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Oct. 14, 2011

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It’s October, officially National Arts and Humanities Month -- and that means it’s time for the annual presentation of Americans for the Arts National Art Awards, taking place as usual in the grand ballroom of Cipriani on 42nd Street in Manhattan, Oct. 17, 2011, and sponsored by some of the usual suspects: Wells Fargo, the Annenberg Foundation and the Broad Art Foundation.

This year, the swanky event features as its presenters the artist Michael Benson, playwright David Henry Hwang, National Gallery of Australia director Brian Kennedy and venerable curator-critic Robert Storr. The chairs of the benefit are Maria Bell with co-chair power couples Edythe and Eli Broad and Isabella and Theodor Dalenson, and the Awards' featured artist is none other than Conceptual Art patriarch Sol LeWitt (1928-2007), whose artworks are slated to be installed around the restaurant as decoration. Lewitt’s daughter Sophia, an artist herself, will be attending the fete in his place.

Honorees are Frank Stella (lifetime achievement), Beverley Taylor Sorenson (philanthropy), Jenny Holzer (contribution to the arts) and Gabourey Sidibe (young artist award). The obligatory institutional and corporate awards are earmarked for Wells Fargo & Company and the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. Serenading the party throughout the evening are The Young Performers, a group comprised of musicians Zach Ostroff, Andrea Jarrett and Conrad Tao.

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