Guild Hall, the visual and performing arts center on eastern Long Island, recently honored the recipients of the 28th Academy of the Arts Lifetime Achievement Awards: John Alexander for Visual Arts; Walter Isaacson for Literary Arts; Nathan Lane for Performing Arts and Mickey Straus, who received the Special Award for Leadership and Philanthropy. Marshall Brickman was the Master of Ceremonies with special guest presenters: Ken Auletta, Alec Baldwin, Jack O'Brien and Lorne Michaels. The awards were presented during a benefit dinner on Monday, March 4 at The Plaza Hotel in New York City. BroadwayWorld has photos from the starry gathering below!
The Academy honors both summer and year-round East End residents who have demonstrated excellence in the visual, literary, and performing arts. Some past recipients include: Laurie Anderson, John Robin Baitz, Steven Spielberg, Billy Joel, Elaine Stritch, Mel Brooks and Guild Hall board member Alec Baldwin for Performing Arts; Julian Schnabel, Willem De Kooning, Roy Lichtenstein, Bruce Weber, April Gornik and Chuck Close for Visual Arts; Kurt Vonnegut, E. L. Doctorow, Edward Albee, Joseph Heller and Joe Pintauro for Literary Arts; and Special Awards to Eli Wallach, Anne Jackson, Dina Merrill and Peter Jennings, to name a few.
John Alexander was born in 1945 in Beaumont, Texas, and remained in southeast Texas until entering graduate school at Southern Methodist University in Dallas in1969. Upon completing an MFA in 1970, he moved to Houston, established a studio and became a member of the art faculty of the University of Houston. In the late 1970's Alexander left Texas for New York where he is to this day. The artist currently divides his time between New York City and Amagansett. John Alexander has exhibited extensively in the United States and around the world, most recently in Beijing. He has had a major retrospective at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston. His work is included in the Permanent Collections of leading museums including the Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, DC; the Dayton Institute in Ohio, the Dallas Museum of Art; The Meadows Museum in Dallas, The McNay Museum in San Antonio, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Nevada Museum of Art, the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans; the Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC; and the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, as well as many other distinguished public and private collections worldwide.
Walter Isaacson is the president and CEO of the Aspen Institute, a nonpartisan educational and policy studies institute based in Washington, DC. He has been the chairman and CEO of CNN and the editor of TIME magazine. He is the author of Steve Jobs (2011), Einstein: His Life and Universe (2007), Benjamin Franklin: An American Life (2003), and Kissinger: A Biography (1992), and coauthor of The Wise Men: Six Friends and the World They Made (1986). Isaacson was born on May 20, 1952, in New Orleans. He is a graduate of Harvard College and of Pembroke College of Oxford University, where he was a Rhodes Scholar. He began his career at The Sunday Times of London and then the New Orleans Times-Picayune/States-Item. He joined TIME in 1978 and served as a political correspondent, national editor, and editor of new media before becoming the magazine's 14th editor in 1996. He became chairman and CEO of CNN in 2001, and then president and CEO of the Aspen Institute in 2003. He is the chairman of the board of Teach for America, which recruits recent college graduates to teach in underserved communities. He was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate to serve as the chairman of the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe, and other international broadcasts of the United States, a position he held until 2012. He is vice-chair of Partners for a New Beginning, a public-private group tasked with forging ties between the United States and the Muslim world. He is on the board of United Airlines, Tulane University, and the Overseers of Harvard University. From 2005-2007, after Hurricane Katrina, he was the vice-chair of the Louisiana Recovery Authority. He lives with his wife and daughter in Washington, DC.
Nathan Lane is a Tony, Emmy, and Screen Actors Guild award-winning actor most recently starred in the spring of 2012 in Chicago's Goodman Theatre's production of The Iceman Cometh opposite Brian Dennehy. In the fall of 2012, he debuted as a recurring guest star in CBS hit drama The Good Wife. His wildly acclaimed portrayal of Max Bialystock in The Producers on Broadway won Lane the Drama Desk, Outer Critics Circle and Tony Awards for "Best Actor in a Musical." In addition, Nathan won the Olivier Award for his performance in The Producers in London. Film audiences will remember Lane's triumphant performance as Albert in Mike Nichols' The Birdcage, which helped catapult the film into a major blockbuster hit. The role earNed Lane a Screen Actors Guild Award and a Golden Globe Nomination. He also earned a Golden Globe Award nomination for his portrayal of Max Bialystock in the movie version of the Tony-Award winning musical The Producers. Additionally, he won great acclaim as the voice of 'Timon' the meerkat in the smash hit film The Lion King. Lane has also starred in such box office hits as Stuart Little and Mousehunt. Broadway audiences have long embraced Lane as one of the shining lights of the theater. In 1996, his performance in A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, directed by Jerry Zaks, earned him the Tony, the Outer Critics Circle and the Drama Desk Awards. He has residences in New York City and East Hampton.
Melville (Mickey) Straus joined Guild Hall's board in 1992 and was named chair in 1995. Over the past 20 years, among his many successes, he has led GH's capital campaign in raising $14million to support the complete revitalization of the building and grounds, including the John Drew Theater, Museum, Boots Lamb Education Center, administration offices, and gardens. Additionally, he is the creator and one of the key program curators of the very successful Hamptons Institute, which has featured opinion leaders such as Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillebrand, George Soros, and Paul Goldberger, among many others. The Hamptons Institute provides a spectrum of perspectives concerning today's most pressing challenges with the intent of fostering new ideas and potential solutions. Mickey received his undergraduate degree in 1960 from Dartmouth College and his MBA from Harvard in 1967, where he was a Baker Scholar. He entered the investment business as a security analyst in 1967 at Donaldson, Lufkin and Jenrette. In 1969, he joined Standard & Poor's InterCapital as Vice President and Director of Research. In 1972, he was elected to its Board of Directors and Executive Committee. He joined Weiss, Peck & Greer, L.L.C. in 1973. At WPG, Mickey was a member of the Executive Committee and his primary responsibility was heading up the small cap growth product and managing $1.5billion of institutionAl Small cap accounts including two mutual funds and over $50million in individual accounts. In January, 1998, Mickey formed Straus Asset Management, L.LC.
Micke is also Chair Emeritus of the Board of Governing Trustees of American Ballet Theater; Honorary Chair of the Contemporary Arts Council of the Museum of Modern Art; a Member of the Board of Trustees of Independent Curators, Inc., and a Member of the Board of Trustees of American Friends of the Royal Ballet School. In addition, he is a member of the Dartmouth President's Leadership Council; Member, Board of Visitors, John Sloan Dickey Center; past Chair of the Board of Overseers of the Hopkins Center/Hood Museum at Dartmouth; and a past member of the Dartmouth Alumni Council. Mickey and Leila reside in New York City as well as in the Hamptons their East Hampton home has been the site of many Guild Hall events, including the outdoor performance of the American Ballet Theater II.
Founded 80 years ago, Guild Hall is the Hampton's year-round visual and performing arts center wholly dedicated to serving the residents, members, families, and artists of the East End. The center offers the community, as well as visitors and tourists, enriching experiences by presenting relevant and meaningful programs and events, working in collaboration with artists, and providing a meeting place for the community. For more information and to become a member, visit www.GuildHall.org.
Photo Credit: Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com
Ken Auletta, guest, Ed Bleier, Ruth Appelhof
Hilaria Thomas and Alec Baldwin
guest, Mickey Straus, Alec Baldwin
John Alexander, Mickey Straus
Ruth Appelhof, Andy Sabin, Amy Ma
Florence Fabricant, Richard Fabricant
Ken Auletta, Walter Issacson
Judith Licht, Jerry Della Femina
Nathan Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Matthew Broderick
Sarah Jessica Parker and Matthew Broderick
Sarah Jessica Parker
Cassandra Seidenfeld Lyster, Lucia Hwong Gordon
John Alexander, Dan Aykroyd, Lorne Michaels
Alec Baldwin, Mickey Straus