The Black Alumni of Pratt (BAP) hosted its 27th annual “Celebration of the Creative Spirit” Scholarship Benefit Gala at the Park Hyatt New York in Manhattan on May 9, honoring individuals and companies in the world of art and design whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt Institute. This year’s Creative Spirit Award recipients were casting director, producer, and model advocate James Scully; renowned conceptual artist Fred Wilson; and Thomas F. Schutte, Ph.D., in honor of his 24 years of leadership as Pratt Institute’s president.
The event was attended by high-profile members of New York City’s cultural, philanthropic, civic, and entertainment communities, such as IM Foundation Board Chair Canon Diane M. Porter and art curator, writer, and consultant Patterson Sims; as well as BAP co-presidents Gerri Brown and Darius Somers; and BAP founder Dwight Johnson. The gala co-chairs included the Honorable David N. Dinkins and his wife, Joyce Dinkins; Pratt alumnus and 2015 Celebration of the Creative Spirit Honoree Joseph Mizzi (B.S. Construction Management ’91), president and chief operating officer of Sciame Construction; artist Jeff Koons; and opera singer Jessye Norman. WABC-TV News Anchor Lori Stokes served as Mistress of Ceremonies.
The evening also featured the announcement of the 2017 Marcio Moreira Multicultural Scholarship and McCann Internship winners. Sponsored by global marketing firm McCann Worldgroup, the annual scholarship, which is now in its third year, recognizes top academic junior students studying communications design. For the third year in a row, McCann Worldgroup offered a full-year paid internship and scholarship to all three finalists. This year’s scholarship/internship winners are Alejandro Alvarez, Herman Awuku, and Zeynep Gungor.
In addition, Chief Financial Officer of McCann New York, Eu-Gene Sung, also announced that the advertising agency had hired all three first-year winners: Jordan Moss, Antonia Orol-Berlinger, and Ginnelle Sparkman.
Since its inception in 1990, BAP has raised more than $5 million to further the BAP endowed student scholarship effort, provide pre-college awards for high school students looking to pursue an arts education, and help fund other BAP initiatives.
Images: (main photo, L-R) Creative Spirit Award recipients Fred Wilson, Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte, and James Scully; (second photo) student honoree escorts Alejandro Alvarez, Herman Awuku, Zeynep Gungro, Elard Timana, Jashawn Richardson, and Alvaro Ceballos (L-R) with Pratt Institute President Thomas F. Schutte (third from right) (photos: Julie Skarratt)