For Immediate Release
June 10, 2022
Contact: Karin Venegas,, 347-361-7049
               Jamaal Fisher,, 347-545-2198

Flushing Town Hall Honors NYC Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and Queens College President Frank H. Wu at Annual Gala on June 9, 2022

— The Happy Birthday Gala also celebrated the 160th anniversary of Flushing Town Hall’s historic building —

(Flushing, N.Y.) – On June 9, Flushing Town Hall held its Happy Birthday Gala to celebrate the 160th birthday of its historic building, honoring New York City Council Speaker Adrienne E. Adams and Frank H. Wu, President of Queens College, City University of New York.

More than 125 people attended the festive event, which raised funds to support the landmarked building’s operations. The evening was filled with music, performance, networking and a sit-down awards dinner in the renowned institution’s grand theater. Out of an abundance of caution amid the pandemic, Flushing Town Hall limited attendance this year – though happily held the event in-person for the first time since 2019.

“In spite of everything, culture never closed, and the arts are essential,” Flushing Town Hall Executive & Artistic Director Ellen Kodadek said when welcoming attendees. “It’s very simple actually, that’s what you can count on us for here at Flushing Town Hall.”
In attendance were Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, New York City Councilmembers Sandra Ung, Shekar Krishnan, Linda Lee, Senator John Liu, and, Assemblymembers David Weprin, Khaleel Anderson and Jeffrion Aubry.

As attendees arrived, they were greeted by the Hellfighters, an ensemble created by Black, Harlem-based artist-educator Elijah J. Thomas, and then enjoyed performances by the New York Chinese Chorus, and a “Global Mashup” featuring seven of New York’s finest musicians representing regions from across the globe, including Senegal, Mexico and Asia: Abdulaye Diop, Alioune Fayé, Frank London, Meg Okura, Arcoiris Sandoval, Cillian Vallely, and Jennifer Vincent.

The Gala was co-chaired by Flushing Town Hall Board Members Pauline Huang and Timothy Chen. Presenting Sponsors were Veronica Y. Tsang and Queens College, City University of New York. Premier Sponsors were Raymond Jasen, Graf & Lewent Architects, and Tai Wang/WAC Lighting/Glow Cultural Center/Glow Foundation. Event sponsors were Viviana Benitez, TeHsing Niu, Emily Lin/Lin + Loveall Foundation, and New York Presbyterian Queens.
At the Gala, Flushing Town Hall honored New York City Council Speaker Adrienne Adams, the first Black woman to hold the Speaker’s role and a proud representative of Queens’ 28th City Council District. Robbie Welsh, Co-Director of the Community Outreach Unit /Community Engagement Division of the New York City Council Speaker’s Office, represented Speaker Adams (who was unable to attend due to budget negotiations) and said, “Your stewardship of this historic institution has made Flushing Town Hall a welcome destination for residents of all ages to watch concerts, dance, theater, and much more.”

The second honoree, Queens College President Frank H. Wu, praised Flushing Town Hall for being a beacon of culture in the borough. “Through concerts and jam sessions,” he said, “Flushing Town Hall has helped to establish this borough as a home for jazz. That is the United States’ musical gift to the world: American classical music.”

During the evening, Howard Gilman Foundation Program Officer Emily Sproch called Flushing Town Hall “a very bright spot in this City’s cultural ecosystem” and announced that the Foundation made a $160,000 gift to Flushing Town Hall, saying, “One thousand dollars for each year of its impressive life. So happy birthday Flushing Town Hall, may you continue to be blessed and may you continue to share these blessings with this remarkable community.”

You can view images from the event on Flushing Town Hall's Facebook page here. For images from the event, please contact

Flushing Town Hall is a not for profit organization and receives major support in its 2021-2022 Fiscal Year from the National Endowment for the Arts; New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature; New York State Assembly Member Ron Kim; The City of New York, Mayor Bill de Blasio (2021) and Mayor Eric Adams (2022); New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, Commissioner Gonzalo Casals (2021) and Commissioner Laurie Cumbo (2022); Queens Borough President Donovan Richards; The New York City Council, Speaker Corey Johnson; Council Members Costa Constantinides, Daniel Dromm, Barry Grodenchik, Peter Koo, Karen Koslowitz, Paul A. Vallone, Jimmy Van Bramer; Howard Gilman Foundation, Booth Ferris Foundation, Guru Krupa Foundation, Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation.
About Flushing Town Hall
Flushing Town Hall (FTH), a Smithsonian affiliate, presents multi-disciplinary global arts that engage and educate the global communities of Queens and New York City in order to foster mutual appreciation. As advocates of arts equity since 1979, we support local, immigrant, national, and international artists, developing partnerships and collaborations that enhance our efforts. As a member of New York City’s Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), we serve to restore, manage and program the historic 1862 landmark on behalf of the City of New York. FTH celebrates the history of Queens as the home of Jazz, by presenting the finest in Jazz performance. We are committed to arts education and hands-on learning, for the arts-curious, arts enthusiasts, and professional artists. We serve one of the most diverse communities in the world and strive to uphold the legacy of inclusiveness that has defined our community since the Flushing Remonstrance of 1657.
Flushing Town Hall is a proud member of the Cultural Institutions Group (CIG), a collective of 34 nonprofit museums, performing arts centers, historical societies, zoos, and botanical gardens across all five boroughs with a distinct private-public partnership with the City of New York and a commitment to serving all New Yorkers.
Land Acknowledgement:
Flushing Town Hall acknowledges that we are on the traditional land of the Matinecock People, one of the original tribes of New York, and the first people of Flushing, Queens. The Matinecock continue to live and work on this land to this day. Flushing Town Hall honors their elders who have stewarded this land throughout generations.
For more information:
(718) 463-7700 x222
137-35 Northern Blvd. Flushing, NY 11354