The Downtown Dinner 2024

The Downtown Dinner 2024
A Celebration of LMCC's 50th Anniversary

On April 15, 2024 Downtown New York's civic, business, and cultural leaders gathered with LMCC's inspiring community of artists at the Conrad New York Downtown. Together we honored legendary choreographer Bill T. Jones with the Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership and celebrated the incredible contributions of LMCC alumni artists Miguel Gutierrez, Baseera Khan, and Jennifer Bartlett. Learn more about our 2024 Honorees below.

The evening featured performances by The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Joey Arias, Sugar Hill Salon, and YiuYiu 瑤瑤 of Chinatown Records 華埠錄音, a projection of "Fallacies" by filmmaker Alex Romania and choreographers Nattie Trogdon + Hollis Bartlett, and a delicious custom ice cream flavor, Lavender Fields, by Elisabeth Smolarz & Jan Wilker inspired by their project, Ice Cream Window, and the natural beauty of Governors Island! More information on our featured artists here. Learn more about the 2024 featured artists here.

Thank you to our incredible LMCC community who made the 2024 Downtown Dinner such a special celebration of LMCC's 50th Anniversary! Every member of LMCC's community plays an essential role in our success. As we continue to celebrate the impact LMCC has had over the past 5 decades, we're so grateful to the supporters who make our work possible. Your generosity is the foundation for the decades to come!

Click here for more photos of the 2024 Downtown Dinner.

The Celebration Continues with Party as Performance

One party isn’t enough to mark 50 years of building creative communities! That's why we’re throwing Party as Performance, a series of festivities from March to June featuring artists and alumni from our community, showcasing what we love to do - celebrating the art of gathering!

Each event is hosted by LMCC alumni artists and offers a unique atmosphere, energy, and community, all delving into themes of Practice, Process, and Participation. We kicked off the series on March 28 with Party as Process, a listening and dance party with YiuYiu 瑶瑶 of Chinatown Records. On May 18, join us for Party as Practice with Yackez (Larissa & Jon Velez-Jackson) during our Arts Center Residency Open Studios. Finally, join us for Party as Participation on June 22, hosted by Elisabeth Smolarz, as we mark the conclusion of the 2024 River To River Festival and our Extended Life residency program.

Learn more about Party as Performance here.

Photo by Maria Baranova / Courtesy New York Live Arts
Photo by Maria Baranova / Courtesy New York Live Arts

2024 Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership

Bill T. Jones

Bill T. Jones (Artistic Director/Co-Founder/Choreographer: Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company; Artistic Director: New York Live Arts) was the Associate Artist of the 2020 Holland Festival and recipient of the 2014 Doris Duke Performing Artist Award; the 2013 National Medal of Arts; the 2010 Kennedy Center Honors; a 2010 Tony Award for Best Choreography of the critically acclaimed FELA!; a 2007 Tony Award, 2007 Obie Award, and 2006 Stage Directors and Choreographers Foundation CALLAWAY Award for his choreography for Spring Awakening; the 2010 Jacob’s Pillow Dance Award; the 2007 USA Eileen Harris Norton Fellowship; the 2006 Lucille Lortel Award for Outstanding Choreography forThe Seven; the 2005 Wexner Prize; the 2005 Samuel H. Scripps American Dance Festival Award for Lifetime Achievement; the 2005 Harlem Renaissance Award; the 2003 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize; and the 1994 MacArthur “Genius” Award. In 2010, Mr. Jones was recognized as Officier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by the French government, and in 2000, The Dance Heritage Coalition named Mr. Jones “An Irreplaceable Dance Treasure.”

Mr. Jones choreographed and performed worldwide with his late partner, Arnie Zane, before forming the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company in 1982. He has created more than 140 works for his company. Mr. Jones is the Artistic Director of New York Live Arts, an organization that strives to create a robust framework in support of the nation’s dance and movement-based artists through new approaches to producing, presenting and educating. For more information visit newyorklivearts.org.

Photo by Chloe Cusimano
Photo by Chloe Cusimano

The Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts

Miguel Gutierrez

Miguel Gutierrez is a multi-disciplinary dance artist living between Lenapehoking/Brooklyn, NY and Tovaangar/Los Angeles. He makes emotional work about epic and existential themes and is committed to creating space for QTBIPOC folks to dream and express complexity. His work has been presented internationally for over twenty years. He received a 2016 Doris Duke Artist Award. He is currently making a new work through the Randjelovic/Stryker Resident Commissioned Artist program at Live Arts.

Photo courtesy of the artist
Photo courtesy of the artist

The Michael Richards Award for Visual Art

Baseera Khan

Baseera Khan is a New York-based performance, sculpture, and installation artist interested in materials, color, and their economies, the effects of these relationships to labor and family structures, religion, and spiritual well-being. Khan's public art commission, "Painful Arc, Shoulder High," remains on The High Line Park, NYC located by the Standard Hotel until summer 2024. Khan’s work has been exhibited internationally, including solo exhibitions at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York (2021-22), and a touring exhibition for Moody Arts Center for the Arts, Rice University, and the Contemporary Arts Center in Cincinnati (2022-2023). Khan won an Artist Prize for the MTV/Smithsonian Channel TV docu-series, called The Exhibit in 2022-23. Khan is also a recipient of the UOVO Art Prize (2020), BRIC Colene Brown Art Prize, and the Joan Mitchell Painters and Sculptors Grant (2019), NYSCA/NYFA and Art Matters (2018). Their works are part of several public permanent collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim, Whitney Museum of American Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, the Walker Art Center, and the New Orleans Museum of Art.

Photo by Emma Bernstein
Photo by Emma Bernstein

The Sarah Verdone Award for Writing

Jennifer Bartlett

Jennifer Bartlett was born in the San Francisco Bay Area and educated at the University of New Mexico, Vermont College, and Brooklyn College. Bartlett is the author of four books of poetry, and a co-editor of Beauty Is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability (Cinco Puntos Press, 2011) with Sheila Black and Michael Northen. Bartlett’s poetry, nonfiction, and curatorial work has appeared in The New York Times, Poetry Magazine, Typo, and many other places. In 2017, Bartlett co-founded Zoeglossia, a literary organization pioneering an inclusive space for poets with disabilities. In collaboration with George Hart, she edited Momentous Inconclusions: The Life and Work of Larry Eigner (University of Alabama Press, 2023). Bartlett has received fellowships from the New York Foundation for the Arts, Fund for Poetry, and the Dodd Research Center at the University of Connecticut.

D-Man in the Waters, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Photo by Jay Anderson
D-Man in the Waters, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, Photo by Jay Anderson

2024 Guest Performance

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company

The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company was born in 1982 out of an 11-year collaboration between Bill T. Jones and Arnie Zane (1948–1988). During this time, they redefined the duet form and foreshadowed issues of identity, form and social commentary that would change the face of American dance. The Company has performed worldwide in over 200 cities in 40 countries on every major continent and is recognized as one of the most innovative and powerful forces in the dance-theater world. To learn more about the The Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company, visit newyorklivearts.org/history.

Photo by John Darko
Photo by John Darko

2024 Gala Emcee

Darrell Martin

A lifelong artist, Darrell Martin has collaborated with such stars as Pink, Sheryl Lee Ralph and Rupaul throughout his production and entertainment career. His career in entertaining at private affairs include such clients as Wells Fargo, American Express, Readers Digest and the families of Chris Berman, Ron Howard, Howard Stern, as well as a host of others. Currently Darrell is a psychotherapist, coach and group facilitator who works with a variety of artist populations and theatrical production companies. In 2022 he co-founded ARTSNYC (with artist and psychotherapist Brian Spitulnik) to provide system-focused individual and group therapy, coaching, and consulting that is guided by artists and arts-workers' voices and emerging needs. A strong believer in the power of creativity, Darrell is thrilled to celebrate LMCC’s enduring mission to support arts and culture in NYC.

Learn more about the 2024 Downtown Dinner Featured Artists here.

Golden Anniversary Circle

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The 50 for 50 Golden Anniversary Circle sponsors support LMCC with a $50,000 table purchase. These generous contributions reflect their commitment to LMCC and the transformative power of art. Learn more about the 50 for 50 Golden Anniversary Circle here.

The Downtown Dinner 2024 Supporters
As of April 16, 2024

Titanium Committee
Bloomberg Philanthropies
Buro Happold
Cantor Fitzgerald
CBRE
HLW International Architects
Howard Hughes Corporation
Linda Genereux & Timur Galen
Tim & Stephanie Ingrassia
Time Equities, Inc.

Trinity Church Wall Street
Wells Fargo

Platinum Committee
Elizabeth & Michael Ashworth
Kimberly & Ken Blacklow
Battery Park City Authority

Brookfield Properties
Hudson Square Properties
Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates
Cherrie Nanninga
Newmark
Page Sutherland Page & Steven Davis
Port Authority of New York & New Jersey
Silverstein Properties
World Wide Technology

Gold Supporters
Adamson Associates Architects
Jerry Bianco & Suffolk Construction
Marcia & Noel Caban
Charina Foundation
Bruce Ehrmann
Downtown Lower Manhattan Association
The Durst Organization
Fried Frank
Halls Lane Studio
Kasirer
L & L Holding Company
Jessica Lappin
Frank Sciame
Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
Structure Tone
Jack & Susy Wadsworth
Madelyn Wils

Silver Supporters
Jennifer Beck
Diller Scofidio & Renfro
Jennifer Egan & David Herskovits
Flushing Bank
Martha Gallo
Geto & De Milly, Inc.
Bob Gold
Havas Media Network
Langan
James Hung Foo Lee
North River Company
Eddie Opara
Charlotte Riggs
Snøhetta
Steven Davis
Thomas Scarangello
The Trust for Governors Island

Bronze Supporters
AKRF
Michael Arad
Gina Barnett
Flushing Bank
Heintges Consulting Architects & Engineers
HRA Advisors
Catherine McVay Hughes
Kramer Levin Naftalis & Frankel LLP
Meredith Kane
May & Samuel Rudin Family Foundation
Sharon Ullman

DD24_GalaCommitteeList_040524

The Downtown Dinner supports LMCC's efforts to serve, connect, and make space for artists and community in Manhattan and beyond.

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 50 years of LMCC, 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.

Past Downtown Dinner Honorees

2023
Twyla Tharp, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Francis J. Greenburger, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Mei Lum
David Thomson
Lisa Hsiao Chen

2022
Pam Tanowitz, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Ezra Wube
The Harlem Chamber Players
Chia-Lun Chang

2021
The Downtown Dinner Reimagined featuring Bill Frisell, Okwui Okpokwasili, and Damon Davis

2020
Jessica Lappin, President, Downtown Alliance, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Maggie Boepple, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Amina Henry
Eiko Otake
Paul Pfeiffer

2019 
The Howard Hughes Corporation, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Julie Taymor, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership 
Kaneza Schaal
Kamau Ware
Liana Finck

2018
Tim & Stephanie Ingrassia, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Julie Mehretu, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Matt Jensen
Will Rawls
Melissa Febos

2017
Anita Durst, Helena Durst, Durst Family, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
The Keith Haring Foundation & The Estate of Tseng Kwong Chi, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
William Cordova
Faye Driscoll
Lisa Ko

2016
Frank Sciame, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Laurie Anderson, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Laura Nova
Okwui Okpokwasili
Julia Jarcho

2015
Peter Poulakakos, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Xu Bing, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Mary Mattingly (accepted by Caroline Wall, Director, Robert Mann Gallery)
Aya Ogawa
Sarah Dohrmann

2014
The Trust for Governors Island, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Trisha Brown Dance Company, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership 
Dread Scott
Naomi Goldberg Haas
Pia Wilson
Control Group

2013
Cherrie Nanninga, outgoing Board Chair, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Richard Serra, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
LaToya Ruby Frazier
Pavel Zustiak
Amy Whitaker

2012
Kevin Burke & Con Edison, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Robert R. Douglass & the Alliance for Downtown New York, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
The National September 11 Memorial & Museum architecture and engineering team, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Simone Leigh
Maria Hassabi
Alicia Jo Rabins

*Michael Arad/Handel Architects, Davis Brody Bond, Snøhetta, Peter Walker/PWP Landscape Architecture

2011
Kenneth I. Chenault & American Express, Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
The Joyce Theater (award accepted by Linda E. Shelton), Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Yoko Inoue
Koosil-ja
Emily Rubin

2010
Steve Buscemi, Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership
Brookfield (award accepted by Melissa Coley, Anita Contini, and Debra Simon), Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership
Kate Gilmore
The National Theatre of the United States of America