The Asian American Arts Alliance, Its 28th Anniversary Benefit Gala, And Defining Moments

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is it just me or are there a lot of Galas going on more these days? I'm asking you that question because I'm kind of a recluse and only go out for food and water and the occasional lap dance by fuzzy bears who can't even think to themselves how they ever found themselves outside of the forest where they had it all.

The Asian American Arts Alliance (a4) will host its 28th Anniversary Benefit Gala: Defining Moments on November 3rd at CUE Art Foundation in New York City. Showcasing a4’s work on behalf of Asian American artists and arts groups, the gala is also a time to toast the contributions of extraordinary individuals in the arts.

This year, a4 will present awards to four honorees: Tisa Chang, artistic producing director of Pan Asian Repertory Theatre; Mana Hashimoto, dancer and choreographer; Jeffrey Ng (aka jeffstaple), founder and creative director of Staple Design; and Shen Wei, director of Shen Wei Dance Arts and best known for heading the choreography team for the 2008 Olympics opening ceremonies in Beijing. A silent auction rounds out the festivities, featuring exceptional items from the Guggenheim Museum and Manhattan by Sail, among others.

Celebrated arts professionals, leaders and supporters are expected to gather for the highly anticipated annual event. The gala is a4’s main fundraiser and all proceeds will benefit the Asian American Arts Alliance. “While the arts continue to receive cuts in private and public funding, it is arts organizations like a4 that contribute more than $150 billion in spending each year to tax revenues and household incomes.* We rely on events like the gala to raise critical funds needed to serve our community and sustain our work,” a4 board president Rocky Chin said. (*Americans for the Arts, Arts & Economic Prosperity III: The Economic Impact of Nonprofit Arts and Culture Organizations and Their Audiences)

With philanthropists, elected officials, as well as socialites in attendance, a4 galas have attracted a diverse and culturally savvy crowd. Honorees and presenters have included: Ambassador and Consul General of Japan Motoatsu Sakurai; actor and comedian Margaret Cho; filmmaker Mira Nair; Broadway director and producer Tommy Tune; actor Kal Penn; fashion designer Phillip Lim; actor BD Wong; visual artist Mariko Mori; architect Billie Tsien; fashion designer Peter Som; president of Asia Society Vishakha Desai; Nautica founder David Chu; chef Anita Lo; and author Suketu Mehta.
For tickets to a4’s 28th Anniversary Benefit Gala: Defining Moments, go to or contact event planner Vicki Shu Smolin at (646) 502-5337.


For some reason I saw the word "Nautica" and my first thought was "Damn - they're giving Nautica Thorn an award too? Wow they're progressive as hell."

Obviously - and already known to any real person (because I don't exist) - this wasn't true...