More than $900,000 raised at 2015 Benefit Celebration

(L-R) ArtsConnection Board Chair Lisa Plepler, NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Tom Finkelpearl, ArtsConnection Executive Director Steven Tennen, ArtsConnection Vice Chair Robert Pruzan

ArtsConnection 2015 Benefit Celebration rang in over $900,000 at 583 Park Avenue last Tuesday, April 21st. We honored President and CEO of Univision Communications Inc., Randy Falco. Univision’s El Gordo Y La Flaca personality, Lili Estefan, served as the gala’s vibrant emcee. Guests were entertained by the very funny George Lopez, and Latin pop-star Thalía paid tribute to Randy.

Guests kicked off the evening in the venue’s arcade floor where a mural for Randy was co-created by the guests with the guidance of ArtsConnection teaching artist Jeff Hopkins. A live ten-piece Latin band with dancers helped guests segue into the seated dinner in the venue’s ballroom.

NYC Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña started off the seated dinner with remarks about the love of Univision in her household and her strong support of arts education. Carmen mentioned that her first introduction to ArtsConnection and Executive Director Steven Tennen go back many decades, when she was a teacher at a public school in District 15 in Brooklyn.

Founding Chair Linda Janklow presented this year’s Janklow Awards to dance teaching artist Jennifer Golonka and principal Victoria Hart of PS 20 in Queens for their outstanding achievements and commitment to arts education.

Attended guests include: Thalía and Tommy Mattola, George Lopez, Lili Estefan, Chancellor Carmen Fariña, Tom Finkelpearl – Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs, Susan Haskell – Deputy Commissioner of the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, Denise and David Chase, Wendy and Tim Van Patten, Rachelle and Sean MacPherson, Gigi Stone, and author Patricia Cornwall