Annual Gala 2024 Raises Nearly $1.5 Million for the Fine Arts Museums, Museums Host More Than 1,300 Guests for Gala and Late Night After-Party Celebration

Apr 5, 2024

Famsf Gala 2024

David Shimmon, Mary Beth Shimmon, Darren Walker, London Breed, Dede Wilsey, Thomas Campbell, Lee Mingwei and Jason Moment

Photo - Drew Altizer Photography


de Young museum / April 8, 2024

SAN FRANCISCO – On Thursday, April 4, 2024, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (the “Museums”) welcomed artists, luminaries, and museum supporters to the de Young for its largest fundraiser, its Annual Gala and Late Night after-party.

Chaired by Mary Beth and David Shimmon, the black-tie Annual Gala celebrated the dynamic arts and culture offerings that make San Francisco a world-class city for residents and visitors alike, and featured performances and activations by local artists and decor inspired by famous landmarks and residences in our city.

San Francisco’s renowned blend of art, activism, and innovation was evident throughout the evening. San Francisco Mayor London N. Breed, artist Lee Mingwei, and Ford Foundation president Darren Walker were honored for their unwavering commitment to the arts and outstanding achievements in this area, while guests savored a multi-course seated dinner, catered by McCall’s, with caviar by local favorite The Caviar Co. and wines by Bryant Imports.

The Annual Gala raised nearly $1.5 million, and record-breaking net revenue for the Museums. Proceeds support the programming that makes the de Young and Legion of Honor museums dynamic spaces for sharing and appreciating the art and ideas that shape our city and strengthen the cultural fabric of San Francisco.

“This year’s Annual Gala and Late Night events brought together an incredible community of luminaries, leaders, and artists who contribute to the vibrancy of San Francisco’s artistic and cultural landscape,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. “The money raised will provide key support for our education programs and ongoing efforts to connect visitors with the art and ideas shaping our time.”

Throughout the evening, guests enjoyed full access to all galleries in the the de Young, including the three special exhibitions currently on view: Fashioning San Francisco: A Century of Style, a showcase of high fashion and haute couture, Irving Penn, featuring work by one of the 20th century’s greatest photographers, and Lee Mingwei: Rituals of Care, the first retrospective of works by the prominent Taiwanese-American artist at a US museum.

Attending artists and guests included:

Artists: Lee Mingwei, Chelsea Ryoko Wong, Sunny A. Smith, Xiaoze Xie, Ramekon O'Arwisters, Carlo Abruzzese, Bloodstone, Sarah Blaustein, and Miguel Amat.

Art, fashion, and design world
: Darren Walker, Komal Shah, Jessica Silverman, Sabrina Buell, Thomas P. Campbell, Daisy Nam, Ali Gass, David C. Howse, Pieranna Cavalchini, Claudia Schmuckli, Natasha Becker, Emma Acker, Furio Rinaldi, Laura Camerlengo, Emily Beeny, David Stull, Hilton Als, Kelly Huang, Ethan Beard, Stanlee Gatti, Ken Fulk, Daphne Palmer, Kurt Wootton, James A. Lord and Roderick Wylie,Cheryl Haies, and Samantha Koslow.

San Francisco luminaries and tech world
: Diane B. Wilsey, Mary Beth and David Shimmon, Denise Hale, Katie and Todd Traina, John Pritzker, Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas, Lisa and Doug Goldman, Maria Manetti Shrem, Rebecca and Cal Henderson, Jack Calhoun, Max Boyer Glynn and David Glynn, Jason Moment, Holly and Parker Harris, Kathryn and Bo Lasater, Gretchen Kimball, Julia Zhen, Elizabeth and Jeffrey Minick, Karesha McGee, Lo Toney, Sobia and Nadir Shaikh, Navid Armstrong, Julie and Sebastien Lepinard, Kelly McKinley, and Kirsten Komoroske.

Civic Leaders
: Mayor London N. Breed, Maryam Muduroglu 

: Ideas Events & Rentals

Catering: McCalls Catering and Events

In-Kind Sponsors: The Caviar Co. and Bryant Imports 

This year’s Late Night after-party celebrated the next generation of museum supporters. Along with full access to the de Young’s special exhibitions and permanent collection, Late Night guests sipped craft cocktails, had festive bites and danced to live performances by DJ Christie and event headliner Sudan Archives. As revelers made their way through the de Young’s galleries and special Late Night spaces, including the Soho House Lounge and the NightLife Lounge on the ninth-floor of the de Young’s Hamon Tower, they discovered an activation by neon artists She Bends, a performance by movement artist Nkechi Njaka with original sound by Tauwoo,a fashion activation by ReLove, a photography pop-up by Anna Alexia Basile, and a patch and wearable thread activity with SewFrisco. In addition, visitors immersed themselves in panoramic views from nine stories above Golden Gate Park and the cool jazz sounds of Vooo, presented by Mellow Sessions SF at the NightLife Lounge, the official after-set of the California Academy of Sciences’ NightLife event.

About Darren Walker

Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first non-profit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond to stabilize non-profit organizations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Before joining the Ford Foundation, Walker was vice president at the Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

Walker co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy. He serves on many boards, including the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture, the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ralph Lauren, Block and PepsiCo.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Walker was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on numerous leadership lists including Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future and the Wall Street Journal’s 2020 Philanthropy Innovator of the Year. He is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. In 2022, he was awarded France’s highest cultural honor, Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres, for leadership in the arts. In 2023 he was also appointed by Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to the Order of the British Empire for services to UK/US relations.

Under Walker, the Ford Foundation generously supported the Museums' bringing Kehinde Wiley: An Archaeology of Silence to the US in 2023.

About Lee Mingwei

Born in Taipei in 1964, artist Lee Mingwei immigrated to the US when he was a young child. He went to high school in San Francisco and graduated with a BFA in textile arts from the California College of Arts and Crafts (now the California College of the Arts) in 1993 before earning an MFA at Yale University in 1997. He is one of the most prominent Taiwanese American artists today, and his practice has been celebrated across Europe and Asia with recent major solo exhibitions at the Mori Art Museum, Tokyo; the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art, Beijing; Centre Pompidou, Paris; and Gropius Bau, Berlin. Lee Mingwei: Rituals of Care is the artist’s first retrospective in a US museum. The exhibition is currently on view at the de Young, along with Chaque Souffle une Danse a new commission at the Minnesota Street Project Foundation opening April 5.

About Mayor London N. Breed

London Nicole Breed is the 45th mayor of the City and County of San Francisco. Mayor Breed is the first African-American woman Mayor in San Francisco’s history. Born and raised in San Francisco, Mayor Breed graduated from Galileo High School and attended the University of California, Davis, earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Public Service. She went on to earn a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of San Francisco. During her administration, Mayor Breed has prioritized policies and programs to address some of the most crucial issues facing the City, including public safety, economic recovery, housing and homelessness, workforce development, transportation, and climate change. To ensure San Francisco has a just and equitable future, Mayor Breed continues to support San Francisco’s arts and culture, small businesses, and vulnerable communities. Launched under Mayor Breed’s leadership, the Opportunities For All initiative has facilitated more than 10,000 internship placements for San Francisco’s youth, including at the Fine Arts Museums. Mayor Breed has also made the Museums for All program permanent and year-round, removing barriers for people to access the cultural and educational benefits at our City’s museums.

Annual Gala Chairs

Mary Beth and David Shimmon

Annual Gala Host Committee
Aída M. Álvarez, Bank of America, Robert H. Beadle, Sandra Bessières, Max Boyer Glynn and David Glynn, London N. Breed, Barbara Brown, Bettina S. Bryant, Jack Calhoun and Trent Norris, Katie Colendich and Albert d’Hoste, East West Bank, Holly and Parker Harris, Lisa Harris, Margaret and William R. Hearst III, Jane and Bert Inch, Gretchen B. Kimball, Cheryl Frank and Michael Linn, Seth L. Matarasso, MD and Riccardo Benavides, Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas, Jason E. Moment, Yurie and Carl Pascarella, Lynn and Edward Poole, Pamela and Richard Rigg. Chandra Kreuzer Rudd, Sarah Schoellkopf and William Neil, Sobia and Nadir Shaikh, Mary Beth and David Shimmon, Maria Manetti Shrem and Mauro Zanetti, Jessica Silverman and Sarah Thornton, Denise Littlefield Sobel, David Hooker Spencer, Ingrid Tauber, Gwynned Vitello, Diane B. Wilsey, Lisa and Jim Zanze, and Zlot Buell + Associates

Late Night Steering Committee
Caroline Brayson, COL Gallery, Kelsey Issel, Nkechi Njaka, PJ Policarpio, Tahirah Rasheed, and Terrion “Shido” Smith

Annual Gala Sponsors
Bryant Imports 
The Caviar Co.
Jackson Family Wines 

Late Night Sponsors
Fort Point Beer Co.
Liquid Happiness 
Noise Pop 
Soho House

Event design
Riccardo Benavides of Ideas Events & Rentals

About the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, comprising the de Young museum in Golden Gate Park and the Legion of Honor in Lincoln Park, are the largest public arts institution in San Francisco. In 2023 the two museums welcomed 1.5 million visitors through their doors.

The de Young originated from the 1894 California Midwinter International Exposition in Golden Gate Park and was established as the Memorial Museum in 1895. It was later renamed in honor of Michael H. de Young, who spearheaded its creation. The present copper-clad landmark building, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, opened in 2005. Reflecting an active conversation among cultures, perspectives and time periods, the collections on display include American painting, sculpture, and decorative arts from the 17th to the 21st centuries; arts from Africa, Oceania, and the Americas; costume and textile arts; and international modern and contemporary art.

The Legion of Honor was inspired by the French pavilion at San Francisco’s Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 and, like that structure, was modeled after the neoclassical Palais de la Légion d’Honneur, in Paris. The museum, designed by George Applegarth, opened in 1924 on a bluff in Lincoln Park overlooking the Golden Gate. It offers unique insight into the art historical, political, and social movements of the previous 4,000 years of human history, with holdings including European painting, sculpture, and decorative arts; ancient art from the Mediterranean basin; and the largest collection of works on paper in the American West. The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco look forward to celebrating the 100 year anniversary of the Legion of Honor in 2024.

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