Three-Day Fundraiser Features Gala with Special Guest Tony Award®-Winning Actor Jane Krakowski and Live Performances from Broadway Stars, a Dance Party, Captivating Programming, Shoppable Experiences, Inspiring Installations, & More…

NEW YORK, March 18, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- DIFFA BY DESIGN is next week, Thursday, March 24 to Saturday, March 26, 2022 at Center 415 (415 Fifth Avenue) in NYC. The event promises a fun and immersive experience, all with the goal of raising funds for DIFFA in their efforts to combat AIDS, homelessness, food scarcity, and mental health issues across the country. Top NY design talent will create inspiring and instagrammable installations that are open to consumers and design cognoscenti alike. Ticketed events include a formal Gala with Broadway stars and a late-night cocktail/dance party. Attendees can also attend talks, shoppable experiences and weave a textile made with recycled materials. 

The three-day fundraiser will commence Thursday evening, March 24, with a formal Gala featuring a chef’s tasting menu and a Tito’s sponsored bar. The star-studded event will feature special guest Tony Award®-winning actor Jane Krakowski, and live performances by acclaimed Broadway actress and Co-founder of Tony Award®-Winning Broadway Advocacy Coalition Amber Iman, cast members from Broadway hit Company, and DJ Michaelangelo L'Acqua.  It will be co-hosted by DIFFA Chair Emeritus and prolific architect, David Rockwell and DIFFA Board Chairman and Editor in Chief of Interior Design, Cindy Allen. Come Friday evening, the DIFFA NIGHTS! cocktail/dance party will take over the magnificent space, and feature a DJ set from design industry dynamo, Royce Epstein and a live dance performance choreographed by Matthew Krull. 

Exciting activations will be peppered throughout the three days, including timely panels and programming like: “The Real Facts on the Circular Economy and Design's Impact,” moderated by Laurel Christensen, Director of Outreach & Engagement, mindful MATERIALS, featuring panelists: Samantha McCormack, Creative Director & Director of Sustainability & Wellness, TPG Architecture; Jonathan Durling, Founder & CEO, Sossego Design; Rebecca Best, Vice President Sustainability & Market Engagement, Material Bank®; and Jane Abernethy, Chief Sustainability Officer, Humanscale (March 25, 3:00pm-4:00pm); “Battle of the Platforms: Instagram vs TikTok,” moderated by Rio Hamilton, Marketing & Business Development Strategist, featuring Christine Vandover, Principal & Sr. Project Interior Designer, HOK; Reeves Connelly, designer, Pratt Institute architecture graduate student and TikTok dynamo; Vanessa Deleon, Interior Designer, Lifestyle Expert, and TV Personality; Tom Kligerman, Partner at Ike Kligerman Barkley; and Matthew Krull, Social Media Strategist & Influencer, Novità Communications (March 25, 4:30pm-5:30pm); a Shop & Sip Styling Party with Robert Verdi, leading lifestyle expert, celebrity stylist, and television personality and Jessie Freschl, Founder of Repurpose (March 26, 11:00am-5:00pm). 

Additional activations throughout the three days include a silent auction of luxury goods and experiences—which will be available online starting Wednesday, March 23rd at 10am at diffabydesign.givesmart.com, as well as Community Weaving for DIFFA with Suzanne Tick. The internationally known weaver and artist opens up her loom to guest weavers throughout the three-day event, inviting all attendees to contribute to creating a one of a kind piece with all proceeds going to DIFFA. The communal weaving experience will be open during the Thursday Gala and Friday DIFFA NIGHTS evening events, as well as on Friday and Saturday, from 11:00am-5:00pm.

“When I assumed the role of Chairman nine years ago, I knew of the design industry’s steadfast commitment to give, but I have been truly awed by the community’s generosity, year after year,” comments Cindy Allen, DIFFA Board Chairman and Editor in Chief of Interior Design. “For this exceptional ‘back together’ celebration, we hope to inspire all people to find meaning in helping others to come together as one for DIFFA.” 

Attendees can immerse themselves in the colorful and vibrant designer installations throughout the 30,000 square foot space. Eye-catching vignettes on display include creations from Corey Damen Jenkins for Benjamin Moore, Gensler + Knoll + EvensonBest, Teknion | LUUM | Studio TK + Vocon + Officeworks, WB Wood + TPG Architecture + Eventscape + Haworth, HOK + Shaw Contract, Carl Hansen & Søn with design by Rockwell Group, Dan Mazzarini of BHDM Design, FLORIM + Perkins Eastman, Fogarty Finger + Menu + Bower + Maharam + Unity, HDR, Inc., Jeffrey Beers International + Maya Romanoff, Lauren Rottet for Rottet Studio, Material Bank + Slade Architecture, LAB at Rockwell Group, Sossego Design, and Steelcase.

“DIFFA BY DESIGN comes at a critical moment in DIFFA’s history. We’ve expanded our mission to serve those affected by homelessness, food scarcity, and mental health issues in addition to HIV/AIDs and we need everyone’s help in spreading the word and raising funds,” says DIFFA Executive Director Dawn Roberson. “With the help of our partners at Rockwell Group we have designed a stellar space with exciting activations and anchor events. There will truly be something for everyone.” 

Additional DIFFA Sponsors and Supporters include:

Interior Design, Aspire, Galerie, Aspire Home Plus, Hearst Design Collection, Modern Luxury Manhattan, 200 Lex, Designtex, Inside Source, ASID, Bentley Mills, LSM, Stylex, Boss Design, Buck Agency, Crosby Street Studios. The press room furnishings will be provided by True Residential, Stylex, Humanscale, JB Lighting Collection, Lodes, Timbur, and Aronson’s Floor Covering, with wall art by Maiarelli Studio and design by HDR Inc. The green room furnishings will be provided by Stellar Works and Liora Manné.

For more information about DIFFA BY DESIGN, including a full list of programming and to purchase tickets, visit diffa.org/diffa-by-design/

Interviews with the installation designers, DIFFA leadership, DIFFA Gala co-hosts, as well as talent are available.



DIFFA: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS grants funds to organizations providing treatment, education, and assistance for people impacted by HIV/AIDS, homelessness, hunger, and mental health issues.

For four decades, DIFFA has created legendary programs and events that highlight a cause that has significantly impacted the industry. As times change and we face a new set of challenges, DIFFA answers the community's needs by expanding our mission to include funding for those with food and housing insecurities and to support mental wellbeing. 

Harnessing the design industry's resources and creativity to respond to critical health issues and build a healthier, robust, and inclusive community. Making a DIFFArence!

DIFFA is one of the largest funders of HIV/AIDS service and education programs in the United States. Mobilizing the immense resources and creativity of the design community, DIFFA has granted more than $50 million to hundreds of HIV/AIDS organizations nationwide. Including Alpha Workshops, Gay Men's Health Crisis, Housing Works, God's Love We Deliver, Bailey House, SAGE, Health, Hetrick-Martin Institute, Callen-Lorde Community Health Center, among many others. www.diffa.org.


School of Visual Arts Installation Rendering LAB at Rockwell Group Installation Rendering

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