2023 Annual Auditorium Theatre Gala

Published: March 28, 2023


The 2023 Annual Auditorium Theatre Gala was a momentous occasion filled with inspiration, entertainment, and celebration as we honored two of Chicago’s beloved civic leaders; Beatrice Spachner Award recipient Amina Dickerson and Adler and Sullivan Award recipient Ann Nash. With 260 guests in attendance, we raised more than $225k!  Thank you for your generous support and faithful friendship!

From the award presentation to the unforgettable opening night performance from the legendary Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, the night was nothing short of spectacular. The 90-minute performance included Are You In Your Feelings?, Unfold, and Revelations before guests headed to the Palmer House Hilton for dinner, dancing, and awards presentation.

“For decades, we’ve been proud to bring to Chicagoans our vision of resilience, artistry, and spirit, using dance to inspire, entertain and share the joy of connections,” shared Alvin Ailey Artistic Director Robert Battle.

Thank you to the co-chairs Thomas R. Baryl, Thomas R. Nash, Isobel Neal, and Nicole Robinson. The gala host committee included local philanthropists and civic leaders Michelle T. Boone, Joan Colmar,  Patti Eylar and Charlie Gardner,  Annette C. M. Guzman,  Helen Hall Melchior, Roderick K. Hawkins, Nicole Hayes, Emily Nash and Lawrence Mabes,  Kate Nash and Gustave Falciglia,  Julia and Patrick Ryan.

We are truly grateful for your commitment to preserve the Auditorium’s past, present, and future!




Ann Nash, recipient of the Adler and Sullivan Award

Nash was honored with the Adler & Sullivan Award for her lasting contributions to the arts and her longstanding and exceptional commitment to the National Historic Landmark Auditorium Theatre, the crowning achievement of famed architects Dankmar Adler and Louis Sullivan.

Nash is the immediate past chair of the board of the Auditorium Theatre and an attorney with Nash Disability Law where she oversees operations of the 50-employee firm. She has served the not-for-profit community in various capacities, including Vice President of Development at Children’s Memorial Foundation, and Director of Principal Gifts at Northwestern University and the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Foundation.

Nash joined the Auditorium Board in 2006. She served as Board Secretary, Chair of the Development Committee, and Board Chair. Her dedication in the board room and on our stage has made a profound impact on this storied institution. Her generous support has made possible remarkable presentations such as the Eifman Ballet of St. Petersburg and Giordano Dance Chicago; events such as the 125th Anniversary; the Auxiliary Board’s annual Trivia Night and Devil’s Ball; and every annual gala. Nash and her husband Tom frequently bring friends and family to the theatre to experience everything from ballet, modern dance, Broadway Shows, rock concerts, and prolific speakers. Her enthusiasm is contagious and her love of our Landmark Theatre is second to none!

With a love and passion for the restoration and preservation of our National Historic Landmark Theatre, Ann helped lead the charge to secure a major capital grant from the State of Illinois. And as board chair from 2019–2022, Nash expertly led the Auditorium staff and board through a world pandemic. We are proud to present Ann with the 2023 Adler & Sullivan Award for her incomparable generosity to the Auditorium Theatre and unwavering commitment to the arts.


© Todd Rosenberg Photography

Amina Dickerson, recipient of the Beatrice Spachner award

Dickerson received the inaugural Beatrice Spachner Award for substantially enhancing the cultural fabric of Chicago by demonstrating an exemplary commitment to issues of civic concern, social justice and community development. This honor is named for the late Beatrice T. Spachner, the Roosevelt University Trustee who established the Auditorium Theatre Council in 1960 to raise much-needed funds for the restoration of the theatre.

Dickerson founded Dickerson Global Advisors in 2009, building on her leadership over three decades of working in the non-profit, corporate, and philanthropy sectors. She previously led multinational philanthropic programs in hunger relief, domestic violence prevention, and arts and education at Kraft Foods. She held executive posts with the National Museum of African American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Chicago Historical Society, and DuSable Museum of African American History.

The importance of the arts was ingrained in Dickerson’s life from an early age. Her family stressed the value of cultural experiences, and much of her childhood was spent soaking in the myriad artistic and civic attractions of our nation’s capital. Museums, galleries, and performing arts venues were a fixture throughout her childhood and helped form a formidable and longstanding veneration for the ability of artistic and cultural experiences to educate, inspire, and reform.

This appreciation helped guide Dickerson through life, and today, we can see the results of these memories infused in her exceptional contributions to Chicago and to the Auditorium Theatre, specifically providing funding for our Family Matinee Series, leading the charge to bring the monumental Margaret Garner Opera to our stage in 2008, and participating in the Ailey Circle to help promote and support the annual visit of Ailey to the Auditorium Theatre.

We honor her for all she has done, and all she continues to do, to promote equity and justice, and to provide cultural experiences, access, and opportunities that benefit the world we all share.


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