Friday, October 26, 2012

The New York Women's Foundation/Afghan Hands

NYC-Alice Tully Hall/Upper West Side-NYC

words/images Judith Ecochard

The phrase 'War on Women'---is political fodder as of late---but there REALLY IS a war on certain spots of the planet.
The O'Brien Raymonds

Soledad O'Brien's sandals -LOVE-by Stuart Weitzman
SO - two invites to attend charity events that specifically benefit--- via funds/support/and providing a means of income...women...and their families, we're there!

First up: the New York Women's Foundation celebrating its 25th anniversary with an animated group of supporters--- in a rather laid back event by Big Apple standards...refreshingly so.

Ana Oliveira, NYWF President and CEO

No big red carpet, no entourages for attendees-who included some of New York's most prominent bold names...including the massively accomplished Diana L. Taylor, current Chair of the Board (and Mayor Bloomberg's GF)...and bonus, even an entire family -honoree Soledad O'Brien and Brad Raymond-wife and husband who BRAVO to them---brought their four kids on a school night. We approve!

A lot of reasons to be cheerful-Board Members, Staff...with honorees Soledad O'Brien and Ginny Day (2nd from right)

Sarah Jones
Also honored for their dedication and business smarts in support of this non-profit cross-cultural alliance of women, serving women "and a force of change"---Ginny Day (first acting Board President and a current philanthropic supporter)-as was her husband-honoree Sean Day.

Baja Wines-donated. Thanks!

Other attendees included host- the tv commentator/anchor Connie Chung, and  Broadway actress, Tony Award® winner/performer Sarah Jones.

Leadership Committee co-chairs/NYWF Board members -Jean Shafiroff in Oscar de la Renta (l) Janna Bullock-in Douglas Hannant (r) 

Jean Shafiroff/Diana L. Taylor---Great earrings, both-imo

ADDED PLUS--- our chats with attendees who run their own small, but big impact beneficial non-profits with the MO- " helping move women, girls and their families toward long-term economic security through individual transformation and systemic change, mobilizing leaders and community partners as philanthropists and change agents..."---with strategic aid from the NYWF...without which, they would surely scale back efforts., if not completely shut down. 

FYI: To date, over $33 million dollars have aided more than 280 non-profits in the five boroughs-with the aforementioned mission of...

Connie Chung

This outing, we also met with the only two months on the job-  VP/ Communications head, Ruth Sarlin--- a lady with a hands-on, no-nonsense background in the profit world (web and entertainment)-with the get it done  skills of building brands and delivering the message...out there.

Ruth Sarlin
"It's a long story how they found me," Sarlin joked when we asked how the connection was made...but as a seasoned vet---"I knew what I needed to tell a honor a vision that has not changed as it is as vital today as it was then (the founding of NYWF)." Amen to that.

Alice Tully Hall
Furthermore, as Sarlin pointed out----"women helping women was ground-breaking at that time (of NYWF founding)...and though there is now a more solid women's funding movement...there is so much more that needs to be done...but it''s wonderful to have that momentum and leverage all the support and energy to deepen our commitment in a non-partisan fashion."

"We do what we do because it works."

Loved their haircuts...Sally Hershberger would approve

A few nights later, a stunning brownstone on the upper west side---a private residence ---graciously hosted a gaggle of New York residents---to view the exuberantly crafted, mixed media art works by the creative individual/actor/set designer/ artist Hans Uder---with 20% of sale proceeds to benefit the amazing non-proft, Afghan Hands-a non-proft "...dedicated to helping Afghan women gain their independence through literacy and employment and changing their social status from a liability to being an asset within their families and the Afghan society."

Hans Uder 

Yes, this is where we mean there is a war on women...and Afghan Hands ---since 2005-has employed/trained master embroiderers -now numbering 60---and employing over 100-overall...who painstakingly craft shawls, scarves, sarongs, pillow cases etc... made of cashmere, wool, pure cotton, and pure silk. 

And support their themselves and families.

Available for purchase on Afghan Hand's website-each item is signed by the maker-in Dari, the native language of Kabul Afghanistan.

 Yes---the selection we saw, displayed that evening-was beautiful...and btw-custom orders available.

What Else: Hosted by Dana Lowry Luttway, Emma Snowdon-Jones and  Marie-Laure Fournier ...the event was held on the lower two floors of this spacious residence-with the art pieces displayed throughout. We chatted with Hans Uder about his work---which we felt was very approachable-exhuberantly colored, textural-on hand stretched canvases and mannequins..."pieces of tastefully and sexily arranged chaos." Fun.