On April 24, 2019, Housing Works held its 7th annual Groundbreaker Awards Dinner on the eve of Design on a Dime—an event celebrating the 15th edition of its fight to end AIDS and homelessness through design. The moving dinner, which celebrated leaders in design, art, and philanthropy, was hosted by luminaries across all fields. CNN anchor Don Lemon kicked off the night with some hilarious yet poignant remarks while Portia de Rossi and Patricia Clarkson brought some levity and spirited banter. Jim Shreve (President and CEO of Baccarat) and Darren Walker (President of Ford Foundation), were both honored for their philanthropic efforts and continued contributions in the fight against HIV/AIDS and homelessness. Not to be forgotten, Matthew Bernardo (President of Housing Works) and James Huniford (Founder of Design on a Dime,) also gave some moving speeches. All in all, it was a night to remember, and the actual event was yet to come!
On Thursday, April 25th Design on a Dime’s 15th edition kicked off. A benefit started in 2004, the four-day-long event is now one of the design industry’s most loved and esteemed fundraisers, bringing together some of the most sought-after creatives in the field of interior design. At each Design on a Dime event, a select group of designers donates their time and skills to create one-of-a-kind vignettes with furniture, art, home décor items, and more, with items donated by caring vendors. The opening night starts with a 5:30 pm preview. At 6:30 pm, visitors are allowed to shop every single item in each booth—all marked at 80% off the retail value. Influential tastemakers, celebrities, and design aficionados flock to DOAD year after year, happy to shop for a cause. Proceeds from Design on a Dime and the Groundbreaker Awards dinner go toward the nonprofit’s supportive housing, lifesaving services, and advocacy efforts to bring social justice to marginalized New Yorkers and people living with HIV/AIDS.
This year’s edition did not disappoint. The designers went bold with beautiful color palettes, art galore, striking furnishings, and accessories and objets d’art for days. With designers and brands such as Carlos Jungueira for ESPASSO, Carl Barnett, David Kleinberg Design Associates, Foley & Cox, Erick Espinoza of Anthony Baratta, Drew McKukin Interiors, Anthony George Home, Benjamin Moore, Aparment 48, Ron Marvin, Beth Diana Smith, Saudah Saleem Interiors, and Eneia White Interiors, it was impossible not to cause a big splash. In fact, the event was so successful that to date, over 1.1 million dollars was raised for the nonprofit. Cheers to that!