Join us for an immersive evening of live performances at Urban Zen. ACC’s talented and inspiring alumni will present site-specific work, including contemporary puppetry; graffiti-scape painting; traditional Taiwanese opera and jazz vocalization; and interactive, sound-generated projections.

Date: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Time: 6:00 PM Cocktails | 7:00 PM Dinner & Performance | 9:00 PM Dessert

RSVP by: November 6, 2019

Location: 711 Greenwich Street, New York, NY 10014

Dress: Asian-Inspired / Black Tie

Honorees: Elizabeth J. McCormack, Kengo Kuma

At the Asian Cultural Council, we believe that international cultural exchange advances dialogue, understanding, and respect in service to creating a more peaceful world. Over the past 56 years, ACC has supported over 6000 exchanges of artists and scholars in Asia and the U.S. Join us in celebrating our mission with our international community of alumni, trustees, donors, and colleagues who enact and champion ACC’s vision of a world made more harmonious through cultural exchange. Our 2019 gala honors the respective philanthropic and artistic contributions of ACC Chairman Emeritus Elizabeth J. McCormack, and architect Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985).

2019 Blanchette Hooker Rockefeller Awardee
Elizabeth J. McCormack
Chairman Emeritus

A tireless philanthropic leader devoted to the Asian Cultural Council’s principals of cultural exchange, Elizabeth J. McCormack is unparalleled in ACC’s 56-year history. Her decades of steadfast support, including her twenty-two years as Chairman of ACC’s Board, have sustained the organization and enabled it to flourish and grow.


Miss McCormack’s indefatigable efforts on ACC’s behalf have ensured ongoing support for the organization, opening countless doors and building a circle of loyal supporters. Miss McCormack’s more than 40 years as a trustee, and her exceptionally generous personal philanthropic commitment of over $2 million, has provided opportunities for generations of artists and scholars to connect throughout the world.

Kengo kuma
2019 John D. Rockefeller 3rd Awardee
Kengo Kuma (ACC 1985)

Kengo Kuma (born 1954 in Kanagawa, Japan) is recognized as one of the great architects of the 21st century. He received an M.A. in architecture from the University of Tokyo in 1979. In 1985, he received an ACC Fellowship to serve as a visiting scholar at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture and Planning.


In 1987, Kuma founded Spatial Design Studio in Tokyo, and in 1990, he established his current practice Kengo Kuma & Associates. In 2008, Kuma earned a Ph.D. from Keio University, and in 2009 began his professorship at the University of Tokyo, Graduate School of Architecture.

Kuma's mission is to "recover the tradition of Japanese buildings" and to reinterpret it for the 21st century. Taking inspiration from light and nature, Kuma’s work has transformed the field of contemporary architecture.

Yu an chen

Yu-An Chen Vocalist
(ACC 2017, Taiwan)

Yu-An Chen is a master performer of traditional Taiwanese opera. In recent years, Yu-An has been exploring the creative possibilities of bringing together her art form and western jazz vocalization. Her performance will begin by performing traditional Taiwanese opera, transitioning into jazz vocalization that draws a connection between the two art forms. For our gala, Yu-An will create a singular sonic experience that bridges the traditional and the modern, East and West.

Dex fernandez

Dex Fernandez Visual Artist
(ACC 2014, Philippines)

Dex Fernandez is a painter and performance artist whose practice draws on graffiti and other forms of street art. With a large blank canvas as his starting point, Dex will improvise a quick and inventive graffiti-scape that will evolve throughout the event. Our guests will be able to watch Dex work during cocktails and dessert, with the canvas completed by the end of the evening.

Jennifer wen ma

Jennifer Wen Ma Visual Artist
(ACC 2006, U.S./China)

Jennifer Wen Ma is known for her ambitious, experimental opera installation, Paradise Interrupted, which employs interactive technology to produce video projections generated in response to sound. Now, she has designed an immersive, visual landscape that will unfold in response to our gala performances. Her piece will culminate in a participatory moment where guests will create sounds that generate a finale of project images. This unique experience illustrates our belief in the collective power of individuals to create a more harmonious world.

Basil twist

Basil Twist Puppeteer
(ACC 2003, 2014, U.S.)

Basil Twist is among the world’s most innovative and acclaimed puppeteers. Together, with shamisen virtuoso Yoko Reikano Kimura, Basil will present an excerpt from Dogugaeshi. This celebrated 2004 work was inspired, in part, by his 2003 ACC fellowship to carry out travel and research in Japan.

Wendy O’Neill
Mercedes Zobel

Honorary Committee
Cai Guo-Qiang
Donna Karan
Josie Cruz Natori
Susan Rockefeller

Benefit Committee

Hope Aldrich and Michael Jeffers
Kazuko Aso
Lina Baume
Catharine and Kevin Broderick
Cai Foundation
Silas and Celia Chou
Cloud Art Society
Margaret Dulany
Robert J. and Joan Easton
Carol and Tony Friscia
Jennifer P. Goodale
Allen Curtis Greer and Pamela Kohlberg
Kikka Hanazawa
Tonia Hsu
Dr. Michael I. Jacobs
Désirée and Hans Michael Jebsen
Joto Sake
Julie Ann Kohn and Dan Swift
Kim Koo and Aaron Koo
Lea Haber Kuck
Rajo Laurel and Nix Alanon
Anthony and Sharon Lee
Jeff and Claudia Little
YiLing Mao
Dr. Donald A. McCain
Elizabeth J. McCormack
Mikimoto (America) Co., Ltd.
Josie Cruz Natori
Peter and Katie O’Neill
Carol Rattray
Missie Rennie and Zach Taylor
David and Susan Rockefeller
Ruby Shang and Anthony Salzman
The Shubert Organization, Inc.
Marsha E. Simms
Susan E. Skerritt
Maria and William G. Spears
Yuji and Yumiko Tsutsumi
Diane and Stephen Volk
David Wippman
Yukako Yamashita

Artistic Advisory Council

Yael Buencamino

Cai Guo-Qiang, ACC 1995

Chen Kaige, ACC 1986 - 1988

Tiffany Chung, ACC 2015

Patrick Flores, ACC 2009

Oscar Ho, ACC 1992

David Henry Hwang, ACC 2012

Jin Xing, ACC 1988

Kengo Kuma, ACC 1985

Dinh Q. Le, ACC 2010

Lin Hwai-min, ACC 1978 - 2007

Barbara London, ACC 1995 & 1997

Fumihiko Maki, ACC 1976

Meredith Monk, ACC 1997 & 2000

Kohei Nawa, ACC 2004

Jan Leeroy New, ACC 2015

Viet Thanh Nguyen, ACC 2010

Ong Keng Sen, ACC 1993

Mallika Sarabhai, ACC 2002

Sheu Fang-Yi, ACC 2006

Louisa So Yuk Wa, ACC 2008

Julie Taymor, ACC 1980

Jennifer Tipton, ACC 2008 - 2019

Tran Luong ACC, 1998 & 2008

Apichatpong Weerasethakul, ACC 2004

Robert Wilson, ACC 1981 & 2004

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