Written by By Emily Rose Bennett, CNN The Hetrick-Martin Institute
Eyes will be on New York on April 13 for the fifth annual Hetrick-Martin Institute’s Emery Awards Ball
The NYC-based organization focuses on services for young LGBT people, and annually honors leaders who have contributed to its programs. This year, actor and Emmy-award winning producer Liz Lange will be honored for her career and humanitarian efforts, while Sally Denton and Robert S. McClure will be recognized for their leadership in the film and theater industries.
Kiki for a Cause is a platform designed to help the Hetrick-Martin Institute achieve its mission, which includes supporting the safe and well-being of its entire community — something the award winners stand alongside every day, says David Reingold, the institute’s executive director.
“I believe their work inspires and spreads an ethos that inspires all of us who are still in the journey of overcoming prejudice,” he says.
This year’s theme is “Unzipping: Letting the World in,” an homage to the artists, activists and educators at the center of the evening’s festivities, and the revealing of the Hetrick-Martin Institute’s thriving artist community. The theme has also been adopted by Miss New York, Aidy Bryant, the first openly gay and African-American Miss America Pageant champion.
“I think ‘Unzipping’ is just a term to be taken literally. At Hetrick-Martin, we’re keeping it ‘all zipped’ with the artist community and the community of color and the LGBTQ community. As the center to those communities, that’s where we want to unzip ourselves,” says Reingold.
The Emery Awards Ball will also include a drag performance by Sasha “Sasha Belle” O’Kreisbary, as well as performances by The O’Lungs, an all-LGBTQ-punks’ super group, which will be featured in a new 20-page editorial that’s curated by BUST magazine.
“We’re keeping it “all zipped” with the artist community and the community of color and the LGBTQ community.”
The foundation also holds auditions for “Little Lunchbox”, its pre-K-12 program, and is on the hunt for talented children. Also on the agenda for 2019 is the opening of the “2 Bonds” LGBTQ center and the implementation of interim funds in order to develop a capital campaign toward full-fledged operations and long-term safety measures.
The Hetrick-Martin Institute’s Emery Awards Gala will take place in New York City’s historic Rainbow Room.