Building upon last year’s theme – The New Brazil – the IX Annual Gala focused on how economic growth must walk hand-in-hand with a deep sense of responsibility for the use of the country’s natural resources and for the development of its people. In this spirit, the event celebrated the International Year of Forests, the Forests for People, and on improving the living conditions of the people whose livelihoods are directly linked to the country’s woodlands and wetlands.

Guests were welcomed by Andrea Dellal, the Gala Chair, Nizan Guanaes, the Co-Chair, Patricia Lobaccaro, the BrazilFoundation President and CEO, and Leona Forman, Founding President. The evening was magical, with the beautiful centennial library decorated by Carlos Mota with green and amber lights and natural plants and orchids donated by Zeze Flowers. Alessandra Ambrosio, Fernanda Motta,  Isabeli Fontana, Ana Beatriz Barros, among others walked down the “green” carpet on fluttery dresses by Valentino, the event’s Fashion Sponsor. But the real beauty of the evening was to see attendees join BrazilFoundation in celebration and support of Brazilian nonprofit organizations fighting for a more just and better Brazil.  And the mission was accomplished with more than 1.6 million dollars raised, which will directly fund BrazilFoundation grantees on the upcoming grant cycle as well as the Foundation’s Endowment Fund.

Masters of Ceremonies Pedro Andrade and Alice Dellal welcomed guests at the Celeste Bartos Forum, where the dinner took place. During Andrea Dellal’s opening speech she spoke about her visit to BrazilFoundation grantees in Brazil and the responsibility she feels towards improving the country’s social conditions. The same commitment was shared by Nizan Guanaes, who also thanked attendees for giving BrazilFoundation an evening worth of the importance of its work, while introducing Leona Forman on stage. Leona spoke about how Brazil lives up to a great moment and the importance of facing the country’s social challenges, mentioning the successes of organizations supported by BrazilFoundation over the past 10 years. She welcomed Sebastian Gerlic, director of the Thydewa, a BrazilFoundation grantee that uses new communications technologies for the benefit of indigenous rights and culture. Gerlic was invited by the Foundation to attend the event.

Click here to view the tribute video to BrazilFoundation  screened during the Gala.

“I am very proud of the work BrazilFoundation and its partners, Brazilian NGOs, have been developed for the past 10 years. It is hard work, but it is made with commitment, dedication and the belief that together we can make a difference…. Last year, in the context of the New Brazil, Nizan turned us into the New BrazilFoundation. This year, along with Andrea Dellal, the Gala Chair, and Patricia Lobaccaro, the BrazilFoundation wonderful President and CEO, BrazilFoundation will continue to grow and to do what we all that we value and what we believe in: a better Brazil for everyone.”    Leona Forman

Click here to see the video

A record number of three honorees along with two Special Award recipients were recognized this year, yet another sign that philanthropy in and for Brazil is indeed growing:

Bernardo Paz, founder of Instituto Inhotim, a nonprofit that joins art, cultural heritage, environmental conservation and socioeconomic development in Latin America’s largest outdoor art center;

Luciano Huck, President-Director of Instituto Criar, through which he promotes the socio cultural and professional training of youth in the audiovisual industry;

Renata de Camargo Nascimento, who ahead of the NGO Comunitas encourages corporate social investments to strengthen the capacity of underprivileged Brazilian people.

Click here to see the video

This year, BrazilFoundation presented the very first Global Brazilian Award, to Carlos Saldanha, Director of the animated movie “Rio”, for his vision and talent. Besides being a beautiful tribute to Brazil, and to one of its most beautiful cities, the movie also brings to light important issues of preservation and biodiversity.

Click here to see the video

Also new, was the International Philanthropy Award, Presented by Valentino Garavani to Russian model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova for her work ahead of The Naked Heart Foundation, an organization that seeks to provide children with safe environments and for the right to play as children. After building over 60 playgrounds in Russia, as well as England and Africa, The Naked Heart Foundation has announced the construction of playgrounds in Brazil. As Andrea mentioned during her speech, “Natalia’s contribution reminds us that philanthropy has no boundaries.”

Following dinner, Gabriela Palmieri, auctioneer from Sotheby’s began the event’s auction, organized by renowned art curator Nessia Pope. Works of Adriana Varejão; Ernesto Neto; Neville D’Almeida & Hélio Oiticica; Janaina Tschäpe; Hugo França; Todd Eberle; and Nabil Nahas were auctioned live along with the Fasano Hotel Experience, a Visit to Inhotim with Founder Bernardo Paz, and jewelry set by Carla Amorim.  Ronaldo went on stage and auctioned an autographed Brazilian soccer jersey for US$ 30,000.

The Gala’s first online auction on, which ended on September 27th, raised yet more funds to the Foundation with works by Cristina Canale; Francesco Clemente; Cleverson; Maxi Cohen; Valdir Cruz; Andre Cypriano; Ralph Gibson; Alice Klesck; Nelson Leirner; Jarbas Lopes; Sylvia Martins; Cildo Meireles; Beatriz Milhazes; Steve Miller; Gerben Mulder; Astrid Muñoz; Jean Pigozzi; Michael Roberts; Clifford Ross; Kenny Scharf; and Daniel Senise, along with jewelries auctioned with the support of Anna Clara Herrmann, from Joia Brasil; Jack Vartanian; Antonio Bernardo; H. Stern; and Ana Khouri.

Brazilian singer Preta Gil ended the evening with her contagious spirit playing Brazilian classics at the Library’s Astor Hall. This was her very first show in the US and Preta came to New York specially to perform at the event.

Click here to view the Photo Gallery

The Gala in the press: Click here to see the video of the event produced by The New York Post

The After Party

The celebrations continued during the After Party, sponsored by Shopping Cidade Jardim, for the second year on a row. The party brought together nearly 400 people, including guests from the Gala and other supporters at the Hôtel Americano, new hotel that opened its doors in September next to the famous High Line Park in Chelsea. Grafitti panels by artist Rogerio Fernandes illustrated the theme of the Gala’s theme of International Year of Forests, while Julio Santo Domingo worked the turntables on the main floor; DJs Vivi Seixas and Mile Frugaletti played on the terrace overlooking the city. Caipirinhas and other cocktails were provided by Cachaça Leblon.

Among guests in attendance were Andrea Dellal with sons Max and Alex Dellal, honoree Carlos Saldanha and Isabela Scarpa; Luigi Tadini; Amanda Hearst; Lorenzo Martone; top models  Ana Beatriz Barros, Carol Bittencourt, Luciana Curtis; Luisa Moraes; Carlos Souza and son Jean Souza, Mariana and Zeco Auriemo; Sandrine Raquel Nass; Carla Amorim; Raquel Correa Carvalho de Oliveira; Preta Gil and sisters Bela Gil and Marina Moreno; Fernando Torquato; Daniel Urzedo; Ronaldo Fenomeno; Kelly Piquet; Fernanda Abdalla, Erika Mares Guia, Alix Duvernoy, Jessica Hart e Stavros Niarchos, Rachel Chandler; Lulu Buti; Lauren Remington Platt; Matthew Barney; Nate Berkus; Carlos Huber; and Zani Gugelman.

Click here to view the After Party Photo Gallery