Photo Flash: NYU Tisch 2019 Gala Honors Actress Susan Kelechi Watson and Future Architect Sharon Chang
Over 450 alumni, donors and supporters gathered at St. Ann's Warehouse on Monday night for the NYU Tisch School of the Arts 2019 Gala, honoring notable alumni Susan Kelechi Watson and Sharon Chang. The event featured several performances by current Tisch students in tribute to the two honorees. Alec and Hilaria Baldwin and Martin Scorsese served as honorary co-chairs for the evening. In attendance were NYU Tisch Dean Allyson Green, NYU Provost Katherine Fleming, Grammy Award-winning music executive Clive Davis and Tony Award-winning actress Phylicia Rashad. Nearly $1 million was raised to support critical needs of talented Tisch students.
"At NYU Tisch School of the Arts we are an imaginative community of storytellers, artists, scholars, and entrepreneurs who have a passion to create work that makes an impact in the world," said Allyson Green, Dean, NYU Tisch School of the Arts. "We are artist citizens on the front lines, armed with the power of images and words, to effect positive change. The seeds we plant, the values we instill, the ideas we offer and the connections we forge here can and will collectively shape our future."
Former Sundance Institute executive Kamal Sinclair presented Chang with the Big Apple Award for Artistic Achievement. "In an age of radical change, we are embattled with a crisis of imagination. Sharon teaches us how to suspend fear long enough to go on a journey of curiosity, creating free space to imagine a more just, more beautiful world. But Sharon's most
heartfelt accomplishment is being the living embodiment of what an NYU Tisch graduate should be."
"Our humanity needs a great leap - powered by courageous art, shaped by radical imagination, inspired by inclusive narrative and sustained through authentic embodiment," said Sharon Chang, Tisch alumna and future architect. "Tisch today and tomorrow will be the engine to drive this leap forward, a 21st century renaissance with thriving collaborations to question outdated systems, give meaning to disruptions and shape realities with artistic rigor and love. I hope the Future Imagination Fund will set the foundation for generations of artists to lead the way in unlocking our collective human potential."
Actress Phylicia Rashad presented Watson with the Big Apple Award for Artistic Achievement. "When I first met Susan, she never failed to ask the important questions, the questions asked least. Susan is courageous, she is daring, and she has a strong commitment to humanity, using her craft and her life to inspire people to unlock their human potential. There is nothing more gratifying to a teacher than to see a student rise to attain levels of mastery one after another. And Susan is that student."
"We are called to art because there is a truth in each of us that we want to see mirrored in one another," said Susan Kelechi Watson, Tisch alumna and SAG Award-winning actress and producer. "NYU taught me the skills to live in my authentic self, to bring my full authenticity to the table. I am truly humbled by this honor, and I receive it hoping that I embody the things NYU stands for: truth, honesty and the fervent belief that your individuality is important to the world."
The gala celebrated NYU Tisch's expansion into Brooklyn, where it will house the Institute of Emerging Media, which encompasses the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), Interactive Media Arts Program (IMA), Game Center and Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music.
The evening's entertainment included musical and dance performances by Tisch graduate and undergraduate students, including a mesmerizing body percussion performance put on by the Seán Curran Company and choreographed by Seán Curran, Chair of Dance at NYU Tisch. Live music was provided throughout the night by cLive of the Clive Davis Institute of Recorded Music. The gala also showcased the depth and breadth of NYU Tisch's offerings, which include programs in acting, dance, cinema studies, design for stage and film, dramatic writing, film and television, game design, interactive telecommunications, moving image archiving and preservation, musical theatre writing, performance studies, photography, public policy and recorded music.
Photo Credit: @samhollenshead for NYU Tisch School of the Arts 2019 Gala.
Sean Curran Company Performance
Jeff Rabhan and Clive Davis