Blog: The Creative Coalition Gala 2014
Though Marquee, which sits on New York City’s Tenth Avenue, is perhaps best known as one of the country’s most sought after nightclubs and hotspots, the venue was transformed on Tuesday night to play host to a different sort of event. The bass-infused beats and world renowned DJs were cast aside for the evening in celebration of a star-studded affair that coupled celebrities with philanthopy, rolling out the red carpet for a local and notable cause. The annual “Spotlight Awards Dinner Gala” would serve to benefit The Creative Coalition, a nonprofit organization of the arts and entertainment community that works toward educating its members on pressing public issues. And by welcoming in some big name guests and honorees, the evening would be swarmed by familiar faces.
Organized by CEO of The Creative Coalition, Robin Bronk, the event would also act as the official release party for the nonprofit’s new book “The Art of Discovery,” with photographs and stories from a cavalcade of actors, actresses and comedians that showcases more than 100 introspective looks at a plethora of identifiable celebrities. With copies of the bulbous hardcover book floating around the room, guests began filing in ay 7pm, just as the evening’s red carpet was set to commence. Tastemakers quickly headed for the open bar before grabbing seats in the lavishly comfortable couches strewn about the space as they awaited celebrity arrivals and for the award ceremony and dinner portion of the evening to begin.
The lighting in the posh lounge was matched only by the sea of flashbulbs that would await each guest’s anticipated arrival. Out first was The Creative Coalition’s President, actor Tim Daly (“Wings,” “Madam Secretary”), who posed early and often with Bronk and spent considerable time working the room, hob-nobbing with the many attendees that arrived on the early side. Writer of The Howard Stern Show and Bronk’s brother Benjy joined vivacious girlfriend Elisa Jordana on the carpet soon after. Bronk, known for his disruptive antics during local press conferences, donned both a fedora and white platform shoes as he posed for pictures- no surprise given the writer’s normally obsessive attention grabbing demeanor.
Local celebrities of all walks of show-business converged on the red carpet where the likes of Miss New York Jillian Topper joined network executives (Matthew Blank, Chairman & CEO of Showtime), celebrity stylists (Phillip Bloch), congressmen (Jerrold Nadler) and even news anchors (Lawrence O’Donnell of MSNBC’s “The Last Word”). But ultimately, the evening’s celebrated honorees would be the most anticipated guests as LifeReimagined.org, a group that works in conjunction with AARP, skin care guru Peter Thomas Roth and actress Heather Graham would take turns as the night’s most decorated beneficiaries for their works in utilizing their respective platforms for the common good of others.
Actors from all walks of life like Richard Kind (“Curb Your Enthusiasm”), Amy Carlson (“Blue Bloods”), Alysia Reiner (“Orange is the New Black”), Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”), Griffin Dunne (“Dallas Buyers Club”) and Mark Feuerstein (“Royal Pains”) joined the evening’s honorees on the carpet- though none was highly more anticipated than the stunning Graham herself. The seemingly never-ending cascade of flashbulbs danced around her blonde locks as she paced around the room, stopping to chat at seemingly each step with another guest before finally grabbing her seat in the very front of the house as the presentation began. But this time, we’d be lauding Graham for her work in real life instead of the characters that she disappears into each time we see her on screen.
- Jane Van Arsdale