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Black Tie International:
Publicolor Stir, Splatter + Roll 2016

 Michael Bloomberg.  Photo by:  Annie Watt

 Publicolor celebrated its 20th Anniversary at their annual Stir, Splatter + Roll 2016 Gala on May 16, 2016 at the Metropolitan Pavilion, 125 West 18th Street, New York City honoring Michael R. Bloomberg and E. John Rosenwald, Jr. for their longtime support of Publicolor and its programs. “Both honorees are catalysts for change who have fearlessly addressed the most pressing needs of youth development, education and the arts.

They are inspirational advocates who have had an exceptional impact on Publicolor and on underserved communities throughout New York City” said Ruth Lande Shuman, the Founder+President of Publicolor.

This highly festive and unique evening included 20 stations where guests enjoyed colorful cocktails while painting totes alongside some of our city's leading architects, artists, and designers including Kenneth Cole, Nicole Miller, Cynthia Rowley, Michelle Smith, and Madeline Weinrib . Cocktails and painting began at 6PM followed by dinner and the program at 7:30PM. The evening’s master of ceremonies was Jeffrey Banks.

There was also a wonderful silent auction with unique works of art -- many specially created for the evening -- by important designers and artists including Jeffrey Bernett, Ross Bleckner, Dana Bronfman, Christo, Angela Cummings, Stephen Doyle, Tom Geismar, Philip Glass, Barbara + Paul Haigh, Betsey Johnson, Maira Kalman, Milton Glaser, Michael Kors (a signed bag), Justin Matherly, Takaaki Matsumoto, Vadis Turner, Gaetano Pesce , Saya Woolfalk, and Gerard Yosca.

Guests included Georgina Bloomberg, Police Commissioner Bratton, Sascha Bauer, Paula Cooper, Rudy Crew, Patti Harris, John Ehrenkranz, David Karp, Betsy Perry, Diana Taylor, and Shelby White Mr. Bloomberg has been a dedicated supporter of Publicolor since its earliest days, not only making annual donations but also painting with Publicolor students, receiving Publicolor donors in his home for a cocktail party, and declaring October 8th, 2009 “PublicolorDay” in an official proclamation. A gift from his foundation is supporting a five-year strategic growth plan. A champion of employee volunteerism, for 20 years his staff have volunteered with Publicolor every year since 1996.

E. John Rosenwald is also a longtime supporter of Publicolor making strategic contributions throughout its 20-year history. Not surprisingly, The New York Times called him Philanthropist of the Year in 2016 for his commitment to many of the city’s leading charities. Said Ms. Shuman, “His sage counsel has always helped me.” The high-energy fête drew over 500 dynamic New Yorkers and luminaries from the worlds of business, fashion, politics, design, education, and philanthropy, and exceeded its $1.5 million goal by over $200,000.

The Publicolor guests weren't the only ones who had a memorable evening, a former staff member Clyde Smith upstaged Michael Bloomberg, his current boss and the evening's honoree, by dropping to one knee on stage and proposing to Publicolor staff member Kayla Porter - SHE SAID YES! The engaged couple met at Publicolor in 1999 as students and have both worked for the nonprofit. The Gala’s Gold Leaf Sponsors included Bloomberg Philanthropies and The Edward John and Patricia Rosenwald Foundation.

The Gala Co-Chairs included Barbara Shattuck Kohn + A. Eugene Kohn/ KPF , The Kors Le Pere Foundation, Monika + Deven Parekh, Alex + Michael Shuman, David L. Shuman, Edward Skyler/Citi, Lizzie + Jon Tisch, and Willkie Farr + Gallagher LLP. The Gala Vice Chairs included Cravath Swaine + Moore LLP, Jamie Drake, Christine + Andy Hall, Deana +Stephen Hanson, Edwin B. Hathaway, Dana + William Herrman II, Alliance Bernstein, The Lauder Foundation – Leonard + Judy Lauder Fund, Carolyn + Eugene Mercy, Jr., Elissa + GreatNeck Richman, Julian Robertson, Sarah + Spencer Robertson, Ruth Lande Shuman, Stanley S. Shuman, Barbara Slifka, Michelle Smith + Andy Oshrin, STUDIOS Architecture/Tom Krizmanic, and Nanar + Tony Yoseloff, The Honorary Team Leaders included Christo, Jamie Drake, Mark di Suvero, Tom Geismar, Milton Glaser, Philip Glass, Harold Koda, Takaaki Matsumoto, Meredith Monk, Michele Oka Doner, Claes Oldenburg, Gaetano Pesce, Hazel + Robert Siegel, Bernard Tschumi, and David Ziff + Alan Bell Team Leaders included John Bricker, Alissa Bucher + Rob Rogers, Kenneth Cole, Laura Day, RaineyDay Erwin, Wendy Evans Joseph, Frank Lupo, Jonathan Marvel, Nicole Miller, Henry Myerberg, Cynthia Rowley, Michelle Smith, Peter Stamberg + Paul Aferiat, Jackie Taub, Tucker Viemeister, Madeline Weinrib, Gerard Yosca.


Founded in 1996 by Ruth Lande Shuman, Publicolor fights poverty by aggressively addressing the alarming dropout rate and low levels of educational attainment and youth employment in New York City. They do this by engaging high-risk low-income students, ages 12-24, in a long-term continuum of intensive, multiday programs that encourage academic achievement, community service, college preparation and job readiness.

Their unique applied learning model uses design and design thinking as vehicles to engage, stimulate and inspire at-risk, low-performing students in our city’s struggling middle and high schools, preparing them for higher education, successful employment and rewarding lives. Unique to Publicolor— and central to their mission—is the beautification and revitalization of public schools, under-resourced community facilities, and neglected school playgrounds through the power of color and design, the affordable medium of paint, and community collaborations that engage students and the community as a whole. Uniquely, 100% of Publicolor students' work impacts the entire school community, 100% of students actively participate in meaningful civic engagement, and 100% of students receive informal mentoring from corporate volunteers.

Publicolor’s impact in New York over the last 20 years has been substantial. Publicolor has transformed 215 low-performing schools and 200 under-resourced community facilities through the dignity and energy of color and design. Their innovative model was recognized with the 2014 National Arts+Humanies Youth Program Award, presented at The White House.

Last year 100% of Publicolor students transitioned on time from 8th to 9th and from 9th to 10th grades – strong indicators of probable success in high school, college and beyond. No Publicolor student dropped out of school. 97% of their 2015 seniors graduated high school on time vs. 55% at their schools. 100% of those graduates now attend college vs. 51% of their peers. 80% of their graduates received Regents or Regents with Honors diplomas.

Persistence from 1st to 2nd year of college was 89%. Among Publicolor alumni presently enrolled in post-secondary education and who have declare a major, 33% are pursuing STEM fields, 18% are in business and 13% are in digital design and art education. Publicolor’s wider impact has been significant, with 1,300 corporate, community and college volunteers engaging in painting with the organization every year. In total 250,000 students and 3,000,000 residents of low-income neighborhoods have been affected by Publicolor’s 20 years of school and community facility transformations.

In 2014, Publlicolor was awarded the National Arts+Humanities Youth Program Award for creative youth programming. For more information, please visit www.publicolor.org.

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

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