The event, which will be held in Hearst Tower in New York on May 9, will tackle the issues of climate change, criminal justice reform, mental health, the global refugee crisis and philanthropy for arts. The summit, which is invite only, coincides with the release of the magazine’s June/July issue, which showcases 50 philanthropists. The issue, which goes on sale May 16, will feature Michael Bloomberg, John Legend and Cate Blanchett on three covers. In the issue, Bloomberg is interviewed by Yahoo’s Katie Couric, Legend is interviewed by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D., N.J.) and Blanchett is interviewed by David Miliband.
“It really represents what is happening in philanthropy right now,” Town & Country editor in chief Stellene Volandes said of the event and magazine. “All powerful philanthropy begins with a question: What can I do?”
Former New York Mayor Bloomberg will keynote the summit and address climate change, then Cynthia McFadden will moderate a discussion on the case for philanthropy in the arts with Sarah Jones, Oskar Eustis and Elaine Wynn. Next, the grandchildren of Elizabeth Taylor will talk about how they are continuing their grandmother’s philanthropic legacy. Jerry Storch, chief executive officer of Hudson’s Bay Co. and president of HBC Foundation, will introduce a panel on mental illness featuring actress Glenn Close, and then ABC News anchor David Muir will lead a panel on the global refugee crisis featuring Miliband and Zosia Mamet.
During lunch, which will be held on Hearst’s 44th floor, attendees will listen to Legend speak with former White House senior adviser Valerie Jarrett about criminal justice reform. During the lunch, which will be catered by Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony, Legend will unveil a new philanthropic initiative.
“For the past 170 years, Town & Country has been committed to philanthropy,” said Jennifer Levene Bruno, vice president, publisher and chief revenue officer of the magazine. “This year we’ve amplified the summit in a lot of great ways.”
According to Bruno, that includes signing on five new sponsors, U.S. Trust, Bank of America Private Wealth Management, HBC Foundation, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Frédérique Constant and The Treadright Foundation. Those sponsors are integrated in the summit through the promotion of their company’s charity. For instance, Pew will host a talk on “why facts matter,” said Bruno, who added that the partners also had Hearst’s creative unit create ads for them in the upcoming issue.
The publisher added that the sponsors will continue to support Town & Country through the rest of the year. For those unable to attend the 200-plus person summit, there will be select interviews and panels aired on Sirius XM Radio and on its podcast.
Although T&C would not quantify the summit’s success in terms of revenue, the magazine is mulling the expansion of the event to satellite cities such as San Francisco.