2023 ANNUAL GALA - Honoring Bill Porter, and more - AmNews Curtain Raiser


Wednesday, October 4, 2023

2023 ANNUAL GALA - Honoring Bill Porter, and more

Emmy, Tony, and Grammy Award-winning artist and producer 
Billy Porter


New York Stage and Film announced today that their 2023 Annual Gala on Sunday, November 5 at The Plaza Hotel will honor Emmy, Tony and Grammy Award-winning artist and producer Billy Porter and GLAAD President and CEO Sarah Kate Ellis. Porter has a deep and storied history with NYSAF as an actor, writer and director, including workshops of While I Yet Live and Being Alive, which he wrote and conceived, respectively. Ellis has been a fierce advocate for representation in the arts and has spearheaded focus of GLAAD’s advocacy through compelling initiatives, including as a behind-the-scenes consultant on hundreds of films and TV series. She recently expanded the GLAAD Media Institute’s work to advocate for diverse storytelling in theater and support and amplify inclusive projects including the Tony Award-winning A Strange Loop. 

The Fall Gala will begin at 6:30 PM with a VIP reception for Gala Committee Chairs and Artists. The cocktail reception will open at 7:00 PM, followed by a seated dinner and tribute performances.

“New York Stage and Film is honored to uplift the indelible impact Billy and Sarah Kate have had on countless lives through their accomplishments and advocacy,” said Interim Artistic Director Liz Carlson. “Both understand the important role art, entertainment and media can play in shaping individuals, policy, and the course of human history. In a moment when the LGBTQIA+ community is experiencing increasing affronts on their collective humanity, we are proud to recognize Billy and Sarah Kate’s important work.”

BILLY PORTER is an Emmy, Tony, and Grammy award-winning actor, singer, director, producer, composer, and playwright. Porter has numerous theater credits, including the role of “Lola” in the Broadway musical Kinky Boots, for which he won the Tony, Drama Desk, and Outer Critics Circle awards and the Grammy for best musical theater album. He won his second Tony Award in 2022 for “Best Musical” as a producer on A Strange Loop. Porter released his first literary project, “Unprotected,” in October 2021, which was published by Abrams Press. As a recording artist, Porter recently released his singles “Fashion,” “Baby Was A Dancer,” and “Children” under his record deal with Island Records (UK) and Republic Records (US). His forthcoming album, The Black Mona Lisa, is due this Fall.

SARAH KATE ELLIS is the President and CEO of the LGBTQ advocacy organization GLAAD and was most recently recognized on the 2023 TIME100 list of 100 most influential people in the world. During her eight years of leading GLAAD, she has run winning campaigns for marriage equality, representation of LGBTQ people in media, education on transgender people, and more. She has moderated and participated in official panels about global LGBTQ issues at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland. In 2018, Ellis launched the GLAAD Media Institute, a team of experts dedicated to behind-the-scenes advising on LGBTQ storytelling across media including film, television, news, gaming, social media, and theater. She works directly with CEOs, elected officials, and the most recognizable journalists and celebrities to advance LGBTQ acceptance. Sarah Kate is a regular expert on CNN, MSNBC, and across print and online media. Prior to GLAAD, Sarah Kate was a media executive. She and her wife Kristen co-authored a new children’s book entitled ‘All Moms’ and they reside in New York with their children.

Proceeds from the 2023 Annual Gala will directly support NYSAF’s ongoing artistic development work, including the annual Hudson Valley-based Summer Season, NYC-based programming, Filmmakers’ Workshop, residencies for individual artists and small companies, awards and fellowships, and other opportunities for artists. 

For more information and to support the NYSAF Annual Gala  on Sunday, November 5 at The Plaza Hotel (768 5th Avenue), please visit https://www.newyorkstageandfilm.org/annual-gala



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