Press Alert

Legends & Leaders gathered at Bronx Children’s Museum’s gala featuring Rita Moreno, Kerry Washington, Sunny Hostin and more

May 11, 2019 | Featured, On The Scene News, Press Alert | 0 comments



Actress and Gala Co-Chair Kerry Washington returns to support benefit event, hosted by Sunny Hostin.


Event host Sunny Hostin with children’s TV icon Sonia Manzano and 2019 Honoree Rita Moreno

The Bronx, NY (May 8, 2019) — The Bronx Children’s Museum ( hosted its third annual benefit gala on Tuesday, May 7, 2019, in New York City at Manhattan’s Gotham Hall. The night was dedicated to the children of the Bronx – past, present, and future,
exemplified by the Bronx-grown luminaries in attendance including honorees Rita Moreno, Shawn “Pecas” Costner, Gala Co-Chair Kerry Washington, The View’s Sunny Hostin, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, actress Sonia Manzano formerly Maria of Sesame Street, and Grammy-nominated drummer Bobby Sanabria.

The benefit was a resounding success, grossing nearly $500,000 for the organization’s outreach programming reaching over 18,000 children annually, and its new state-of-the-art facility – the borough’s first-ever children’s museum – opening in 2020.


2019 Bronx Children’s Museum Honorees | Landscape architect Jonathan Marvel, Shawn “Pecas” Costner and Rita Moreno. Image by Johnny Nunez

The ceremony, hosted by Bronx native, museum board member, and host of The View, Sunny Hostin, celebrated the contributions of Bronx innovators from across generations and sectors who support the institution, and are committed to inspiring children and their families. Ground-breaking Hollywood icon and EGOT recipient, Rita Moreno, delighted guests with a personal story of her arrival in the Bronx as a young child from Puerto Rico, and encouraged those in the audience to dream big.

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TV Icon Sonia Manzano takes the stage to award Rita Moreno as 2019 Bronx Children’s Museum Honoree | Image by Johnny Nunez

“It is important for all children to have a museum available to them for every reason in the world that you can think of – for creative reasons or reasons of curiosity, ” said Moreno.

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Kerry Washington | Image by Angie Vasquez.

Attendees included Bronx-natives, Gala Co-Chair Member, Kerry Washington, returning for a third year to showcase her support for the museum’s mission, and Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“Museums were a huge part of my upbringing but I always had to go outside of my neighborhood to be enriched in this way. I am truly humbled by the possibilities of what will come out of this beautiful museum. By supporting the museum, you are not just supporting a building, you are supporting the inner self-worth of an entire borough of children,” remarked Washington.


Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz | Image by Johnny Nunez

The Borough President introduced the Bronx-born, Roc Nation Executive and Hip-hop community leader Shawn “Pecas” Costner to the stage, presenting him with one of the three 2019 Bronx Children’s Museum Imagination Awards given out that evening.

“I am so proud of the work being done by Bronx Children’s Museum. We believe in this vision because we know what happens when you give a Bronx girl or a Bronx boy an opportunity. It allows them to dream, to expand their imagination. Shawn Costner is a reminder, talent is abundant – but opportunities are not – yet with our Bronx DNA, they can go out there and conquer the world,” added Diaz.


Carolyn Schwartz, Development Director Bronx Children’s Museum with Honoree, Shawn “Pecas” Costner and Carla Precht, Founding Executive Director at Bronx Children’s Museum | Image by Johnny Nunez

Costner is an influencer of global trends and has enhanced the career trajectories of megawatt artists like Jay Z, Rihanna, DJ Khaled and athletes like Yankee pitcher, CC Sabathia.


Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. and New York City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson attend 3d Annual Bronx Children’s Museum Gala | Image by Johnny Nunez

Also in attendance were New York City Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, philanthropist Amber Sabathia, the Voice of New York, Angie Martinez, former Def Jam executive Steve Bartels and retired New York Giant, Victor Cruz.

Prolific landscape architect Jonathan Marvel, a force behind the Bronx’s Mill Pond Park, and Brooklyn’s Navy Yard was also recognized for his innovation and environmentally conscious design. His award-winning firm has steered the revival of multiple public spaces across the nation and is piloting ambitious solar energy projects in his native island of Puerto Rico in response to the damage caused by hurricanes Irma and Maria.


A highlight of the evening was an endearing dance routine performed by four second grade children in the Museum’s Dream Big After School program – which prompted a standing ovation.

Hope Harley, President of the Board of Directors commented, “It was an exciting evening full of warmth and spontaneity. We are so grateful to all our attendees for their tremendous show of support. Through their generosity, the children of the Bronx will continue to have access to inspiring arts, culture and natural sciences programs where they can have fun learning about themselves and their surroundings.”

The evening concluded with a performance by Bronx-native and Grammy-nominated Latin-Jazz musician Bobby Sanabria, which brought the enthusiastic audience to the dance floor.


Bronx Children’s Museum programming, “Museum on the Go” | Image Joe Martin, Keyz 2 Life Media

For more information about the Bronx Children’s Museum programming, “Museum on the Go” Bus activities and its landmark brick and mortar facility opening visit Follow the inspiration on social with the hashtag #BronxGrown, @BxChildMuseum on Twitter and @BronxChildrensMuseum on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Bronx Children’s Museum
Founded in 2005, Bronx Children’s Museum is the borough’s only cultural and educational children’s museum designed to inspire children and families to learn about themselves and the diversity and richness of their surroundings, as well as the world beyond. In 2020, the Museum will launch its new flagship facility in a New York City Parks owned building near Yankee Stadium. Currently, a “museum without walls,” Bronx Children’s Museum serves almost 18,000 Bronx residents annually. Through innovative mobile programming, Bronx Children’s Museum engages children and adults in the arts and sciences using its iconic bus as a roving learning environment providing access to children throughout the Bronx wherever they may be. The Museum also has temporary exhibits and ongoing afterschool and summer programming throughout the borough at community-based organizations, schools, shelters, libraries, local festivals, and parks.


Amber Sabathia | Image by Johnny Nunez


Blanca Cruz and Victor Cruz | Image by Johnny Nunez


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