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The inaugural awards recognized three individuals who have made meaningful, positive contributions to New York City and beyond
The inaugural awards recognized three individuals who have made meaningful, positive contributions to New York City and beyond

First Annual City Visionary Awards Honor New School Alumni Making a Difference

For more than a hundred years, The New School has been an integral part of New York City life. Members of the community have made an impact in a wide range of industries and through a variety of projects and initiatives, and New York’s most iconic scholars, artists, activists and leaders have long gathered here to collaborate and debate over the city’s most pressing issues..

On November 1, 2023, The New School hosted the inaugural City Visionary Awards, which recognized three individuals who have made meaningful, positive contributions to New York City and beyond. In its first year, each City Visionary Award honoree also happened to graduate from The New School:  Lorie Slutsky, MA Urban Policy Analysis & Management ‘77, Stevie Walker-Webb, MFA Directing ‘16, and Jordan E. Cooper, BFA Dramatic Arts ‘18. The event raised more than $150,000 for scholarships across The New School, and featured the honorees’ reflections on what it means to think and act in a visionary way, as well as an electrifying performance that brought the room to its feet!

Among the event’s attendees were supporters and leadership from centers and institutes that advance The New School’s mission through civic partnerships, public engagement, creative practice, and scholarship, including the Tishman Environment and Design Center, Urban Systems Lab, the Institute on Race, Power, and Political Economy, the Vera List Center for Art and Politics, and the Center for New York City Affairs. Leaders from across The New School, including President Donna Shalala, Provost Dr. Renée T. White, and Linda Rappaport, Chair of the Board of Trustees, gave speeches that highlighted the university’s commitment to improving New York City, and developing deeper connections with partners and neighbors from throughout the city. 

“There is vitally important work going on across our campus as our students, faculty, staff, and alumni seek innovative solutions to the most pressing problems we face in our world today,” said Provost White during her speech. “Our New School community is dedicated to applying their research, scholarship, and creative practice to everything from environmental justice to emerging technologies through an interdisciplinary lens which aligns with our mission-driven principles of equity and justice.”

Chair Rappaport spoke about coming back to The New School to restart her development as a flutist, finding a new community of like-minded individuals, and seeing how vital the university is with higher education.

“My experience is common to many New Yorkers who want to continue their education and engage in our community. Once you get here, you discover professors and staff who are personally devoted to teaching and learning. You develop friendships that help jumpstart your intellectual and creative growth. And you find ways to give back, whether it’s by supporting The New School through funding or through sweat equity.”

Lorie Slutsky received her award from Shawn V. Morehead, Oskar Eustis, Artistic Director of the Public Theater, presented Stevie Walker-Webb with his award, and Jordan E. Cooper received his award from Nicole Burdette, a playwright, actress, and a School of Drama faculty member.

The evening concluded with a performance by Marchánt Davis from Cooper’s award-winning show Ain’t No Mo’.

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