It was a night of royals, celebrities, socials and glamour galore. Last Monday night, the Princess Grace Foundation–USA (PGF-USA) hosted the 30th Anniversary Princess Grace Awards Gala at the gorgeous Cipriani 42nd Street in New York City. Emceed by award-winning television journalist Paula Zahn, the Foundation presented 25 Awards to emerging artists in theater, dance and film, as well as the Princess Grace Statue Award presented to actor Patrick Page and sound designer Darron L West.
Philanthropist, patron of the arts, international style icon, and Founding Trustee Lynn Wyatt was the evening’s special honoree. Looking every bit the star that she is, Lynn Wyatt was recognized for her deep commitment to the Princess Grace Foundation and its mission of supporting emerging artists. Chaired by H.R.H. Princess Firyal of Jordan, Renee Fleming, and Tim Jessell and sponsored by Hermès and Lily Safra, the Gala took place in the presence of the T.S.H. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco. Prince Albert and Princess Charlene were as dashing and elegant as ever.
The beautiful evening began with Cipriani’s signature cocktail hour, followed by the Awards ceremony and a special performance by the talented Leslie Odom and Nicolette Robinson. A sumptuous dinner was served and then the night concluded by dancing with Prince Albert and Princess Charlene at the center of the dance floor. The 2012 Princess Grace Awars was the most notable and memorable events of New York’s packed Gala season this year.
The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a public charity that was formed after the death of Princess Grace in 1982. They present scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships to assist artists at the start of their careers. The Foundation has cultivated a diverse group of nearly 600 artists to date who continue to advance the spectrum of performing arts with innovative, cutting-edge, and vibrant theater, dance, choreography, film, playwriting and design. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 700 Awards have been given to recipients, totaling more than $9.5 million. This year’s Gala continued this noble and impressive tradition of cultivating the next generation of talented artists. It was simply inspiring to be sitting in a room with so much burgeoning talent.
Also at this year’s Gala, the PGF-USA proudly announced the inaugural year of the Princess Grace JustFilms Documentary Awards, made possible by the Ford Foundation’s JustFilms program. These funds support social justice documentary film projects, which focus on South Asian and Southeast Asian communities.
This year’s Princess Grace Awards winners exemplify both classical and experimental artistic disciplines and, while still considered emerging talent, already show exceptional promise in their areas of expertise. In their honor, all artists received a specially-created objet d’art created by Alex Soldier, which symbolically combines the three art forms lauded by the Foundation: theater, dance, and film by using precious metals and Swarovski crystal accents. The sculpture was made for each recipient to wear as a pin, a special reminder of their Award for the world to see.
The Special Project Awards and Works in Progress Residencies at the Baryshnikov Arts Center that were also bestowed at the Gala offer past Awards winners support for projects that advance their artistic development. This year, seven Special Projects and two Works in Progress Residencies were awarded. Past winners of the Awards who distinguish themselves in their artistic disciplines since receiving their initial Awards are eligible for the Princess Grace Statue Award. These Awards include a $25,000 gift and a Bronze Statue of Princess Grace created by Dutch artist Kees Verkade.
Just some of the gliterrati who stepped out for the 2012 Gala included, T.S.H. Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene of Monaco, Geena Davis, Lynn Wyatt, Patrick Page, Darron L. West, Paula Zahn, Renée Fleming, Tim Jessell, Anne Hearst McInerney & Jay McInerney, Buzz Aldrin, Alexander Gilkes, Alec Hammond, Dr. James Watson, John & Barbara Lehman, Judith Light, Hon. Maguy Maccario, Yves Piaget, Adam Rapp, Dr. Jon Turk & Carolyn Gusoff Turk, Kathleen Marshall, Michael Wilson, Leslie Odom, Jr. & Nicolette Robinson, Alex Soldier, Toby Boshak, Nicolas Luchsinger, as well as all of the 2012 Princess Grace Award winners.