Whitney Museum Awards

Dispatch from the Annual Awards for Design Excellence at the Whitney Museum.

Invited as holdovers from the Giuliani Administration, there is a whole new crowd here; goateed hipsters, women with green hair and folks who wear shirts with buttons on the back of the shirt (?.)  Free Brooklyn Lager and the cutest little ice cream cones made the event special.

Your intrepid Lift Trucks staff writers hard at work.

The awards were given out for things like public bathrooms, community gardens and junk like that.

Our personal target was Tom Finkelpearl,  the Commissioner of the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs. We tracked him down and introduced ourselves handing over a crisp new Lift Trucks Project card. He looked confused. 

A little later, hoping for better results, we presented another card. He said thanks but already has one.  This was a little awkward.

Unfortunately we presented yet another card at the end of the evening as he walked down the sidewalk.  Ooops.  A loud disagreement ensued between the Lift Trucks reporters about party etiquette. The words ‘blockhead’ and ‘moron’ were liberally thrown around. 

Mr. Tom Finkelpearl ran down the street waving his hands above his head in a fluttering motion.

About the Commissioner 

Tom Finkelpearl is the Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs. In this role he oversees city funding for nonprofit arts organizations across the five boroughs and directs the cultural policy for the City of New York. Prior to his appointment by Mayor Bill de Blasio, Commissioner Finkelpearl served as Executive Director of the Queens Museum for twelve years starting in 2002, overseeing an expansion that doubled the museum’s size and positioning the organization as a vibrant center for social engagement in nearby communities. He also held positions at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center, working on the organization’s merger with the Museum of Modern Art, and served as Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs Percent for Art program. Based on his public art experience and additional research, he published a book, Dialogues in Public Art (MIT Press), in 2000. His second book, What We Made: Conversations on Art and Social Cooperation (Duke University Press, 2013) examines the activist, participatory, coauthored aesthetic experiences being created in contemporary art. He received a BA from Princeton University (1979) and an MFA from Hunter College (1983). 

And then there was Ms Shibata, head of the Percent for Art Program, person. What does “NoH eight”  mean anyway? Maybe referencing the golf term meaning no score over a “snowman” per hole.

Just in from the Commissioner’s Office.

During a brief meeting with staff members today, Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl announced that members, associates and any others in any way affiliated with “Lift Truck Projects”
will be summarily banned from any and all future cultural events in Manhattan’s five boroughs. This ban was initiated following an incident at last night’s Annual Awards for Design Excellence at the Whitney Museum. Mr. Finkelpearl also announced that a study is underway to determine the ingredients inside “those fucking ice cream cones” as they may have allegedly caused some participants at the event to behave in a manner not befitting such an high-powered societal event. In an added effort, Commissioner Finkelpearl’s staff admitted that he is also considering banning alcoholic beverages from being served at such events. Two unidentified buffoons were allegedly spotted accosting Commissioner Finkelpearl several times during last night’s event, according to a member of Commissioner Finkelpearl’s staff, who asked not to be identified. Organizers at the Whitney Museum stated that they are investigating the case and offered their apologies to Commissioner Finkelpearl for any inconvenience. The Whitney will be tightening security for all future events.


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