There are certain projects that tug at your heartstrings, and for us, this is one of them. Established in 1996, in memory of Steven S. Cohen who lost his life to Sudden Cardiac Death at the age of thirty-five, The Heart Foundation’s (THF) goal is to prevent, cure and eradicate heart disease. It’s a cause of utmost importance.
This year’s event was very special due to significant progress in the fight for a cure. Additionally, there was a milestone achievement of an endowment that would fund THF in perpetuity. This year’s award recipients, Dr. P.K. Shah, and his wife Kimberly, are both committed humanitarians who have dedicated their lives to finding a treatment and cure for heart disease, as well as being actively involved in other philanthropic causes.
The venue this year was the Hollywood Palladium. Prior years found us in ballrooms and we were thrilled to do something different. It seemed befitting and would allow us to focus on creating a contemporary design for the iconic venue. We were excited.
One of the first things we did was to spend time learning about Dr. P.K. Shah and his wife, Kimberly. While the event needed to be reflective of the Heart Foundation, we also felt it was really important that the design speak to the personality and heritage of Dr. Shah. Our inspiration for the event design came from researching his childhood home of Punjab, an area well known for vibrant colors, color-dyed textiles, and the paisley pattern common in that region. In order to bring it to life, we focused on color palette and pattern. This meant fuchsia, tangerine, espresso browns and cherry reds. Since paisley traces back to India, we decided to weave it into several different elements as a visual thread through out the space. Dr. Shah is a modern scientist and we decided that an edgy and modern look would celebrate the work that he does today and enhance the art deco architecture of the venue.
Starting with a tangerine and cherry red color base, we designed an overall look that was stunning in its simplicity, yet warm and elegant. There were five different tiers of seating in the room to distinguish levels of sponsorship, each slightly different in styling and placement. The result created sections of beautiful color blocking and distinguished the different levels of giving while adding dimension and texture throughout the space.
Defining the perimeter of the room, floor to ceiling panels of bubbled ice velvet on white burnout sheer fabric framed custom made 11’ tall mahogany Regency lamps with 5’ black rouched shades that brought the cavernous space in with a very intimate yet edgy vibe.
Dramatic lighting drenched the room in several different rich color palettes during the evening. Whether tangerine, cherry red, fuchsia, or electric blue, the lighting design transformed the room with vertical architectural accents. Weaving in the paisley design in break up patterns we splashed the stage, and the 8’ wide white carpet, which ran from the back of the room to the stairs and onto the stage. The pattern was the perfect decorative thread to tie the entire look together.
The stage backdrop was set in white wave patterned burnout fabric flats backed by floor to ceiling panels of crystal curtains and white bubble patterned white burnout panels framing a huge 21’ W x 12’ H center screen for multimedia presentations and IMAG. A THF logo floated behind a clear acrylic podium for speakers and the award presentation.
The program started with a warm welcome and American Idol donation announcement by Ryan Seacrest. The rest of the evening followed suit with announcement of THF Endowment, sponsor recognition moments, a high dollar live auction, a Wolfgang Puck prepared meal, and entertainment by Dana Carvey, David Foster, Paul Anka, and Michael Buble. Closing out the program was a touching video tribute to Dr. Shah and his wife Kimberly and the presentation of the Stephen S. Cohen Humanitarian Award.
It was a beautiful evening filled with celebration and honor. The design was perfectly reflective of a deserving couple and The Heart Foundation, who together, are quite literally changing the world.