Loving the High Line

On Wednesday night I went to an event for the High Line that was held at Jeff Koons studio.  I had been there a few years ago and was just as wowed this week as I was in 2009. 

Koonsaround thetable
The event was a memorable one.  First of all Fred was stuck in Canada due to weather and thankfully my dear friend Mo said yes at 530 to be my date for a 630 event.  That night Mayor Bloomberg announced that Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg were giving another $20 million to the High Line after kicking off the High Lines fundraising efforts at the very beginning with a donation of $15 million.  Pretty damn amazing. 

I was speaking about this with a few people earlier in the week who are just starting to do some great work as philanthropists.  They are in their early 30's.  They are a little overcome that this money wouldn't go to something like saving lives.  I get what they are saying but as you get older understanding the value of what the High Line has given to NYC as an cultural institution as well as a park that will be enjoyed and part of the NYC landscape for basically ever is an incredible gift not only to NYers but to people who visit it across the globe.  You can't put a price tag on that. 

Koonsinside of
Fred and I are delighted to be donors to the High Line and I joined the board last spring.  I feel amazing every time I walk it.  Are we still giving money to help save lives. Donors Choose is doing that and quite frankly so is MOUSE and Hot Bread Kitchen.  Perhaps not saving lives but making a difference in peoples lives.  The High Line is making a difference in peoples lives too if you really think about it. 

Bravo to both Barry Diller and Diane Von Furstenberg for leading the charge in making sure that the High Line will get completed from the beginning on Gansevoort Street right up to 34th Street.  They are making their mark on the city and leaving a legacy behind that hopefully next generations will continue to repeat and learn from. 

Enhanced by Zemanta

Comments (Archived):

  1. awaldstein

    Agree with the sentiment and the wonders of the High Line itself.It’s a place often revisited and appreciated.

  2. Josh

    So if understand you correctly, the 30 something philanthropists were wrong because…, you can’t put a price on something like the High line whereas the price of saving lives, for instance the number of starving children that could have been kept from well STARVING with 20 million, is measurable. I am sure the starving kids get that it is more importnant that the people in N Y and those visiting get to enjoy the highline than them being feed or educated or just given a chance at some kind of life…..Please people, get your priorities in order. Children before entertainment ; is that really such a strange notion to you?

    1. Gotham Gal

      You don’t understand me correctly at all. People give differently at different ages. Any type of giving is a bonus to the recipient. Giving to large cultural institutions, such as the High Line, tends to be a gifts from people who have been philanthropic for many years vs people who are just starting out in their philanthropic life. Makes complete sense as this type of giving is going towards something that will be part of the landscape for generations to come. That is why you see some of the largest philanthropic people in the city, who have reached a certain age, give towards the MOMA, the MET, the Whitney or Central Park.

      1. artyowza

        To be strategic and transformational is a mature skill set. Young people might start here:  Exercises from Inspired Philanthropy  http://www.inspiredlegacies

        1. Gotham Gal

          a mature skill set. i like that.

  3. Jordan

    Joanne, am very jealous that you have gotten to go to this studio twice. On the philanthropy, quality of life is as important as saving life to the world. If the world is not filled with things that enhance our daily lives, stimulate our minds or make us enjoy what we live for, we will not have completed the circle. So, for those of us that do enjoy the High Line, or MoMA or the Zoo…thanks for giving in a wide variety of ways that make life a whole lot better.

  4. ellen

    I have heard some wonderful things about the highline.  People give for many reasons.  Many do for the status of giving and a tax deduction.  They want to see their name on a building or wing and want everyone to know how wonderful and godlike they can be.  Some give anonymously, for the pure act of philanthropy. Their are many reasons but the end result is for a good cause.My pet peeve are the number of crooks who are thought of with respect because they stole money and then gave a bit to charity.

    1. Gotham Gal

      you must get up to the high line. a must!

  5. ellen

    Wish I could. I can’t seem to even get to the MFA right now in Boston.  We have a wonderful exhibit of jewelry curated by Yvonne Markowitz called Artful Adornments going on presently.