Napa’s Staglin Family Vineyard hosted the 27th-annual Music Festival for Brain Health this past weekend, raising more than $7.5 million for One Mind, the brain health nonprofit organization founded in 1995 by Shari and Garen Staglin and committed to healing the lives of people impacted by brain illness and injury.
The Staglins were joined by their children Brandon and Shannon in hosting this year’s festival, along with One Mind ambassador and 2016 Rio Olympics gold medal–winning gymnast Laurie Hernandez, but the headliner was Grammy-nominated pop rock band OneRepublic.
“Since we began this journey 27 years ago with a modest concert at our vineyard, the Music Festival for Brain Health has been instrumental in not only raising a significant amount of money, but supporting the science and scientists who have accelerated important advances in brain health diagnostics and care,” said Garen Staglin. “With over a half-billion dollars raised supporting several discoveries already helping millions, the Music Festival for Brain Health continues to be the nation’s leading charity event for brain health. We are energized by the success of science translating to effective prevention and treatments for brain health conditions.”
It’s a cause that is particularly important as the world works to recover from the COVID pandemic. “COVID has dramatically worsened the lives of those who suffer from conditions like PTSD, anxiety and depression … and we worry that the effects may last longer than the pandemic itself,” said National Institutes of Health director Dr. Francis Collins during his remarks at the festival’s scientific symposium. “With the partnership of wonderful organizations such as One Mind, we at NIH are determined to find ways to provide relief to those millions who suffer from brain disorders.”
And of course there was plenty of wine and food—this was a charity event at a winery in Napa, after all: Guests pre-gamed with a wine tasting and hors d’oeuvres prepared by chef Curtis Di Fede of Christopher Kostow’s Charter Oak. The VIP afterparty included dinner made by Top Chef Masters winner Chris Cosentino, paired with Staglin Family Vineyard wines, naturally.
The festival proceeds, combined with more than $21 million in additional funding raised this year, bring the total raised for One Mind to more than $513 million since it was founded in 1995. And it’s a cause that is dear to the Staglin family: Shari and Garen’s son Brandon was diagnosed with schizophrenia more than 30 years ago, following his freshman year at Dartmouth College; he joined One Mind as a marketing director in 2005 and today serves as the organization’s president.
Donations may be made online at OneMind.org; the 28th Music Festival for Brain Health has been set for Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022.
What happens when Napa winemakers score backstage passes at a Cheap Trick concert? In the case of Stuart and Christy Spoto, winemakers and owners of Spoto Family Wines, the chance encounter was an opportunity to introduce lead singer Robin Zander to their Napa Cabernets.
“When he tasted the wine, his eyes lit up, and it was so true and genuine what you can see,” said Christy. “He was feeling in his mind and in his heart that the wine was pretty special.”
Soon after, Zander paid a visit to the Spotos’ winery in Oakville. “For over 40 years, I’ve tasted wines from all over the world, and I’ve always dreamed of one I could call my own, but it had to be of the highest integrity,” said Zander in a statement. “After visiting the Spotos … we’ve had many conversations about creating a label together.”
The Spoto-Zander Cabernet Sauvignon Oakville Special Select Surrender 2017 ($175, 25 cases made), a Bordeaux-style blend that includes 5 percent each of Cabernet Franc and Merlot and 2 percent Malbec, is aged four years in French oak and is now available for presale. And as with many of Spoto Family’s wines, Surrender is a wine with a cause: 10 percent of sales are earmarked for Save the Elephants, a Kenya-based charity working to sustain elephant populations and preserve their habitats.
New York’s annual Armory Show shifted venues this year, from Pier 94 to the more spacious Javits Center, in order to accommodate social distancing, and the Pommery Champagne Lounge came with it. Arranged around the lounge were eight large-scale works of art comprising the Platform exhibition, from which a jury of arts professionals and Vranken Pommery America president Maïlys Vranken selected the winner of this year’s $20,000 Pommery Prize.
This year’s winner is Room F, Section 1, Northwest Palace of Nimrud by Michael Rakowitz, part of an ongoing series titled The Invisible Enemy Should Not Exist in which Rakowitz recreates the artworks of the 9th century BC Assyrian palace of King Ashurnasirpal II, which was destroyed by ISIS in modern-day Iraq in 2015.
“The Pommery Prize celebrates contemporary art and brings forward to the 21st century Louise Pommery's mission and passion for supporting and promoting artists with the same efforts, details and excellence we invest into creating Champagne,” said Vranken in a statement issued after the show, which coincided with the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. “Michael Rakowitz's award-winning artwork … echoes the current state of the world by reacting to events which, for some, indirectly stem from 9/11.”
The winner of the annual Pommery Prize is also invited to exhibit their artwork at the Champagne Pommery estate in France.
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