Lincoln Road Enterprises (LRE), a transformative philanthropic organization dedicated to supporting women in leadership development, celebrated its launch with a space-themed gala for nearly 70 guests in the Art Deco heart of South Beach, FL, on Feb. 21, 2020. The event included a performance by the New World Symphony in the Frank Gehry-designed New World Center honoring space exploration.
The mission of Lincoln Road Enterprises is to elevate women by supporting new talent, improving systems, and encouraging bold ideas. It is dedicated to creating a future in which women leaders are at the forefront of business, supply chain, engineering/technology, infrastructure/design, and space.
“On Lincoln Road, anything and everything can happen.”
The celebration capitalized on the locale that is the organization’s namesake—Lincoln Road, a famed ten-block neighborhood named to the U.S. National Register of Historic Places in 2011. Originally built in 1912 as a thoroughfare cutting through the heart of the then very young city of Miami, Lincoln Road today is a vibrant city district featuring gardens, fountains, play spaces, shopping, and dining. It has been called by some the “heart and soul of Miami Beach” for its lively blend of culture, commerce, and creativity—as well as for its resilience throughout decades of change, conflict, and economic downturn.
“On Lincoln Road, anything and everything can happen,” said Ann M. Drake, founder of Lincoln Road Enterprises and host of the launch gala. “It’s a place that celebrates renewal, transformation, and the art of the possible. To me, that’s a perfect symbol of what can happen when women take their place in the world as leaders.”
The celebration began with a gathering in a private home before guests were transported to the New World Center Performance and Concert Hall one block north of Lincoln Road. The center is a stunning, contemporary event space for many kinds of cultural events as well as being the home of the New World Symphony. The symphony’s program was entitled Music of the Spheres: A Space Concert and featured classical and contemporary compositions celebrating astronomy and space exploration, such as Gustav Holst’s The Planets and themes from the Star Wars and Close Encounters of the Third Kind motion pictures.
One area of interest and investment for Lincoln Road Enterprises is women in space, which made the space-themed concert a fitting capstone for the evening. A special guest at the gala was Catherine “Cady” Coleman, retired NASA astronaut. Coleman flew two missions on the Space Shuttle and served aboard the International Space Shuttle as a crew member for 159 days from Dec. 2010 to May 2011.
Other special guests at the gala were Josh Simpson, an American glass artist whose artistic specialty is handblown glass “planets” that express the mysterious beauty of the universe, and Yuan-Qing Yu, assistant concertmaster of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and an international award-winning violinist.