This Year, the Gordon Parks Foundation Gala Celebrated Life and Legacy

May 24, 2023


Crystal McCrary, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Alexander Photo: Jason Lowrie/BFA

Crystal McCrary, Angela Davis, Elizabeth Alexander Photo: Jason Lowrie/BFA

The Gordon Parks Foundation’s annual gala was back with a bang. Last night, at Cipriani 42nd Street, the nonprofit brought together both lovers of the arts and political activists to celebrate the foundation’s legacy and pay tribute to this year’s honorees, including the esteemed Angela Y. Davis. The foundation is well known for its influence and commitment to uplifting a multitude of changemakers through the arts, and this year was no exception.

Among the honorees were Amy Sherald, Clara Wu Tsai, Crystal McCrary, Raymond McGuire, and Kate Clark Harris. “Each of our honorees has changed the social landscapes of civil and human rights, art, education, and philanthropy. Each has helped to elevate a field that Gordon Parks cared deeply about. Each exemplifies Parks’s commitment to inspire future generations,” Kunhardt shared.

Kasseem “Swizz Beatz” Dean, a cochair of the foundation and art enthusiast, served as the night’s host alongside Peter W. Kunhardt, Jr., executive director of the Gordon Parks Foundation. The festivities began with a performance from Anthony Morgan’s Inspirational Choir of Harlem and closed with sounds by DJ D-Nice.

The room was filled with familiar faces making the occasion one of pure joy—Spike Lee, Devin Allen, June Ambrose, Mara Brock Akil, Rashid Johnson, Joey Bada$$, and Dapper Dan, who were all dressed to impress. The foundation raised more than $2 million by the end of the night, propelling social justice work through art even further.