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Save the Date October 29, 2015
E-mail this page to your friends

Black Tie International:
AFA Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

The American Federation of Arts Announces the 2015 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards Honoring Carlos & Rosa de la Cruz, Wade Guyton, and Arnold Lehman

The American Federation of Arts (AFA) is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2015 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards. On Thursday, October 29, 2015, AFA trustees, supporters, artists, and art world leaders will join together to honor renowned art patrons and collectors Carlos & Rosa de la Cruz; contemporary American artist Wade Guyton; and retiring longtime director of the Brooklyn Museum Arnold Lehman

In recognition of individuals who have distinguished themselves through their significant contributions to the arts and museum communities, the awards will be presented by Nancy Spector, Deputy Director and Jennifer and David Stockman Chief Curator of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum; Scott Rothkopf, Deputy Director for Programs and Nancy and Steve Crown Family Chief Curator of the Whitney Museum of American Art; and Elizabeth A. Sackler, Board Chair of the Brooklyn Museum and President of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Foundation.

“We are proud to honor these individuals who reflect the breadth, diversity, and scholarship of today’s exciting art arena and have played an important role in expanding the audience for art,” said AFA Director Pauline Willis. 

Proceeds from the evening will benefit the distinguished exhibitions that are toured to museums internationally by the American Federation of Arts. 

The 2015 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards is co-chaired by Steph & Jody La Nasa, NancyJane & Jeffrey Loewy, Martha MacMillan, and Betsy Pinover Schiff, who are committed to supporting the AFA’s mission. Members of the Benefit Committee, who provide crucial support for the event, include patrons and art world leaders such as Ruth Appelhof & Gary Adamek, Jonathan Binstock, Stephanie & Frederick Clark, Leslie & Tom Freudenheim, Lee White Galvis & Sergio Galvis, Agnes Gund, Ann & Gilbert H. Kinney, Petzel Gallery, Kimerly Rorschach, and Martha A. & Robert S. Rubin. ARTnews is the media sponsor of this year’s Gala, and Matthew Robbins Design will again provide creative décor at the Metropolitan Club in New York City. The event will include a cocktail hour and three course seated dinner.

Previous AFA Cultural Leadership Award honorees have included Marina Abramović, Sheikh Sultan Bin Tahnoon Al Nahyan, Milton Esterow, Spencer Finch, Frank Gehry, Shirin Neshat, Roy Neuberger, Sarah Sze, Eugene V. Thaw, Kehinde Wiley, and many others. 

For more information about the 2015 Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards tickets and table sales, contact Amanda Haber at  or 212.988.7700 x209.

About the Honorees

Carlos & Rosa de la Cruz

World-renowned collectors and philanthropists Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz have been making waves in the art scene for the past 30 years. Located in Miami’s Design District, the de la Cruz Collection was built as a privately funded museum, accessible to the public at no cost. It is a testament to both their long history of supporting upcoming and innovative contemporary artists on both an international and local level and their generous philosophy on accessibility to art for all. Motivated by their unique vision and commitment to education and the arts, the space has served as a platform to support the local art scene and its educational systems. Initiatives include lectures, artist-led workshops, and docent-led tours. Mr. and Mrs. de la Cruz have also initiated extraordinary scholarship opportunities for young artists to learn through direct experience with world-class educational programs, which include international travel and classroom work experience in New York.

Chairperson and Founder of the Moore Space, an alternative space that operated in Miami from 2001–8, Rosa has long been recognized for supporting some of the most experimental projects to Miami. For over 30 years, she has built a reputation for being both a trendsetter and salient figure in the contemporary art world. In the fall of 2011, Rosa de la Cruz served as Juror of the Marcel Duchamp Prix at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. In 1988, she was a juror for the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim Museum in New York. In 1997, Rosa was awarded the Alexis de Tocqueville Award from the United Way for community service and, in 2004, she received the Red Cross Chairmen’s Spectrum Award. Rosa de la Cruz was a member of the Art in Public Places Board, Key Biscayne, Florida, and member and Juror of the Ibis Society of the University of Miami. Rosa and Carlos were both the 1998 honorees of the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

Educated at Andover and the University of Pennsylvania, Carlos de la Cruz is a life-long scholar. Eclectic by nature, he has broken free of educational silos while remaining actively connected to the academic community. At Wharton, Carlos created a fellowship program in Behavioral Finance for doctoral candidates and supported the employment of a neurologist specializing in fMRIs. Mr. and Mrs. de la Cruz have also endowed the de la Cruz/Mentschikoff Chair in Law and Economics at the University of Miami, where Carlos studied law under the deanship of Professor Soia Mentschikoff. He has been on several university boards including those of Georgetown and Miami, where he became chairman, recruiting former Health and Human Services Secretary Donna Shalala as President, and led the transition.

Wade Guyton

Wade Guyton (born 1972, Hammond, Indiana) has had numerous solo exhibitions internationally, including at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the Kunsthalle Zurich; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; Portikus, Frankfurt am Main; the Museum Dhondt-Dhaenens, Deurle; the Vienna Secession; and the Kunstverein in Hamburg. His work has been included in the following group exhibitions, among others: the Venice Biennale; the Lyon Biennial; the Torino Triennale; Kunsthaus Bregenz; Konsthall Malmö; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; and the Art Institute of Chicago. The artist lives and works in New York.


Arnold Lehman 

Highly respected in the national and international art community, Arnold Lehman has been an activist museum director for over forty years. During that time, he has been an advocate and leader of public accessibility, diversity, community, innovation, and freedom of expression in American museums and other cultural institutions. Serving as Director of the Brooklyn Museum from 1997 to 2015, Mr. Lehman prioritized both the individual visitor's experience and the community's engagement with the museum through innovative exhibitions and re-installations of the permanent collection; highly successful public programs that address the diversity of the collection and the community; active support for the participation of Brooklyn-based artists; and an ongoing major capital program that greatly enhanced the accessibility of the museum and the preservation of its vast collections. 

Prior to joining the Brooklyn Museum, Mr. Lehman was Director of the Baltimore Museum of Art and Adjunct Professor of the History of Art at Johns Hopkins University. He served as President of the Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) and as three-term Chair of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG) of New York City, representing 33 major cultural organizations. Mr. Lehman is a Trustee of the American Federation of Arts and a member of the Executive Committee of the Bard Graduate Center. He served as Co-Chair of the Arts and Culture Transition Committees for New York's Mayor Bill de Blasio as well as for Brooklyn's Borough President Eric Adams. He received his M.Phil. and Ph.D. from Yale University and is a specialist in American twentieth century and contemporary art. Mr. Lehman recently received the Wunsch Award for Excellence in American art.

Mr. Lehman currently serves as one of thirteen international Visiting Fellows at the Ford Foundation, advising on key issues of social justice, creativity, and freedom of expression, as well as personally working on developing a pipeline for the advancement of museum professionals of color. In addition, he was recently elected to the position of Chair of the Board of Legg Mason Funds, where he has served as a director for more than 30 years, and he is Senior Advisor to the Chairman and CEO of Phillips.

Upon his recent retirement, Mr. Lehman was honored with being appointed the first Director Emeritus of the Brooklyn Museum.

What       2015 American Federation of Arts Gala & Cultural Leadership Awards

When      Thursday, October 29, 2015 ● 6:30-11 pm 

Where     Metropolitan Club, One East 60th Street, New York City 

Gala Co-Chairs

Steph & Jody La Nasa

NancyJane & Jeffrey Loewy

Martha MacMillan

Betsy Pinover Schiff

Gala Benefit Committee

Ruth Appelhof & Gary Adamek, Elizabeth Belfer, Jonathan Binstock, Stephanie & Frederick Clark, Suzanne Delehanty, Ghislain d’Humières, Alexandra & David Drucker, Ashleigh Fernandez, Brian Ferriso, Leslie & Tom Freudenheim, Miller Gaffney, Lee White Galvis & Sergio Galvis, Kathleen J. Graytok, Agnes Gund, Anthony Hirschel, Ann & Gilbert H. Kinney, Melyora de Koning, Margot & Robert Linton, Sarah & Alec Machiels, Merrill & Chris Mahan, Claire Marmion, Amory and Sean McAndrew, Clare McKeon, Petzel Gallery, Madeleine Plonsker, Kimerly Rorschach, Martha A. & Robert S. Rubin, Capera Ryan, Victoria Triplett, and Jennifer Wright (list in formation as of October 2, 2015)


About the American Federation of Arts

The American Federation of Arts is the leader in traveling exhibitions internationally. A nonprofit institution founded in 1909, the AFA is dedicated to enriching the public’s experience and understanding of the visual arts through organizing and touring art exhibitions for presentation in museums around the world, publishing exhibition catalogues featuring important scholarly research, and developing educational programs. Current and upcoming AFA exhibitions include Pastures Green & Dark Satanic Mills: The British Passion for LandscapeIndigenous Beauty: Masterworks of American Indian Art from the Diker CollectionOut of the Box: The Rise of Sneaker CultureWhen Modern Was Contemporary: Selections from the Roy R. Neuberger Collection; Matisse Drawings: Curated by Ellsworth Kelly from the Pierre and Tana Matisse Foundation CollectionA Joyful Revelation: The Fauve Paintings of Georges BraqueKay WalkingStick: An American ArtistArt of the Lega: Meaning and Metaphor in Central AfricaAncestral Modern: Australian Aboriginal Art from the Kaplan & Levi CollectionWomen Artists in Paris 1850–1900 (working title); and Transatlantic Encounters: Latin American Artists in Paris between the Wars, 1918–39. For more information about the AFA, visit


The exhibition will be highlighted on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter via the hashtag #AFAGala  

Photo of Carlos & Rosa de la Cruz courtesy de la Cruz Collection Contemporary Art Space; Photo of Wade Guyton courtesy Wade Guyton Studio; Photo of Arnold Lehman courtesy Brooklyn Museum


Gerard Mc Keon and Joyce Brooks.  Photo by:  Rose Billings/

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