The Executive Director of the Bronx Children’s Museum, Carla Precht announced the Museum will honor three bright Bronx stars Richard Abrons, Rafael Collado and Kerry Washington at the Museum’s first-ever gala on Tuesday, May 2nd at the Tribeca Rooftop in New York City.
The event will be hosted by Board member Sunny Hostin (co-Host of ABC’s The View and Senior Legal Correspondent & Analyst for ABC News). Special guest appearances will be made by renowned Bronx-born educator and jazz pianist and composer, Dr. Valerie Capers; comedian, Tracy Morgan; and Sounds by Swizz Beatz. “It will be a historic event” said Precht "with former Bronx children coming back to their roots to support the only cultural institution in the Bronx whose sole mission is to inspire and celebrate the children of the borough. "
The gala will feature a live auction including a visit to the set of Scandal in Los Angeles, a morning on the NYC set of The View, premium tickets for four to top-rated Broadway shows including Hamilton and Kinky Boots, a meet-and-greet at Jennifer Lopez's “All I Have” show in Las Vegas, and rides in fully-restored WWII plane owned by honoree Rafael Collado.
“When we learned a decade ago that the Bronx was the only New York City borough without a Children’s Museum, we were stunned” said Hope Harley, President of the Bronx Children’s Museum Board of Directors. "Not only are we bringing equity to the Bronx, we are re-defining what it means to be a children’s museum in the 21st century. We started from the ground floor—working in neighborhood schools, parks, shelters, etc., rather than from a building. We see more than 15,000 children annually with nine successful dynamic outreach programs including a “Museum on the Go!” bus and will soon start construction on our site near the Yankee Stadium. “The Museum will always operate with and without walls… and we will have our walls by the end of 2018.”
Honoree Kerry Washington and Bronx native shared “Growing up in the Bronx shaped my mind, my heart and my creative soul. I was fortunate to have parents who always encouraged my artistic pursuits and passions. I know how vital it is to provide kids with places that inspire them to think, create and dream. I am honored to support our very own Bronx Children’s Museum..” Kerry’s mother, Valerie Washington serves as a board member for the Museum and will be presenting her with her award.
Richard Abrons is a playwright, author, and activist. He was a founding partner of First Manhattan Co., an investment management company. He is the author of twenty published short stories, one of which won a National Magazine Award, and five produced plays. Mr. Abrons is past president and vice chairman of the Henry Street Settlement, and a director of both GrowNYC and the Bronx Children’s Museum. His Plant-A-Lot program for GrowNYC has created more than 90 community gardens. Mr. Abrons’s parents lived in the Bronx for many years.
Rafael Collado has founded, built, managed and sold three companies, including: Inabox, a web-based software company dedicated to website creation tools (acquired by register.com in 2000); BERN Associates, Inc., that provided Internet consulting, network services and content development tools to telephone companies (acquired by Prime Cellular in 1996); and Sigma Research, a software company (acquired by FastComm Communications in 1993). Mr. Collado also founded and was CEO of Protocom Devices, which he took public in 1985. Mr. Collado is working on projects including SaraGEO, which enables users to quickly and easily design collaborative, data-driven maps and GetMyBoat which allows users to easily rent and charter boats in over 126 countries and 3,000 locations. He grew up in the South Bronx and is married to his Bronx sweetheart. They have three children and a grandchild.
Bronx native Kerry Washington stars in the hit ABC drama Scandal. She broke barriers by becoming the first African-American woman since 1974 to headline a network TV drama. Ms. Washington has received wide public recognition for her portrayal of Olivia Pope, the lead character in the Peabody Award-winning series, along with two Primetime Emmy Award nominations, a Golden Globe nomination, a SAG Award nomination, two NAACP Image Award wins, and a People’s Choice Award nomination. Ms. Washington was most recently seen in the HBO TV movie Confirmation, which she stars in and executive produces.
“Our aim is to give the children of the Bronx a safe and educational haven to be inspired, dream, create, explore their surroundings, embrace their culture and heritage, and find their place in the world,” said Precht. "We are more than just what can be found within the walls of a building – we are creating experiences everywhere we go under our Museum banner, always using the Bronx as our inspiration, to ensure our relevancy in the lives of the children and to connect children and their caregivers to the world around them. "
The Gala sponsors include The Boston Consulting Group, GetMyBoat, Kimelman & Baird LLC, The Perry Foundation, Polo Ralph Lauren Foundation, Protocom Aviation and The Frederick P. and Sandra P. Rose Foundation. Board of Directors includes Hope Harley, President, Richard Abrons, Arlene Bascom, Amanda Collado, Takisha Dozier, Kate Green, Hon. Stanley B. Green, April Horton, Asunción “Sunny” Hostin, Dodge Landesman, Paul Lipson, Emily Menlo Marks, Jeanne B. Mullgrav, José A. Rodriguez, MD, Alannah Sheerin, Lauren Stanich, Richard L. Stein, Damion Townsend, Ellie Meek Tweedy, Sapan Vyas, CFA, Valerie M. Washington, Ed.D and Kathy Glick Weil, with Sandra Priest Rose, Honorable Member, and Rubén Díaz, Jr., Bronx Borough President, Ex Officio.