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Museum of the City of New York Centennial Gala on May 24 Honored Former NYC Mayor, Philanthropist, and Entrepreneur Michael R. Bloomberg

Buzzy Event Raises Over $2.1 Million for the Museum // Bold Names from the Big Apple Including Mayor Eric Adams, Christine Baranski, Georgina Bloomberg, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Former Governor David Patterson, and more //The evening also included a special lighting of the Empire State Building in honor of the Museum’s Centennial and the presentation of a commemorative limited edition digital ticket to gala attendees, created in partnership with Candy Digital

New York, NY, May 26, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- On Wednesday, May 24, the Museum of the City of New York held its  CENTENNIAL GALA -- an evening of dinner, dancing, and the unveiling of its new exhibition,  This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture.  At the awards ceremony that kicked off the event, Michael R. Bloomberg, founder of Bloomberg LP and Bloomberg Philanthropies and 108th mayor of New York City, was presented with the Gotham Icon Award in recognition of his steadfast dedication to New York City and his continuous support of the Museum.  

The Centennial Gala raised over $2 million dollars for the Museum, and VIPs on hand included NYC Mayor Eric Adams; Christine Baranski (award-winning actor and performer); Georgina Bloomberg (author and philanthropist); Brian Stokes Mitchell (award-winning singer and actor); Former NYS Governor David Paterson;  Charlie Ahearn (filmmaker); Jane Dickson (artist); Elizabeth Streb (choreographer); Jon Kamen (Chairman & CEO, RadicalMedia); Nazli Parvizi (President of the Museum of Food & Drink); former MCNY Directors Susan Henshaw Jones and Whitney Donhauser; James Dinan (founder, York Capital Management); Ronay A. Menschel (vice chair of Museum of the City of New York’s Board of Trustees);  William Vrattos (Chair of Museum of the City of New York's Board of Trustees); as well as Sarah M. Henry (Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Chief Curator and Interim Director of the Museum of the City of New York).

Select quotes from the awards ceremony include:

  • Willian C. Vrattos, the Museum’s Board Chair, addressed the crowd, saying: “This is a unique moment for NYC as a whole.  A moment to look back at its evolution and the success of the past 100 years and to salute the leaders who have been crucial to getting us there….Tonight we are honoring Michael R. Bloomberg…who embodies NY’s spirit of invention, leadership, chutzpah, and generosity.” 

  • Mayor Eric Adams extolled the impact of Mike Bloomberg’s time and accomplishments as mayor and said that “He only has one thing in his heart – and that’s the city of New York…He has re-written the concept of ‘I want to be like Mike’ – it’s not Michael Jordan; it’s Michael Bloomberg.” He also said of MCNY, “We cannot live in the crisis, and we have to deal with the crisis…this museum shows the resiliency of New York…If New York makes it, America makes it.”

  • Referring to Mike Bloomberg’s appearances on TV shows like The Good Wife and The Good Fight, Christine Baranski said, “He was not a series regular, but it was clear that his true vocation was as a performer”  and joked that he entered politics as something to do while waiting to break into the entertainment industry. “After all, politics closely resembles the art of acting.  It’s getting up in front of large groups of people and convincing them that you’re telling them the truth.  So, while waiting for his big break, he served as Mayor of New York for three terms.   He helped curb illegal guns, fought climate change, banned smoking, transformed the school system, built parks, planted 1 million trees, brought the city back after 9/11, and made it a safe civilized place to live.”

  • In introducing her father, Georgina Bloomberg shared, “To me, I don’t think Mike Bloomberg deserves this award for what he’s done in the past.  My entire life, he’s cared much more about the future and what he could do so the world is a much better place for his kids and everyone’s kids.

  • As part of his acceptance speech, Mike Bloomberg said, “I want to thank my fellow thespian Christine for that introduction.  Did you know that between the two of us, we won three Screen Actors Guild Awards, a Tony, and an Emmy? We’re very proud of that…. This Museum has been a shining example of what it means to be a premier center of learning by teaching nearly 1 million students, teachers, and community members (a year)….Over the last century, this Museum has done something even better than telling the city’s history, it’s also inspired us to look forward and imagine a better future.”

  • And, as part of her comments, MCNY’s Robert A. and Elizabeth Rohn Jeffe Chief Curator and Interim Director Sarah Henry encouraged attendees to explore the Museum’s new exhibition, This Is New York: 100 Years of the City in Art and Pop Culture, saying, “Around the world, there are literally billions of people who feel that they know NY --and that they own New York-- not because they’ve ever been here, but because of what they‘ve experienced it through the movies, through television, through music, literature, photography and more.”  

The festivities then shifted indoors to a dinner set in the various boroughs and décor designed by students from across all five boroughs,  The evening ended with an after-party and dancing in the rotunda of the museum.

Also that night:  The Empire State Building lit up in purple, blue, and green to celebrate the Museum’s Centennial. As well, gala attendees received a free digital commemorative ticket, created in partnership with Candy Digital, featuring the modern facade of the building as well as the iconic light sculpture, Starlight, by Cooper Joseph Studios; the image opens to reveal a historic image of the Museum’s exterior from 1932, the year when the Museum moved to its Fifth Avenue location.

The Gotham Icon Award celebrates individuals who have paved the way for the next generation in their respective industry. Past Gotham Icon Award recipients include LL COOL J ● Cyndi Lauper ● Kevin Liles ● Sharene Wood ● James Wesley ● Seth Rudetsky ● Leah Scondotto ● Dr. Elizabeth Awerbuch ● Dr. Michelle Ng Gong ● Dr. Félix Matos Rodríguez ● Owen D. Thomas ● Kareem Abdul-Jabbar 

Gala Committee
Marisa and Matthew Brown ● Louise Camuto ● Annabelle and Gregory Fowlkes ● Amy and John
Jacobsson ● Suzanne and Bob Karr ● Stephanie and Stephen Hessler ● Blair and Fazle Husain ● Suzanne
and Bob Karr ● Cindy Ketchum ● Ronay and Richard Menschel ● Claudia and Gunnar Overstrom ● Alison
and Will Pappas ● Betsy and Rob Pitts ● Drs. Scott and Christine Rodeo ● Jennifer and Thomas
Sheehan ● Robin and Charles Stonehill

Honorary Leaders
Scott L. Bok ● Cynthia Foster Curry ● James G. Dinan ● Wesley R. Edens ● Blair W. Effron ● Stephen P.
Holmes ● Stephen J. Ketchum ● Marc Lasry ● Tracy V. Maitland ● Ronald L. Nelson ● Vikram
Pandit ● Robert Shafir

Honorary Visionaries
Michiko Kakutani ● Cyndi Lauper ● LL COOL J ● Lynne Meadow ● Toshiko Mori ● Anna Deavere Smith

SUPPORT:         Full list of supporters at


Meryl Cooper
Museum of the City of New York