On Wednesday night, inside a cavernous event space on the Lower East Side, at the annual gala for the public art organization Creative Time, the actor Jeremy Strong said the news that striking actors and Hollywood studios had reached a tentative deal, “went around the room like wildfire.”
“I just think it’s great news for the lights to be turned back on for everybody,” Mr. Strong said.
“It means we can all get back to work,” said Julianne Moore, who added, “I miss my community. I miss getting up, and I’m just thinking about things, talking about things, working with other creative people.”
“I miss, like, making something,” said Michelle Williams.
The actors, who had been huddled together in conversation, were attending the benefit, which honored Rick Lowe, the artist; Jackson Polys, Adam Khalil and Zack Khalil, the artists of New Red Order, who recently worked with Creative Time on the project “The World’s UnFair;” and Jon Neidich, chair of the Creative Time board, who founded Golden Age Hospitality group, which runs restaurants like The Nines.
Nearly 500 people attended the event. The crowd of actors, designers and art world fixtures, included the curator Antwaun Sargent, the designer and actor Waris Ahluwalia, the artist Taryn Simon, and Anne Pasternak, the director of the Brooklyn Museum, who was previously the president and artistic director of Creative Time.
Azikiwe Mohammed, who identifies as “a guy that makes stuff,” grew up in New York City and remembered encountering a Creative Time project in high school.
“The things that we make don’t have to be objects,” he realized. “More importantly, now, for older me, there are places that will help someone make that work, and get it to the people who need to see it.”
After dinner — a choice of filet mignon or grilled maitake mushrooms — the performer West Dakota, dressed like a mime in a billowy white pantsuit, danced down a set of stairs and around the banquet tables, which were arranged under arcs of black balloons.
Curtains parted, and in a separate space, other performers, who were told to dress like they were in a “black and white, psychedelic Parisian fun house,” kicked off the after-party on a smoky dance floor, which lingered open until after midnight.
Below, see photos from Creative Time’s annual gala and New York Public Library’s Library Lions held in New York City this week.
On Monday night, crowds of writers, artists, politicians and philanthropists stepped past the marble lions outside the New York Public Library’s majestic main branch on Fifth Avenue to attend the Library Lions gala. The fall tradition, which dates to the 1980s, raises funds for the city’s largest library system.
At the annual event, several cultural figures are anointed as institutional ambassadors, known as “Lions.” This year’s class featured Steven Spielberg, Ina Garten, Bill T. Jones and the authors David Nasaw and Khaled Hosseini.
The library’s Astor Hall swelled during cocktail hour with a blur of literary luminaries and creative titans. Mr. Spielberg, wearing the red sashed medal that signified his newfound Lion status, talked with friends as a server brushed past him carrying a tray of caviar and egg on toast. Salman Rushdie and David Remnick caught up over a drink by a bar. David Zaslav chatted with Maggie Gyllenhaal.
“A cookbook author being made a Lion?” said Ms. Garten. “It’s an honor. I wonder what got me over the finish line, television or my cookbooks.”
“I’m stunned because I’ve always been a bit intimidated by this building,” said Mr. Jones. “When I came to New York in the late 1970s I visited this building like it was a pilgrimage, but my life as an artist then was downtown. But here I am, being honored tonight as a choreographer.”
Around 8 p.m., servers strummed baby xylophones to indicate that it was time for dinner upstairs in the Rose Main Reading Room. From a stage flanked by a live band, the library’s chair, Abby Milstein, commenced the ceremony, which raised $3.4 million. Savory pumpkin chèvre cheesecake and 24-hour braised beef were served.
Senator Chuck Schumer took the podium to tout the city’s library system as a sanctuary for self-discovery and intellectual inquiry. He added that his wife, Iris Weinshall, the library’s chief operating officer, adores Ms. Garten’s cookbooks and that their recipes have added “a few inches” to his waist.
Gov. Kathy Hochul recounted how she found escapism at her local library as a girl, repeatedly checking out the same book about American history. “I went so often to check out that book,” said Ms. Hochul, “the librarian said, ‘You can keep it, sweetheart.’”
At the ceremony’s end, the library’s president, Anthony Marx, called each of the honorees to the stage as uplifting string and piano music played from speakers. Then, Mr. Marx looked out across the crowd and requested that any Lions from years past sitting in attendance also rise to take in the applause. Slowly and dutifully, they did.