Save The Date!
The Chocolate Factory’s First Annual Gala

September 28, 2022

At The Chocolate Factory Theater, 38-33 24th Street, Long Island City.

Cocktails: 6pm
Dinner: 7pm
After Party: 9pm

Emcee: Erin Markey

After Party DJ: Antonio Ramos

Performance by Phil Soltanoff and Steven Wendt

Margaritas by Casa Enrique

Wine by VineWine

Beer by Alewife and Rockaway Brewing

Individual Tickets: $250

After Party Tickets: starting at $30

Table Purchases, Sponsorships and Program Ads available; contact Sheila Lewandowski at (718) 482-7069 or

Featuring the Artist In Industry Award, Honoring: Lucy Sexton (Executive Director, New Yorkers For Culture & Arts), Yoko Shioya (Artistic Director, Japan Society) and Donovan Richards, Jr. (Queens Borough President).

Honored Guest: City Council Member Julie Won.

Event Sponsors: Bartleby and Sage, Blissville Civic Association, Casa Enrique, Con Edison, Select Equity, Shine Electronics, Vallejo Gantner, Gorgeous Entertainment, Japan Society, Little Chef Little Kitchen, M Wells, M&T Bank, New Yorkers for Culture & Arts, Resorts World, Frank Wu.

Donovan richards

Donovan Richards Jr., a lifelong resident of Southeast Queens, was elected as Borough President in November of 2020.

Growing up he lived in Jamaica, St. Albans, Hollis, and Rosedale, with frequent visits to grandparents who lived in the Rockaways. He attended Jamaica High School and Redemption Christian Academy before studying communications, radio, and TV at Nyack College. He later received a degree in Aviation Management from Vaughn College. Donovan got his start in politics after the tragic killing of a close friend inspired him to get more involved in his community and join the fight to end gun violence. He worked in numerous positions within the City Council where he connected with the community and developed a hands on approach to helping constituents. This knowledge was crucial in getting him elected to the city council in 2013. As a fighter for affordable housing, he was proud to serve as the Chair of the Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises during his first City Council term. He used this position to fight for rezoning in the Rockaways to increase residential availability as well as commercial and community space, including a new library. He also served as Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection following Super Storm Sandy. Through his position he was able to help secure funding for flood protection to protect Rockaway communities. He has been a steadfast advocate for criminal justice reform, most recently acting as Chair of the Committee on Public Safety. In that position he has held numerous hearings on NYPD protocols surrounding protests, cannabis, and the Special Victims Division. In the City Council he has been a proponent of closing Rikers Island and legalizing adult-use cannabis. As Queens Borough President, Donovan is leading the efforts to revitalize our great borough and make it one which works for all of its residents and workers.

Lucy Sexton

Lucy Sexton is a Brooklyn-born choreographer, producer, administrator, and performing artist who works in the fields of dance, performance, film, and public advocacy. She is the Executive Director of the cultural advocacy coalition New Yorkers for Culture & Arts. Prior to that, she served as Executive Director of the NY Dance and Performance Awards, The Bessies. As adance artist she works with Anne Iobst creating and performing the dance performance duo DANCENOISE which was founded in 1983, had a retrospective exhibit and performance at the Whitney Museum in 2015, and premiered a new piece at NY Live Arts in 2018. She has also directed and dramaturged plays by Spalding Gray, Tom Murrin, Nora Burns, and Heather Litteer; and produced documentaries by Charles Atlas for the BBC and Arte. She is currently directing the anti musical I Hate Memory by Eszter Balint, with performances coming up at Joe’sPub.

Yoko Shioya became Artistic Director of Japan Society in 2006, overseeing JS’s Performing Arts and Film departments. Since assuming the position of Director of Performing Arts in 2003, she has enlarged the scale and number of commissions for the creation of new works related to Japanese culture by non-Japanese artists, and increased the number of tours of Society-produced works throughout North America. Shioya also launched new initiatives, including co-producing commissioned work by international artists with presenting organizations in Japan, presenting works from East Asian countries, and establishing artists’ residency projects in New York City. Known in Japan as a writer/researcher on the public and private arts support systems in the U.S. and Japan, Shioya has been invited to speak at numerous symposia, lectures, and TV programs presented by the Agency for Cultural Affairs of the Japanese government, Keidanren, the Academy of Cultural Economics and the Japan Council of Performers’ Organizations, among others. She has been a regular contributor to arts columns on performing arts and exhibitions for the Asahi newspaper, and has served as a committee member and selection panelist for numerous programs, including The Bessie Awards, Rolex Mentor and Protege International Program, and the Toyota Choreography Awards. Shioya holds BAs in musicology and dance history from Tokyo National University of the Arts.