PEN America

PEN America stands at the intersection of literature and human rights to protect free expression in the United States and worldwide. PEN America champions the freedom to write, recognizing the power of the word to transform the world. Their mission is to unite writers and their allies to celebrate creative expression and defend the liberties that make it possible. Show your support by attending the PEN America Virtual Gala on Dec 8th and offering a donation. This promises to be a profound and power-packed event!

This year, the PEN America Gala will merge their annual New York Literary Gala and Los Angeles LitFest Gala into one national, virtual celebration on December 8. This digital program will be a crucial moment for the PEN community to stand together in recognition of the deserving honorees and to fortify PEN‘s mission at a time of extraordinary needs and demands. The fight for creative expression is so important, now more than ever and PEN hopes you can join for a unique, one-night-only event to toast to human rights and the power of words.

Featuring Patti Smith, Darnella Frazier, Marie Yovanovitch, Frank Bennack Jr., Spike Lee, Bono, Emma Thompson, Madeleine Albright, and JUST ANNOUNCED: former U.S. President Barack Obama. All registrants receive a free Audible credit.

Obama

Tuesday, December 8, 2020
6:30pm ET / 3:30pm PT: VIP Virtual Reception
7:00pm–8:00pm ET / 4:00pm–5:00pm PT: Gala Livestream  

Register for the 2020 PEN America Virtual Gala

As part of this year’s virtual celebration, former U.S. President Barack Obama will receive PEN America’s Voice of Influence Award and sit down for an author-to-author interview with Ron Chernow.

100% of every dollar raised goes directly to support PEN America’s mission: to celebrate free expression and defend the liberties that make it possible.
For more information, contact Caelan at cfortes@pen.org.

 

2020 Honorees

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Barack Obama, Voice of Influence Award

Obama served as the 44th president of the United States…

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Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Frank A. Bennack Jr., Corporate Honoree

Bennack Jr. is executive vice chairman of Hearst, one of the nation’s largest private companies. . .

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Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Patti Smith, PEN/Audible Literary Service Award

Smith is a writer, performer, and visual artist. She gained recognition in the 1970s for her revolutionary merging of poetry and rock. . .

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Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu Zhiyong, PEN/Barbey Freedom to Write Award

Xu, an established organizer and lawyer, has been an integral member of China’s most important civil rights movements over the last 20 years. . .

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Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Marie Yovanovitch, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Yovanovitch is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. A career member of the Senior Foreign Service. . .

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Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Darnella Frazier, PEN/Benenson Courage Award

Frazier is the quick-thinking and dauntless young woman who filmed the murder of George Floyd.

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Presenters

Madeleine Albright            Joan Baez

Madeleine Albright                                       Joan Baez

Bono           Ron Chernow

Bono                                                            Ron Chernow

Steven J. Corwin       Spike Lee

Steven J. Corwin                                        Spike Lee

Soledad O’Brien          Steve Swartz

Soledad O’Brien                                          Steve Swartz

Emma Thompson

Emma Thompson

                                                 Host

Franklin Leonard headshot

Franklin Leonard
Film executive, founder of The Black List, and PEN America Trustee

Sponsors

DIAMOND
Hearst logoNew York-Presbyterian logoJamie Wolf

GOLD
Penguin Random House • Frank A. Bennack Jr

AWARD UNDERWRITERS
Audible, Inc. • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Lawrence B. and Elyse Benenson

LEADERSHIP
Roxanne Donovan and Tom Scarangello • Facebook • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger and Alix L.L. Ritchie • Margaret Munzer Loeb • The Muriel Pollia Foundation • Anya Salama and Albert I. Salama • Andrew Solomon and John Habich Solomon

BENEFACTOR
Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Blank • Jill Braufman and Daniel Nir • Murat and Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • John Chao • Discovery, Inc. • Embrey Family Foundation • Sarah, Sheree, and Jerry Friedman • Google • Hachette Book Group • Holly Peterson Foundation • Tracy Higgins and James Leitner • Zachary Karabell • Sean and Mary Kelly • Sandra Leong • Alexandra Munroe • Gwyneth Paltrow and Brad Falchuk • Arnold & Porter • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Seedlings Foundation • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Robie Harris • Marvin & Keri Putnam • Latham & Watkins

PATRON
Mila Atmos • Ted and Helen Boustrous • Amanda Bennett • Leslie Belzberg • Abigail E. Disney • Jeanmarie and William Fenrich • Patricia Fili-Krushel • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth R. Koch • Macmillan Publishers • The Marc Haas Foundation • Evangeline Morphos • The New Yorker • Katia and Christian Oberbeck • ReaderLink • Chip Rosenbloom • Simon & Schuster • Sydney and Stanley S. Shuman • WarnerMedia • Waterman Interests, LLC

FRIEND
Tom Healy and Fred P. Hochberg • Nancy Rubin • Scholastic, Inc. • TIME Magazine

Gala Committee Co-Chairs
Markus Dohle • Roxanne Donovan • Sean Kelly • Anya Salama • Jamie Wolf

Gala Committee
Dennis Abboud • Mila Atmos • Pamela and Peter Barbey • Elyse and Lawrence B. Benenson • Colette and Daniel Bennett • Kimberly Morgan Blank • Jennifer Finney Boylan • Beth Bugdaycay • Bridget Colman • Aidan Donnelley Rowley • Patricia Duff • Jeanmarie Fenrich • Sheree and Jerry Friedman • Judith Greenberg • Miranda Heller • Elizabeth Hemmerdinger • Tracy Higgins • Zachary Karabell • Cindi Leive • Sandra Leong • Margaret Munzer Loeb • Yvonne Marsh • Jay McInerney • Alexandra Munroe •
Claire Paull • Holly Peterson • Michael Pietsch • Marvin Putnam • Theresa Rebeck • Alix L.L. Ritchie • Andrew Solomon • Katrina vanden Heuvel • Suzy Wahba • Jamie Wolf