Thank you for making the A.R.T./New York 2017 Spring Gala a success!
Join us as we continue the celebration with our exciting auction items at!

Honorary Co-Chairs
Whoopi Goldberg / Billy Porter / Daphne Rubin-Vega
Cordially Invite You to the


Emmy, Golden Globe, and Obie Award-winner, two-time Tony nominee,
Actor, Director, and Producer

April 3, 2017 / Tribeca Rooftop
(2 Desbrosses Street)
6:00PM Cocktails
7:00PM Dinner & Program

(cocktail attire)

Buy your ticket onlineor contact Brooke at (212) 244-6667 ext. 242



The Program 



…in song! To celebrate our talented honoree’s accomplishments and A.R.T./New York’s 45th year of helping theatres thrive, the evening’s program will be almost entirely sung.
Some of the city’s hottest young theatrical talent will help us get to know
S. Epatha Merkerson 
through delightful musical tributes written especially for the night.




Our Honoree



 Join us as we pay musical tribute to a performer who uses her art and advocacy to give voice to critical stories and causes...



Ms. Merkerson has won critical acclaim for her work in theatre, television, and film. She is best known for her portrayal of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren on NBC’s “Law & Order” (2006/2010/2011 Image Award) and currently plays hospital administrator Sharon Goodwin on the NBC series “Chicago Med.” 

Her credits include the HBO film Lackawanna Blues (Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, Gracie Allen, 2006 Image Award and an IFP Spirit Award nomination) Radio (Cammie Award), Black Snake Moan, Terminator II: Judgement Day, Random Hearts, Navy Seals, Mother and Child directed by Rodrigo Garcia, The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, Peeples, Steven Spielberg’s Lincoln, the independent film The Challenger with Michael Clark Duncan, and A Year by the Sea with Karen Allen. 

Ms. Merkerson’s extensive theatre work includes the 2008 Broadway revival of Come Back, Little Sheba, directed by Michael Pressman (Tony Award nomination), August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson (Tony, Drama Desk, and Helen Hayes Award nominations), Birdie Blue (Obie Award), I’m Not Stupid (Obie Award), The Old Settler (Helen Hayes Award), F*cking A by Suzan Lori Parks (Lucille Lortel Award nomination), and While I Yet Live by Billy Porter (Lucille Lortel nomination). 

On television Merkerson was a series regular on “Peewee’s Playhouse,” The Cosby Show spin-off “Here and Now,” and Dick Wolf’s “Mann and Machine.” TV pilots include: “Moe’s World,” “Equal Justice,” “Elysian Fields,” and “Babylon.” TV movies: A Mother’s Prayer with Linda Hamilton, A Place for Annie with Sissy Spacek, Breaking Free with Jobeth Williams, and NBC’s Exiled with Chris Noth. She was the host of TVOne’s “Find Our Missing.” 

In 2012 Ms. Merkerson completed her first feature documentary as producer/director. The Contradictions of Fair Hope received numerous awards including the 2012 Best Documentary Award from the San Diego Black Film Festival, the DIKALO Award from the Festival International Du Film PanAfricain (Cannes), Philadelphia Independent Film Festival, the Roxbury International Film Festival’s Henry Hampton Award, and the Paul Robeson Award for Best Documentary from the Newark Black Film Festival. Tthe film had its television premiere on STARZ. 

A native of Detroit, Michigan, Ms. Merkerson holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Wayne State University and holds three Honorary Doctorates, from her alma mater in 2009, University of Maryland Eastern Shore in 2012, and Montclair State University in 2013. 

She lives in New York City.




Creative Team






Enjoy musical performances created especially for our honoree,
by Richard Rodgers Award-winning lyricist Timothy Huang
and BMI Harrington Award-winning lyricist Sara Wordsworth




The Venue 

...below the glittering stars and above the twinkling city lights. Follow the glamorous lighted steps to a three-course dinner and be delighted by musical performances created especially for our honoree -- all under a 65-foot-long skylight with the night as our backdrop! 


A.R.T./New York 2015 Spring Gala

Tribeca Rooftop
(2 Desbrosses Street)
A, C, E, & 1 At Canal St.




 2017 Gala Committee
Rockell Metcalf      Sidra Smith
Helene Blieberg      Lisa Cleff Kurtz      John Collins      Deadria Harrington
Tim N. Hartzell      Andrew Leynse      Steve Olsen   
Catherine Porter      Stacie Rabinowitz

Board of Directors
Jeffrey Gural, Chair
Helene Blieberg, Vice Chair
Susan Bernfield, President

Linda Herring, Vice President
Tim N. Hartzell, Treasurer
Alvan Colón Lespier, Secretary
Howard J. Aibel, Chair Emeritus
Todd Haimes, President Emeritus
Jerry Stiller, Board Member Emeritus
Virginia P. Louloudes, Executive Director
Lisa Cleff Kurtz
John Collins
Stephane Essama
Richard Fabricant, Esq.
Ryan Gilliam
Joe Grifasi
Deadria Harrington
Michael Herskovitz
Andrew A. Lance
Andrew Leynse
Leo Ma
Jonathan Maurer
Carol Ochs
José Cheo Oliveras
Barbara Parisi
Mark Plesent
Catherine Porter
Stacie Rabinowitz
Daphne Rubin-Vega
Moe Yousuf