On May 12, 2008, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg presented the third annual "Made in NY" awards to five individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to the City's entertainment industry. Actor Jesse Martin, talk show host Rachael Ray, Robert Greenberg, Chairman and Global Chief Creative Officer of R/GA, an advertising agency, Executive Director Michelle Byrd and the Theatre for a New Audience were honored during the ceremony, which took place at Gracie Mansion.
The Mayor also announced the formation of the "Made in NY" Scholarship Fund, which is funded by Teamsters Local 817 and provides scholarships to eligible students attending the New York City College of Technology of the City University of New York (CUNY). The Mayor was joined at the ceremony by Mayor's Office of Film, Theatre and Broadcasting (MOFTB) Commissioner Katherine Oliver. The ceremony occurred on the same day Mayor Bloomberg, Governor David A. Paterson and ABC Studios President Mark Pedowitz announced that the production of the ABC drama Ugly Betty would be moving back to New York City, the latest sign that the City's film and television production industry is thriving.
The awards given to Robert Greenberg and Michelle Byrd were in specialized categories: Greenberg received the inaugural award for outstanding achievement in digital media, and Byrd was presented with the diversity award, which honors one person every year who has made significant contributions to increase diversity in the local entertainment industry.
At the awards ceremony, the Mayor also announced new projects created by the City's Latin Media and Entertainment Commission (LMEC) to further its mission of retaining, expanding and attracting Latin media and entertainment businesses to New York City. As part of the Commission's efforts to create and support events that provide the most enriching Latin cultural experiences, the LMEC has partnered with the bilingual Latino website NYRemezcla to create the first-ever Latin Media Guide, which includes 14 LMEC-supported events. The listings in the Latin Media Guide are also part of a comprehensive calendar featured on the LMEC's newly redesigned website that can be accessed through www.nyc.gov.
Musical entertainment at the "Made in NY" awards was provided by members of IMPACT Repertory Theatre (IMPACT). Based in Harlem, IMPACT is a not-for-profit theatre company that uses performing arts and the dynamics of leadership training to develop and empower youth. IMPACT was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Song from the film August Rush. IMPACT performed the song, "Raise It Up," at the Oscar ceremony in February 2008.
Jesse L. Martin starred on "Law & Order" for nine years as Detective Ed Green, appearing in nearly 200 episodes until his departure in April 2008. He has received multiple Screen Actors Guild award nominations and eight NAACP Image Award nominations for his work on the show. Martin first came to prominence when he starred on Broadway in the Pulitzer Prize-winning Rent, the rock opera re-telling of Puccini's La Boheme. His extensive New York theatre credits run the gamut from Shakespeare to musical comedy and include such productions as Timon of Athens, his Broadway debut, and The Inspector General at National Actors Theatre. His television appearances include "Ally McBeal" and "The X Files." While on screen, Martin has been featured in Mary Stuart Masterson's directorial debut Cake Eaters, Season of Youth, the independent feature The Restaurant, and Jay DiPietro's feature debut Peter and Vandy, which was filmed in New York.
In the fall of 2007, best-selling cookbook author Rachael Ray launched the successful syndicated daytime program, "Rachael Ray." An iconic Food Network television personality, Ray is also editor–in-chief of her own lifestyle magazine, Every Day with Rachael Ray. In its inaugural year, "Rachael Ray" won a 2007 Daytime Emmy Award and was nominated for six others. Prior to "Rachael Ray," she created a series of cooking classes, including a course teaching 30-Minute Mediterranean Meals. The CBS station in Albany-Schenectady, WRGB-TV, discovered her and signed her on to do a weekly 30-Minute Meals segment for the evening news, which was nominated for two regional Emmys in its first year. In the spring of 2007, Ray launched a nonprofit organization, Yum-o! that empowers kids and their families to develop healthy relationships with food and cooking. The organization also feeds hungry American kids and funds cooking education and scholarships.
Michelle Byrd is a 16-year veteran of American independent film. Since 1997 she has served as the Executive Director of IFP, the nation's oldest organization nonprofit membership and advocacy group for independent filmmakers. IFP's events and programs enable filmmakers to share information, build relationships, secure funding and find audiences outside the Hollywood studio system. Since its founding in 1979, IFP has facilitated the development, financing or distribution of 7,000 independent films. More than 20,000 filmmakers have participated in IFP's programs. Byrd also serves on a number of industry boards, including the LMEC, the Mayor's Diversity Task Force, the New York Production Alliance, and the Adrienne Shelly Foundation, which supports the artistic achievements of female actors, writers and directors.
Robert Greenberg has been a pioneer in the advertising and communications industry for more than three decades. He leads R/GA, which has become one of the most successful advertising agencies with a digital expertise, creating integrated marketing campaigns and experiences for the world's most recognized brands, including L'Oreal Paris, Nike, Nokia and Verizon. To date, Greenberg has won the Academy Award, numerous Clios, Cannes Lions and the D&AD Black Pencil. Among his most notable awards are the 2007 BDA Lifetime Achievement Award, Clio Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Award for Communications in 2003, and the Chrysler Award for Innovation in Design. Greenberg serves on the Board of Directors of the Art Directors Club and many others, including Brooklyn Academy of Music, and Tisch School of the Arts.
Founded in 1979 by Jeffrey Horowitz, Theatre for a New Audience strives to help develop and vitalize the performance and study of Shakespeare and classic drama, including modern classics, in America. Theatre for a New Audience produces for audiences Off-Broadway and has also toured nationally and internationally. The Theatre's productions have earned numerous awards and nominations, including the Drama Desk, OBIE and Tony Awards. As part of its commitment to serve a broad audience, Theatre for a New Audience runs the largest Shakespeare education program in New York City. More than 115,000 students have been served through the programs since 1984. Dorothy Ryan, managing director, accepted the award on behalf of the Theatre for a New Audience.