Annual Benefit Gala


At the Park’s 2017 Benefit Gala on Wednesday, September 27th, we honored Nari Ward, an internationally renowned artist & Michelle Coffey, Executive Director of the Lambent Foundation. Together, Michelle and Nari embodied the ethos and mission of Socrates – as a supporter of artists and their careers, as a catalyst for community engagement, and as an urban park that enhances the quality of life for all New Yorkers.

A special limited edition by internationally renowned artist Roxy Paine, created exclusively for this event, was also available, with proceeds directed toward the Park’s longstanding Emerging Artist Fellowship program.

The celebration took place at Mark di Suvero’s magnificent waterfront studio in Long Island City, Queens, where guests partook in sunset cocktails on the pier and enjoyed boat excursions on the East River.

The Gala raised critical funds that directly supported a year’s worth of programs, operations, and maintenance at Socrates Sculpture Park, allowing us to support artists and produce free arts programming serving more than 200,000 people annually.


Bloomberg Philanthropies, Paula Cooper, Mark di Suvero, Lambent Foundation, Plant Specialists

Maxine & Stuart Frankel Foundation, Robert F. Goldrich and the Leon Levy Foundation, Agnes Gund, The Kayden Family, Richard & Ronay Menschel, Joel Shapiro & Ellen Phelan, Silvercup Studios

Richard Gluckman & Tiffany Bell, Kaufman Astoria Studios, Ivana Mestrovic, Brooke Kamin Rapaport & Richard A. Rapaport, Stephen Reily & Emily Bingham, Ursula von Rydingsvard & Paul Greengard, Amy Wolf

Jamie Bennett, Randye Kaplan & Gerald Blitstein, Dun-Rite Specialized Carriers, Michael Hoeh, Melanie Katzman & Russell Makowsky, Lehmann Maupin/New York & Hong Kong, Peter & Anna Levin, Deidrea Miller & Jens Nachtigal, Elizabeth Sackler, Manny & Jackie Silverman

Lainey & Andy Fallek, Grounds for Sculpture, Nancy Lorenz & Doug Schwalbe, Vincent McGee, Margaret Morton, Carolina Nitsch, Mrs. C. Sidamon-Eristoff, Kimberly Strong, Lowery Stokes Sims

From left to right: Queens Borough President, Melinda Katz; Lambent Foundation Executive Director & Gala Honoree, Michelle Coffey; Artist & Gala Honoree, Nari Ward; Socrates Sculpture Park Executive Director, John Hatfield; Former Queens Borough President, Claire Shulman; City Council Majority Leader, Jimmy Van Bramer; Commissioner of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Tom Finkelpearl. Image by Emma McDonald.

The Park’s friend and founder, Mark di Suvero. Image by Emma McDonald.

Guests enjoyed cocktails on the pier as the sun set over the Manhattan skyline. Image by Emma McDonald.

Moonlit boat rides were available throughout the evening. Image by Emma McDonald.
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PO Box 6259, 32-01 Vernon Boulevard
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Socrates is open 365 days a year from 9am to sunset.
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Socrates is open 365 days a year from 10am to sunset.