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The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation Celebrating 23rd Annual Summer Benefit With "FADA: House Of Madness Event" At The Watermill Center

Ali Friedlander

The Watermill Center's Gala is known for a phantasmagoria of arresting tableau's that punctuate wooden trails and focal points of the 8.5 acre center.

The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation will present its 23rd Annual Summer Benefit and Auction on Saturday, July 30th at the Watermill Center in a truly one-of-a-kind way. The benefit, FADA: House of Madness, will bring together over 1,000 guests from the worlds of art, performance, theater, fashion, design, and society.

Featured at the event will be new works from Water Mill's International Summer Program participants, who come from over 25 countries to create installations and performances throughout the 8.5-acre grounds. This year, the Center will be honoring Madame Giancarla Berti for her unparalleled support of Water Mill as a "laboratory for the arts."

LuAnn de Lesseps at last year's benefit. (Photo: J.van der Watt for Rob Rich/SocietyAllure.com)

FADA: House of Madness will also mark the first time collaboration of the Watermill Center and The Bruce High Quality Foundation (BHQF), as they present As We Lay Dying, which will feature a variety of works and performances spread throughout the Center's grounds. The works featured will represent coming to terms with the contemporary world through "personal, political, and aesthetic perspectives."

The works presented will also be accompanied by a sound installation adapted from the recordings of renowned singer-songwriter, ANOHNI, which will be played throughout the grounds.

Additionally, as guests enjoy the dinner provided at the event, they can take in a skateboard performance by Shaun Gladwell, adapted from his famed film Skateboarders vs. Minimalism, which premiered at the Sydney Festival in January 2016.

"In tribute to the extraordinary philanthropist and Watermill supporter Madame Giancarla Berti, I am honored to collaborate with international artists ANOHNI, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, Shaun Gladwell and Pussy Riot, alongside our emerging Summer Program artists," expressed Robert Wilson, Founder/Artistic Director of The Watermill Center. "ANOHNI is one of the leading vocalists in contemporary music today. As guests wander throughout our grounds, they will encounter her music as never before. It will set the tone for the evening."

The benefit is one of the Hamptons' most highly anticipated summer philanthropy events and largest fundraisers of the year. Proceeds from the event will support the Center's year-round Artistic Residency and Education Programs, which provide artists with "unique opportunities to explore and develop new work."

"To mark the 10th Anniversary of The Center's year-round Artist Residency Program, I am pleased to announce that we begin breaking ground on the construction of a new, 10,000 square-foot residence facility," shared William Wagner, Managing Director of The Byrd Hoffman Water Mill Foundation. "I hope that everyone will join us for The 23rd Annual Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction in celebration of our 10th Anniversary and to support this global community of change-makers and to honor those who make this day possible."

2015 honoree Inga Maren Otto, Claude Grunitzky, and Watermill Center Artistic Director and host Robert Wilson. (Photo: Sean Zanni/PatrickMcMullan.com)


FADA: House of Madness will begin at 6 p.m. with cocktails, installation tours, and a silent auction. A seated dinner and live auction will follow. The soiree will culminate with a post event party lasting from 10 p.m. to midnight, featuring Shaun Gladwell's installation, dessert, and dancing.

Veteran auctioneer Simon de Pury will host both auctions, where guests will have a chance to bid on over 125 lots donated by world-renowned and emerging artists, including Marina Abramović, Francesco Clemente, Max Gimblett, Nan Goldin, Nir Hod, Ilya and Emilia Kabakov and Henry Taylor. Guests can get an online preview of the auction on Artsy starting Monday, July 18th at 12 p.m., which will feature online preliminary bidding.

Tickets begin at $650.

The Watermill Center is located at 39 Watermill Towd Road in Water Mill. For more information, call 631-726-4628 or visit www.watermillcenter.org.




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