Creative Capital Celebrates Its 2023 Artist Benefit + Banquet


Creative Capital and its community celebrated a night of creativity, friendship, and philanthropy for the nonprofit organization’s second Artist Benefit + Banquet on September 20, 2023 at the Paradise Club, where Studio 54 meets Broadway meets creative energy.

Hosted by Everette Taylor, Kimberly Drew, and Creative Capital Board Chair, Reginald M. Browne, this year’s Benefit honored visionary artists and their achievements in the field: Lynn Hershman Leeson (2008 Creative Capital Grantee), Raven Chacon (2012 Creative Capital Grantee) and Ja’Tovia Gary (2019 Creative Capital Grantee).

As attendees entered the Paradise Club, photographs of guests were taken in front of a pink “Creative Capital” neon with a silver lame backdrop. Guests wore their best “Iconic” looks (the evening dress code) that tapped into sleek futurist and surrealist sensibilities. Aerialists from Kitty Koalition added whimsy to the cocktail hour featuring Harvey Wallbanger cocktails with Tito’s Handmade Vodka.

Aruna D’Souza, Autumn Knight and Christiane Paul made personal tributes and toasts to the honorees, who each received an Isamu Noguchi lamp. Guests were wowed by Yaya Bey’s soulful performance, one of R&B’s most exciting storytellers today. Three Kool-Aid sculptures were made as fundraising editions for the event by multi-disciplinary artist and 2021 Creative Capital Grantee Sherrill Roland.

The 2023 Artist Benefit + Banquet not only celebrated creativity but also raised funds in support of the nonprofit organization’s mission to promote accessibility and inclusivity with critical grants and services for artists. Christine Kuan, President and Executive Director of Creative Capital, stated, “We believe artists are vital to free speech and democracy. And we believe that we have an obligation to provide artists with a democratic and open process for access to funding. We are a cult favorite amongst artists, recognized for our unparalleled care and long-term support.”

Go-go dancers concluded the evening in disco-themed costumes moving to beats by DJ April Hunt. Guests sipped Tito’s Espresso Martinis and departed with a gift of Supergoop! Daily Dose Hydra Ceramide Boost SPF 40.

Esteemed guests included artists Anicka Yi, Lorraine O’Grady, Viva Ruiz, Pamela Sneed, Kevin Claiborne, Legacy Russell, Narcissister, Bill T. Jones, Aaron Landsman, Larissa FastHorse, Julie Atlas Muz, Du Yun, and Kristina Wong, along with figures from the art, fashion, technology, and entertainment worlds.

Notable attendees also included JiaJia Fei, Nicole R. Fleetwood, Timur Galen and Linda Genereux, Reginald Browne, Elaine Goldman, Dan Cameron, Steve Henry, Candice Hopkins, Jordan Huelskamp, Mariane Ibrahim-Lenhardt, Charlie Jarvis, Colleen Jennings-Roggensack, Andreas Laszlo Konrath, Lyda Kuth, Ruby Lerner, Joseph V. Melillo, Grace Oh, Kymberly Pinder, Eric Pryor, Corey Robinson, Sekka Scher, Joan Shigekawa, Catharine Stimpson, Alice Gray Stites, and Hannah Traore. Supporters also included Isa Catto and Daniel Shaw, Paige West, Paula Cooper Gallery, and Agnes Gund. Sponsors included Tito’s Handmade Vodka and Supergoop! and partners included ALMA Communications, BFA, and Fremont Blue Events.

About Creative Capital
Founded in 1999 in response to the NEA discontinuing its grants to individual artists, Creative Capital’s mission is to advance artistic freedom of expression by funding underserved, risk-taking artists in the creation of new work. Known as the “gold standard in artist support,” Creative Capital awards grants via a democratic, national open call process, and provides grantees with professional development, peer mentorship, and community building resources. To date, $55 million in grants and services have been awarded to over 900 artists to create radical new work in the visual arts, performing arts, film, technology, literature, and multidisciplinary and socially engaged forms. More than 75 percent of Creative Capital awardees in recent years identify as artists of color, LGBTQIA+, women, and artists with disabilities, and its education programs have served more than 80,000 artists globally.

About Tito’s Handmade Vodka
Tito’s Handmade Vodka is America’s Original Craft Vodka. In 1995, Bert “Tito” Beveridge obtained the first legal permit to distill in Texas and created Tito’s Handmade Vodka. We batch distill our corn-based vodka using old-fashioned pot stills and the vodka is naturally Gluten-Free. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is distilled and bottled by Fifth Generation Inc. in Austin, Texas on the very same land where the whole venture started.

About Supergoop!
At Supergoop! we’re known as the Experts in SPF™. For more than 15 years, product has been our purpose — something our founder, Holly Thaggard, has said since the beginning. We continually invest in newer, better ways to bring sunscreen to life with formulas that completely change the game.

ALMA Communications
ALMA Communications is a boutique, New York City-based PR agency operating at the intersection of contemporary art and social change. The team at ALMA approaches communications with an emphasis on collaboration and humanism, treating each project with the utmost care. Over the years, ALMA has grown into a team with diverse backgrounds in the arts and beyond, working with a mix of mission-driven artists, galleries, institutions and organizations. In 2023 ALMA won The PR Net’s ‘Next Gen’ Award for rising arts + culture PR firm.