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BAM Virtual Gala 2020 to Honor Cate Blanchett and More

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BAM Virtual Gala 2020 to Honor Cate Blanchett and More

On May 13, the BAM Virtual Gala 2020 honors actor and director Cate Blanchett, author Zadie Smith, and philanthropist and producer Jeanne Donovan Fisher for their invaluable contributions to film, literature, theater, and cultural philanthropy. In accordance with COVID-19 safety and social distancing guidelines, the gala will be hosted this year on and open to the public. The event directly supports BAM's commitment to its wide scope of adventurous programming and viewers are invited to make contributions throughout the evening.

BAM President Katy Clark said, "Moving to an online, virtual format gives BAM an exciting opportunity to open its gala experience to a wider audience, pay tribute to our amazing honorees in new ways, and gather the arts community in a challenging time. We are excited to share this unique experience as part of our current digital Love from BAM programming. Our greatest concern right now is for everyone's health and safety. When we can safely come together once again, we'll look forward to seeing you at BAM."

Gala chairs are William I. Campbell (BAM Vice Chair) and Christine W?"chter-Campbell; and Judith R. Fishman and Alan H. Fishman (BAM Chairman Emeritus).

The artistic director for BAM's virtual gala is award-winning theater and film director Maureen Towey.

Artists who have performed at BAM will create special tributes to the honorees. Tanztheater Wuppertal Pina Bausch Artistic and General Director Bettina Wagner-Bergelt has graciously offered a solo to be danced by company member Julie Anne Stanzak and filmed by French filmmaker Nathalie Larquet in honor of Cate Blanchett. GRAMMY Award-winning ensemble Brooklyn Youth Chorus, under the direction of Founder and Artistic Director Dianne Berkun Menaker, will perform a Philip Glass composition dedicated to Jeanne Donovan Fisher. In honor of Zadie Smith, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater company members will pay tribute with an original, short performance film.

Multiple GRAMMY Award winning artist St. Vincent will perform in celebration of BAM-seen exclusively during the livestreamed event. Renowned house DJ Eli Escobar will MC a living room dance party to close out the evening.

The annual BAM Art Auction, powered by Artsy, will launch on the day of the gala and run online through May 27. The event, featuring dynamic works from a range of artists working in different media, brings together art-lovers, collectors, and patrons in support of the institution. The auction is co-chaired by BAM Trustees Tony Bechara and Mark Diker, and features works by artists Katherine Bradford, Marcel Dzama, Alex Katz, Chloe Wise, Erin Shirreff, Swoon, and Anish Kapoor, among many others.

Each gala honoree distinctly embodies BAM's adventurous spirit and commitment to the arts, and each has contributed to BAM's legacy of supporting outstanding achievements in the performing arts, cinema, and literature. The iconic Cate Blanchett has appeared on BAM's stage in the title role of Hedda Gabler (2006) and as a masterful and critically acclaimed Blanche in Liv Ullmann's production of A Streetcar Named Desire (2009). The renowned novelist, essayist, and short story author Zadie Smith appeared at BAM in 2007 and 2016 as part of the Eat, Drink, & Be Literary series, and was part of BAM's Unbound book-launch series in 2014. Trustee Jeanne Donovan Fisher was elected to BAM's board in 2006. In addition to serving on BAM's film committee, she was a devoted supporter and champion for the construction of the BAM Fisher, which opened in 2012.

Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos

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