By Great Performances

On May 18, Open House New York hosted its Open City Benefit, a “celebration of the power of place and new possibilities for our city.” They celebrated at the newly transformed Powerhouse Arts; the just-opened venue – once a power plant – is now a contemporary art center and large-scale fabrication studio. As long-time OHNY supporters (Liz Neumark, CEO and Founder of Great Performances, currently sits on the board), we were thrilled to be their catering partner for this 400-person gala.

Powerhouse Arts is a dynamic venue for an event. Large, open spaces provide the perfect canvas for the most active imaginations. As caterers feeding 400 people family-style, it presented a significant challenge: due to the size and scope of the space and event, serving a hot meal would be challenging.

Morgan Golumbuk, Senior Event Director, collaborated with the OHNY team and GP Culinary Director Andrew Smith to curate a menu that would be delicious served at room temperature. We developed two brand-new seasonal protein dishes for the occasion and engaged with partner Eat Offbeat to provide a couple of their incredibly delicious recipes (that just happened to be vegan!): their Chickpea Salad and their Iraqi Sumac Salad.

We tapped into a local source for dessert, serving rainbow-sprinkled cake pops, chocolate-covered Oreos with vibrant drizzles, and multi-hued macarons from Buttermilk Bakeshop. The colorful theme was a nod to the dynamic graffiti and murals covering the venue’s historic brick walls.


When days run together, or time seems to stand still, it becomes even more important to take some time to pause, reflect and celebrate. Whether its an accomplishment, the completion of a project, a birth or birthday, an anniversary, or a holiday, taking a moment to acknowledge that event and sharing with others is important. When we can’t be together physically, technology has enabled us to be together in more than just spirit — we can connect via phone calls and video conferences. Technology has been the glue holding us together as a team, as friends and as family. The occasional glitches and challenges of managing the technology has only made it more human. People have also been sharing celebrations in novel ways: divided by a window; socially distanced in driveways; and even a parade of cars.

Check out how some of our GP family have been celebrating!

Birthday Toasts!

Tim Berryman, Director of Event Services

For his wife’s birthday, Tim arranged a full-day of video conferences, toasts and games. Collaborating among their friends, they arranged a cupcake toast, shared a bottle (or more) of wine, and enjoyed Jeopardy! hosted by a friend and 6-time Jeopardy! champion!

Birth Days!

Kaitlin Walsh, Director of Design

Kaitlin met her new niece via video conference! Newborn Rose might not have the technology handled yet, but Kaitlin is clearly smitten with Rose’s sweet face.

Birthday Parades

Sarah Saracino, Director of Human Resources

Sarah’s twins celebrated their sixth birthday with delicious and beautiful cupcakes at home, and a drive-by parade from their cousins!

Live Streamed Bar and Bat Mitzvah

Our team — always going the extra mile — went to the home of Rebecca and Yehuda Shmidman to set up their daughter, Jordana’s bat mitzvah that was live streamed to her family, friends and community. Amanda DiUglio, Madison Grando, and Dan Carr helped create a memorable celebration for Jordana.

Jordana Shmidman with her parents, Rebecca and Yehuda at her live streamed bat mitzvah. (Photo courtesy of Yehuda Shmidman)


By Amanda DiUglio

Nothing says summer like a weekend in the Hamptons, and nobody does it quite like Saks Fifth Avenue and Bumble BFF. They took over Hero Beach Club for “Saks by the Sea, a Saks and Bumble BFF Bee-Treat,” an amazing weekend retreat for some very VIP guests. We worked with IMG to create an unforgettable weekend with R+R by the beach and pool, specially curated experiences, and of course, incredible local fare. From the Strawberry Basil Prosecco Pops and Charcuterie Plates that greeted each guest, each and every detail was designed to capture the spirit of a weekend in the Hamptons.

Guests relaxed in the sun by the pool or on the beach, made more luxe with the contents of their curated gift bags. There were also opportunities to stretch with a yoga lesson from Hilaria Baldwin, to de-stress with Happy Not Perfect, a meditation session with Poppy Jamie, or to hang ten in a surfing class at Montauk native Austin Avery Eckardt’s Surf Camp.

Dinners each night were focused on community and featured local foods. One night we held a farm-to-table family-style meal which encouraged guests to interact with and over the food, followed by a movie night projected onto the sail of a boat. The following night we held a magical clam bake with Duryea’s Lobsters. Of course, we closed with s’mores made with branded graham crackers as guests relaxed around a bonfire, watched fire dancers perform, and listened to live music.

The “Saks by the Sea” theme was repeated throughout the event, from branded coconuts filled with our signature Luau Rum Cocktail to the cups, pool towels, and sand art. Saks, Bumble BFF, and IMG were great partners, and it was the perfect way to round out our summer in the Hamptons.