The MacDowell Virtual National Benefit 2020: Invest In Artists

October 19, 2020

On October 19th, MacDowell artists, supporters, board, and friends gathered virtually, led by MacDowell Chair and evening host Nell Painter, to celebrate our program and the presentation of the inaugural Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award to ARRAY. ARRAY founder Ava DuVernay accepted the award from Ford Foundation President Darren Walker and from former MacDowell Board member and former Chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts Jane Alexander. Watch the full benefit video or an excerpt below!

Save the date card with information about the Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Awards event. On the right, different flowers make up a semi circle

Detail from Butterfly Bush, Photograph, Portia Munson (96, 98, 19), 2016

Watch the Benefit Replay!

Our History, Mission, and Future

Madame Chairman Nell Painter narrated this short video in the lead-up to our National Benefit program.

The theme for 2020 was Invest In Artists – their work and their vision for the future. Our fundraising goal at the benefit was to secure MacDowell's financial future and expand our financial aid program to provide artists with equal access to our space and resources.


The Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy award, underwritten by Agnes Gund, aims to honor advocates who uniquely and profoundly support and amplify the work of art and artists – just as Marian did when she established MacDowell, and as others continue to do now. We are thrilled to honor ARRAY, which has for 10 years been dedicated to amplifying the voices of people of color and women filmmakers globally.


ARRAY is a multi-platform media company and arts collective based in Los Angeles. Founded in 2012 by filmmaker Ava DuVernay, the company currently operates a trio of branded entertainment entities: ARRAY Releasing, ARRAY Filmworks and ARRAY Creative Campus in partnership with the non-profit cinema and social justice organization ARRAY Alliance.

For more information about our 2020 program, or to become a sponsor or dinner chair in 2021, please contact Brett Evan Solomon or call 410.790.2140.

Dinner Chairs

Eleanor Briggs
Christine and Todd Fisher
Anne Stark Locher and Kurt Locher
Marcy Carsey and Susan Nimoy
Robert and Stephanie Olmsted
Thomas and Babs Putnam
Andrew and Barbara Senchak
Amy Davidson Sorkin and David Sorkin

Benefit Patrons

Bloomberg Philanthropies
Michael Chabon and Ayelet Waldman
Edmée Firth
Charles and Roxana Gaines
Gerald and Teresa Gartner
Elizabeth and Russell Gaudreau
John Hargraves and Nancy Newcomb
Darrell and Robin Harvey
Charles F. Stone III and Theresa Stone
Szilvia Szmuk-Tanenbaum

Business Sponsors

Boston Private logo Harper Collins Publishers logo Michael Rosenfeld Gallery logo

Production Team

Directed by Joe Langworth

Executive Producer: Ruby Locknar

Technical Producer and Silent Auction: ibid mobile

Other National Benefits