Host / Keynote Speaker - Christiane Amanpour
Guests at Cocktails in the Atrium
2010 marked the 25th anniversary of American Jewish World Service – a global organization that works to alleviate poverty, hunger, and disease in the developing world. On this occasion AJWS turned to Empire Entertainment to produce a night of celebration that would focus on its past success while inspiring new and old supporters alike to look toward the future.
The gala was held at the elegant Frederick P. Rose Hall at Jazz @ Lincoln Center on Thursday, October 28th. Empire worked hand in hand with AJWS executive team, board members and event committees to develop a program that both engaged and entertained the guests, while shedding light on the remarkable work of the organization. Expanding upon traditional gala elements such as cocktails, hors d’oeuvres, a theater program and after party- Empire enhanced the program with special décor that included a specially-commissioned timeline installation that depicted AJWS’ history juxtaposed against world events over the last 25 years.
Following cocktails live African drummers led guests into the theater program. To host this impressive event, Empire secured one of the world’s most respected global journalists - Christiane Amanpour. Her inspiring keynote address highlighted grantees, volunteers, and donors, who have played integral roles in the lifeline of AJWS. Other program highlights included remarks by AJWS President Ruth Messinger, event chairs Barbara Dobkin and Gigi Pritzker, and the riveting stories of two featured grantee recipients. The event also doubled as Ruth’s 70th birthday party, with a special video paying tribute to Ruth and her unwavering dedication to AJWS- Happy Birthday, Ruth!
To keep the event entertaining, Empire delivered several unique entertainment components. Working with 40 Year Old Virgin director, Judd Apatow, Empire produced and premiered a hilarious video featuring everyone from Ben Stiller, Jerry Seinfeld and Sarah Silverman, to Brian Williams, Julia Louis-Dreyfuss and Lindsay Lohan which had the audience in stitches. [Click here to read more about the viral video]. As a grand finalé, the Africa Children’s Choir performed a few uplifting numbers that had the audience on their feet.
Following the theater program the main body of guests joined the young professional attendees for an after party in the spectacular Allen Room that Empire converted into a lounge / club environment with DJ, drink and desserts.
Empire served as the overall event producer for this 1,000 person gala managing all aspects of production including venue, lighting, staging, audio, image magnification, catering (provided by Foremost RAM and Great Performances), security, design and décor, and overall project management. Empire also consulted on creative programming aspects including scripting and show order as well as securing the evening’s headline entertainment.
Empire is one of the world’s leading producers of not-for-profit events and fundraisers.