philanthropy, playing an indispensable role in raising funds to support our mission. As we celebrate 21 years of dedication and impact, we invite you to join us in reflecting on the remarkable journey that has made The Downtown Dinner a cornerstone of springtime festivities in Lower Manhattan.
The Downtown Dinner has evolved into an annual gathering that transcends mere fundraising; it has become a celebration of community, resilience, and the pivotal role that artists play in shaping the vibrant tapestry of Downtown. With each passing year, the event has grown, drawing in over 500 of the City's most influential figures from the realms of business, civic leadership, and culture.
At the heart of our celebration is a deep appreciation for the artists who contribute immeasurably to the soul of Downtown. The event provides a platform to recognize and honor their invaluable contributions. Through captivating performances, inspiring speeches, and immersive art installations, The Downtown Dinner showcases the diverse talents that make our community truly unique.