Photo by Michael McWeeney

The evening will honor outstanding artists and philanthropists igniting change in Lower Manhattan

The 2023 edition of Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC)’s annual fundraising gala, The Downtown Dinner, will take place on Wednesday, May 10 at Cipriani 25 Broadway. More than 500 leaders from the business, civic, and cultural sectors will join LMCC in celebrating the honorees.

The evening’s entertainment will feature Founder of Hip Parties, Darrell Martin, as emcee, and a special performance of Murmurations, a large-scale immersive collective puppetry performance of oceanic proportions, by LMCC alumni and multidisciplinary artist, puppeteer, and educator Gregory Corbino & Company.

The 2023 LMCC honorees are:

Francis J. Greenburger
Chairman & CEO, Time Equities, Inc.
The Liberty Award for Corporate Leadership

Twyla Tharp

The Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership

David Thomson

2023 Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts

Lisa Hsiao Chen

2023 Sarah Verdone Writing Award

“I am honored to receive the Liberty Award for Artistic Leadership and recognition from LMCC. The organization is truly a fine one with whom we have worked on several occasions at the River To River Festival, making it possible for audiences to see dance outside of the theater. LMCC keeps our creative communities support and presence keeps artists in the city aManhattan’s arts and cultural community. All blessings,” said Twyla Tharp.

“As an alum, I am particularly honored to receive the Sam Miller Award for Performing Arts. I had the pleasure of knowing Sam for many years and witnessing how his visionary work impacted the field. During various residencies over the years with LMCC, I have seen firsthand the work and care that LMCC brings to supporting choreographers and artists with essential resources, from financial literacy workshops to space and funding during the pandemic. NYC’s vibrant artistic and performance scene is returning thanks to artists and organizations like LMCC,” said David Thomson.

Since 2002, The Downtown Dinner has played an instrumental role in raising funds to support LMCC’s mission as Manhattan’s arts council. Proceeds from The Downtown Dinner fund LMCC’s free arts programming and services, which support hundreds of artists and arts groups annually, and reach audiences of more than 100,000. The event will bring together business leaders from many of New York City’s most prominent corporations, including Google, Morgan Stanley, The Howard Hughes Corporation, Citibank, Buro Happold, CBRE, JP Morgan, and Trinity Wall Street, among others. In this spirit, the evening affirms LMCC’s commitment to cultivating a generative and nurturing environment for Downtown’s artists, arts groups, and the overall community. Past civic and artistic honorees at The Downtown Dinner have included Bjork, Laurie Anderson, Julie Mehretu, Richard Serra, and Dread Scott, as well as prominent LMCC alumni Liana Finck, Simone Leigh, Okwui Okpokwasili, Paul Pfeiffer, Kamau Ware, Ezra Wube, and others.

“The 2023 Downtown Dinner is a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the LMCC artists who bring life to our City and the philanthropists who have so generously helped to build LMCC’s legacy,” said LMCC President Craig T. Peterson. “The contributions from these artists have generated cultural value and social change that reverberates throughout the city and beyond.”


Founded in 1973 by Flory Barnett with support from David Rockefeller, Sr. and Chase Manhattan Bank, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA), and other local business and civic leaders, Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC) was built on the premise that artists were pillars of resilience and inspiration and therefore vital to New York City. For almost five decades, LMCC has advanced their vision to serve, connect, and make space for artists and communities in NYC through programs that deepen artists’ creative practices and afford them opportunities to share their process and work with local communities.