The 2023 MacDowell National Benefit

October 16, 2023

6:00 pm Cocktail Hour with passed hor d'oeuvres
7:00 pm Dinner, Paddle Raise, and Program

hosted by Actor-Writer-Producer Sharon Washington
Performances from MacDowell Fellows Firas Zreik, Daniel and Patrick Lazour, and more!
Award Presentation by Adam Pendleton

Ziegfeld Ballroom 141 W 54th Street - New York, NY 10019

Festive Attire

Please join us at the Ziegfeld Ballroom on October 16th where MacDowell artists, supporters, board, and friends will gather for a glittering evening to celebrate our program and the presentation of the
4th Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award to our honoree, Fairfax Dorn.

All proceeds from the National Benefit support Fellowships for residencies for the more than 300 artists who come to MacDowell each year from all corners of the globe.

For more information or to become a sponsor please contact or call 212-465-3215.

Scroll down for more information on our honoree, sponsorship levels, and perks.

If purchasing sponsorships or to donate via check, please mail to:
MacDowell National Benefit Office
347 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1402
New York, NY 10016

Although we accept DAF donations, please note that DAF and IRS rules prohibit contributions toward events tickets, unless all benefits are waived in writing. If you are attending the event and thereby partaking in the benefits, the full admission fee, including the tax deductible and non-tax-deductible portion, must be paid out of pocket and separately from DAF grants. You cannot pay for the non-tax-deductible portion out of pocket and recommend the tax-deductible portion from your DAF. We encourage donors to consult their DAF/tax personnel about allowable amounts. MacDowell must delay deposit of DAF event contributions until allowability is confirmed.

About our Honoree

Fairfax Dorn is the co-founder and artistic director of Ballroom Marfa, a non-profit contemporary art museum and residency space dedicated to boundary-pushing and site-inspired work spanning visual art, film, music, and performance. In partnership with Ballroom Marfa’s board of trustees and Executive Director Daisy Nam, she oversees the creative vision of the organization. Dorn helped conceptualize the organization’s residency program, Ballroom Sessions—The Farther Place, which formally launched in 2020 as a response to the needs of artists. The program encourages cross-disciplinary processes, allows artists to explore nascent ideas, and often culminates in newly commissioned work.

In 2017, Dorn established Fairfax Dorn Projects, a design collective synthesizing art and interiors. Dorn is a board member of Ballroom Marfa, Marfa, TX; the Judd Foundation, Marfa and NY; the African Environmental Film Foundation, Kenya and NY; Calder Gardens, Philadelphia, PA; and the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. Dorn received the E. William Doty Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of Texas in February of 2022, and along with Virginia Lebermann received ArtTable’s 25th Future Women Leadership Award in April of 2005.

Portrait of Fairfax Dorn, she is wearing a emerald green blouse and smiling softly

(Ashton Do photo)

Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award

The Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award was created to honor those who profoundly and uniquely support artists, aligning with our founder Marian MacDowell’s legacy and her championship of artists as they create bold new works that spark our imagination, illuminate our world, and celebrate our humanity.

In 2020, the inaugural award was presented to Ava DuVernay and ARRAY, a multi-platform media company and arts collective based in Los Angeles that amplifies independent films by Black artists, people of color, and women filmmakers globally. In 2021, the award was presented to Mahogany L. Browne and Urban Word NYC, one of the oldest and most comprehensive youth literary arts organizations in the country. In 2022, MacDowell Fellow and founder of Anonymous Was A Woman, Susan Unterberg, was presented with the award for her advocacy and philanthropy around gender equity in the arts.

Benefit Committee Co-Chairs

Katie Firth and Jonathan Bank
Christine and Todd Fisher
Darrell and Robin Harvey

Amy Davidson Sorkin and David Sorkin

Host Committee

Michael Almereyda*
Winsome and Claude Arpels
David Baum and Terry Reeves
Sofia A. Blanchard
Eleanor Briggs
Rosanne Cash*
Liz Cohen*
Hernan Diaz
Amelia Dunlop and Andrew Krivak
Andrea Elliot
Elizabeth and Russell Gaudreau
Gerald and Teresa Gartner
Jeannie Suk Gersen
* and Jacob Gersen
Marc Glimcher
Andrew Sean Greer*
Lauren Groff
John Hargraves and Nancy Newcomb
Sky Hopinka*

Lewis Hyde
Rashid Johnson
Starlee Kine
Virginia Lebermann
Min Jin Lee
Kalup Linzy
Monica and Michael Lehner
Robert and Stephanie Olmsted
David Remnick
Deb Seager
Andrew and Barbara Senchak
Arabelle Sicardi
* and Wendy Fok*
Julius Tapper and Enzo Gouedar
Peter and Catherine Wirth

*notes MacDowell Fellow or Medalist
**all lists as of 08/30/2023

Thank You to Our Corporate Sponsors

Penguin Random House logo
FL Putnam logo

Past National Benefits


In 2022, Rosanne Cash presented the third annual Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award to Anonymous Was A Woman (AWAW) and its visionary founder, Susan Unterberg, at a festive celebration at Ziegfeld Ballroom in New York.

2022 National Benefit


In 2021, MacDowell celebrated the creative collaborations between MacDowell Fellows and honored Urban Word NYC with the second annual Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award.

2021 National Benefit 2021


In 2020, MacDowell hosted our first-ever virtual National Benefit and awarded the inaugural Marian MacDowell Arts Advocacy Award to ARRAY.

2020 Virtual National Benefit


The national benefit at Gotham Hall in New York City in 2019 raised more than half a million dollars for our residency program.

2019 National Benefit


The national benefit at MacDowell's NYC space at 521 West 23rd Street in 2018 raised more than $620,000 for critical operating support.

2018 National Benefit