Inside YoungArts’ New York Gala in the Met’s Magical Temple of Dendur

Hundreds of New York’s most engaged cultural and community leaders, artists, philanthropists, celebrities and art aficionados came together to raise nearly $1 million for the organization.

Artist José Parlá, curator Sharon Coplan Hurowitz, artist KAWS and art advisor BJ Topol. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

This past Monday, a mix of cultural and philanthropic luminaries gathered at the Metropolitan Museum of Art to raise funds for YoungArts at the foundation’s annual gala. Emceed by Grammy- and Tony-nominated performer and 1985 YoungArts grantee Michael McElroy, the evening—executed by Met Gala designer Raùl Àvila—brought New York’s most engaged cultural and community leaders, artists, philanthropists, celebrities and art aficionados to the museum’s iconic Temple of Dendur for a seated dinner that raised nearly $1 million for the organization.

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This year’s hosts included honorary chair Agnes Gund and gala co-chairs Sarah Arison and Thomas Willhelm, Gillian Hearst, Emily and Mitch Rales, Jen Rubio and Stewart Butterfield, and Sandra and Tony Tamer

Many of the city’s most prominent arts philanthropists—Anne and Joel Ehrenkranz, Jamie and Robert Soros and Katherine Farley and Jerry Speyer among them—made an appearance at the 2024 gala, rubbing elbows with museum leaders including MoMA PS1’s Connie Butler, the Met’s Max Hollein, MoMA’s Glenn Lowry, the Brooklyn Museum’s Anne Pasternak, the Whitney’s Scott Rothkopf and the Pérez Art Museum’s Franklin Sirmans.

And as one might expect, the list of artists in attendance was lengthy: painter Mickalene Thomas; dancer, choreographer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov; artist and curator Derrick Adams; American Ballet Theater principal dancer Misty Copeland; painter Carroll Dunham; visual artist Jonah Freeman; choreographer and director Bill T. Jones; artists KAWS and Julia Chiang; painter José Parlá; conceptual artist Adam Pendleton; artist and photographer Laurie Simmons; playwright Anna Deavere Smith; and sculptor and painter Kennedy Yanko.

Throughout the dinner service, guests enjoyed performances by YoungArts award winners—who are indeed an accomplished bunch. Notable among the evening’s talent were choreographer and dancer Amanda Krische and musician, composer and multidisciplinary artist Samora Pinderhughes. There’s no questioning the impact YoungArts has had on arts and culture. Past participants in the organization’s programming include Timothée Chalamet, Vanessa Williams and Viola Davis.

Anna Deavere Smith and Agnes Gund

Playwright Anna Deavere Smith with arts activist Agnes Gund. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Misty Copeland

ABT principal dancer Misty Copeland. Joe Schildhorn/BFA.com

Stewart Butterfield and Jen Rubio

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Billionaire Flickr founder Stewart Butterfield and Away CEO and cofounder Jen Rubio. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Julia Chiang, Emily Havens and Carla Shen

Artist Julia Chiang, art advisor Emily Havens and collector Carla Shen. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Mickalene Thomas

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Artist Mickalene Thomas. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Elaine Molinar and Craig Dykers

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Architects and Snøhetta founding partners Elaine Molinar and Craig Dykers. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Gillian Hearst

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Media heiress Gillian Hearst. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Nicole Fleetwood, Connie Butler and Rosie Gordon-Wallace

Curator Nicole Fleetwood, MoMA PS1 director Connie Butler and curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Dee Dee Sides, Sarah Arison and Angela Goding

YoungArts’ Dee Dee Sides, Arison Arts Foundation president Sarah Arison and YoungArts’ Angela Goding. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Michael McElroy

Grammy- and Tony-nominated actor and director Michael McElroy. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Kennedy Yanko

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Artist Kennedy Yanko. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Laurie Simmons and Jasmine Wahi

Artist Laurie Simmons and curator Jasmine Wahi. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Mikhail Baryshnikov and Jennifer Koh

Dancer and actor Mikhail Baryshnikov and violinist Jennifer Koh. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Oren Michels and Natali Diggins

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Tech entrepreneur Oren Michels and founder and executive Natali Diggins. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Joel Ehrenkranz and Scott Rothkopf

Arts patron and collector Joel Ehrenkranz and Whitney director Scott Rothkopf. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

David Lin

Harpist David Lin. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Artists Carroll Dunham and Laurie Simmons. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Derrick Adams

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Artist and curator Derrick Adams. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Dario Natarelli

Tap dancer Dario Natarelli. Deonté Lee/BFA.com

Tony Tamer, Sandy Tamer, Stewart Butterfield, Jen Rubio, Gillian Hearst, Emily Rales, Mitch Rales and Sarah Arison

YoungArts New York Spring Gala 2024
Tony Tamer, Sandy Tamer, Stewart Butterfield, Jen Rubio, Gillian Hearst, Emily Rales, Mitch Rales and Sarah Arison. Photo by Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images

Inside YoungArts’ New York Gala in the Met’s Magical Temple of Dendur