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Our Stories

Raising Our Collective Voice for Cultural Exchange

November 14, 2019

Paintings, Puppetry, Opera, and Sound Projections!

 
Thank you to all who bundled up last night to join ACC in celebrating the transformative power of cultural exchange through an immersive evening of live performances by our talented alumni!
 
Our global community of supporters, grantees, and friends gathered to benefit the ACC Program, which leverages the ability of art to connect individuals across borders.
 
Five decades of ACC grantees joined Executive Director Miho Walsh on the stage, representing a diverse, international family strengthened by human connection, cultural understanding, and mutual respect.
 
Back row: Eric Schorr (ACC 2005), Alice Reyes (ACC 1969), Issui Minegishi (ACC 2009, 2012), Basil Twist (ACC 2003, 2014), Cai Guo-Qiang (ACC 1995, 2006), Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985), Ruby Shang (ACC 1984), Sangmin Chae (ACC 2018); Middle row: Madge Reyes (ACC 2018), Joselina Cruz (ACC 2018), Dan Isomura (ACC 2019), Chen Yu-An (ACC 2017), Dex Fernandez (ACC 2014), ACC Executive Director Miho Walsh, Jennifer Wen Ma (ACC 2006, 2015); Front row: Suguru Yamamoto (ACC 2018), Michiko Tsuda (ACC 2018), Su Huang-Sheng (ACC 2019), Morgan Wong (ACC 2018), Tong Shanshan (ACC 2018), Joned Suryatmoko (ACC 2016, 2018), Utsa Hazarika (ACC 2017, 2018).

Back row: Eric Schorr (ACC 2005), Alice Reyes (ACC 1969), Issui Minegishi (ACC 2009, 2012), Basil Twist (ACC 2003, 2014), Cai Guo-Qiang (ACC 1995, 2006), Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985), Ruby Shang (ACC 1984), Sangmin Chae (ACC 2018); Middle row: Madge Reyes (ACC 2018), Joselina Cruz (ACC 2018), Dan Isomura (ACC 2019), Chen Yu-An (ACC 2017), Dex Fernandez (ACC 2014), ACC Executive Director Miho Walsh, Jennifer Wen Ma (ACC 2006, 2015); Front row: Suguru Yamamoto (ACC 2018), Michiko Tsuda (ACC 2018), Su Huang-Sheng (ACC 2019), Morgan Wong (ACC 2018), Tong Shanshan (ACC 2018), Joned Suryatmoko (ACC 2016, 2018), Utsa Hazarika (ACC 2017, 2018). 

The gala honored leading philanthropist Elizabeth J. McCormack (ACC Chairman Emeritus) with the Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Award and internationally renowned architect Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985) with the John D. Rockefeller 3rd Award. Elizabeth J. McCormack spoke to the pivotal moments in ACC's history, her longstanding friendship with the first ACC Chairman, Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller, and the indelible impact of her travels in Japan. She announced to the applause of the audience that at age 96, her great wish was to return to Japan, a country and community that had shown her incredible kindness.

Honoree Elizabeth J. McCormack with ACC Life Trustee Richard S. Lanier, Mary Lanier, Honorary Committee member and ACC Trustee Josie Cruz Natori, and ACC Trustees Hans Michael Jebsen and Ernest Escaler.

ACC's founder John D. Rockefeller 3rd believed that immersive experiences outside one's home country not only enable greater understanding of another culture, but also provide the opportunity to learn about one's own. Honoree Kengo Kuma spoke to this concept in regards to his 1985 ACC Fellowship as a visiting scholar at Columbia University. During that time, he was not only able to meet architects and designers introduced by ACC, but also developed a deeper appreciation of his own culture.

Honoree Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985), Honorary Committee members Cai Guo-Qiang (ACC 1995, 2006) and Donna Karan, and Dan Isomura (ACC 2019).

ACC Trustees Janet Nathanail, Hans Michael Jebsen, Ernest Escaler, Valerie Rockefeller, Julie Kohn, Gala Chair Mercedes Zobel, Michael Sovern (Life Trustee), Gala Chair Wendy O’Neill, Ruby Shang, Jonathan Fanton, Kazuko Aso, Missie Rennie, Executive Director Miho Walsh, and Life Trustee Bill Spears. 

Yukako Yamashita, Michiko Tsuda (ACC 2018), ACC Trustee David Rockefeller, Jr., Dan Isomura (ACC 2019), and ACC Director of Engagement and Outreach Masako Shiba. 

Honorary Committee members Susan Rockefeller, Donna Karan, and Gala Chair Mercedes Zobel. 

Featured Artists Basil Twist, Chen Yu-An, Yoko Reikano Kimura, Dex Fernandez, Jennifer Wen Ma, and Guillermo Acevedo (not pictured).

Dex Fernandez's (ACC 2014) graffiti-scape Happy Veins depicted the memories of his time as an ACC grantee, conveying ACC's ability to "bridge talented strangers and build a creative community".

The theme of community resonated throughout the night, starting with Chen Yu-An's (ACC 2017) Taiwanese opera performance "Happiness for an Extending Family."
 
Jennifer Wen Ma (ACC 2006, 2015) led gala attendees through an interactive performance utilizing sound-generated visual projections, channeling the audience's collective voice to convey the impact of individuals coming together through art. Fourth-generation puppeteer Basil Twist (ACC 2004, 2014) wove smoothly through the audience, bringing his mesmerizing puppetry from the stage to the tables in an intimately scaled performance.
 
 
From our active and visionary board, to our brilliant grantees, to our generous donors, we are sincerely grateful to our community of dedicated supporters. You enable us to uphold our mission of advancing international dialogue, understanding, and respect through cultural exchange. We thank everyone for making this wonderful evening possible, and look forward to continuing this important work together.
 

Check out the full photo album here
More photos to be added in the upcoming weeks, so check back often!

 

 

ACC Grantees