News (Booked for the Evening)

Westport Library Announces BOOKED for the evening Honoree Frederic Chiu

April 25, 2019

Library’s signature fundraiser set for Tuesday, June 4, 2019 in the newly transformed Library.


Westport, CT – The Westport Library is pleased to announce world-renowned and award-winning virtuoso pianist, Frederic Chiu, as the 2019 BOOKED for the evening honoree. The Library's signature fundraising event will be held in the Library on June 4, giving guests a glimpse of the newly transformed space ahead of the June 23 official opening.

Chiu has performed in major venues on five continents including Lincoln Center in New York, the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., The Chatelet in Paris, and the Mozarteum in Buenos Aires.

As an esteemed educator, Chiu has presented master classes at prestigious institutions around the globe, including Juilliard School, The Manhattan School of Music, The New England Conservatory, the Banff Center and many of China’s National Conservatories. His efforts to promote music coincide with his desire to foster peace and understanding, recently recognized by a Senatorial Commendation from the United States Congress.

Chiu is the co-founder and director of Beechwood Arts and Innovation, a non-profit arts center that brings gallery-quality exhibits across genres and disciplines through Art Immersion Salons to the Westport community. The center’s mission is to foster artistic collaboration across genres and generations through intimate, immersive and innovative events.

“Our annual signature gala reflects the Library's mission to enrich the intellectual and creative lives of the community as we honor an outstanding individual each year,” said Executive Director Bill Harmer. ”We’re excited to host Frederic Chiu as the first honoree in the new Forum.”

Each year the Library honors an individual whose work reflects the purpose of the Library—to nurture the love of learning and to enhance our understanding of the world. Previous award winners are Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Will Shortz, Patti Smith, Barry Levinson, Jon Meacham, Nile Rodgers, Lynsey Addario, Ron Chernow, Alan Alda and Justin Paul.

Tickets for the event go on sale May 10, 2019. To learn more about tickets or sponsorship opportunities,
visit the Library’s website at

For questions regarding sponsorships please contact Preeti Davidson, Chief Development Officer, at pdavidson [at] westportlibrary [dot] org or 347.416.0234 or Barbara Durham at bdurham [at] westportlibrary [dot] org.


Grammy Award-winning Musician Nile Rodgers Announced as BOOKED for the evening Honoree

April 1, 2014
Nile Rodgers, photo courtesy of Nile Rodgers Productions
Photo courtesy of Nile Rodgers Productions

Westporter Nile Rodgers, Grammy Award-winning musician, composer, arranger, producer, philanthropist, and writer, will receive the Westport Library’s BOOKED for the Evening Award on May 15 at 7 pm. Link for more information, sponsors opportunities and tickets.

Rodgers, who has sold more than 100 million copies of his recordings, began his career as a session guitarist touring with the Sesame Street band in his teens He went on to the create the groundbreaking funk band Chic with a string of #1 hits.

His collaborators over the years have included Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna and Michael Jackson. He has composed music for the movies and received the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences New York Chapter Governor’s Lifetime Achievement Award and the Heroes Award.

In 2005, he was honored at the Dance Music Hall of Fame in New York when he was inducted for his many outstanding achievements as a producer, along with former bandmate Bernard Edwards. Rodgers’ bestselling memoir, “Le Freak: An Upside Down Story of Family, Disco and Destiny,” was published in 2011. He is also the subject of the highly rated 2013 BBC documentary “The Hitmaker.”

Almost as well known for his philanthropy as he is for his music, Rodgers was prompted by the 9/11 tragedies to create the We Are Family Foundation to help promote the healing process. He has created special events and recordings that continue to air as public service announcements on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon and PBS stations, promoting a common humanity and celebrating the vision of a global family.

Rodgers’ performance of “Get Lucky” with Daft Punk, Pharell Williams and special guest Stevie Wonder on the recent Grammy Awards broadcast became an instant classic. Rodgers won three 2014 Grammy Awards for his work with Daft Punk on the album “Random Access Memories”—Best Pop Duo/Group Performance, Record of the Year and Album of the Year.

The BOOKED for the Evening Westport Library Award honors an individual whose work has nurtured a love of learning and enhanced our understanding of the world. The BOOKED for the Evening Gala is the Westport Library’s signature fundraising event. All proceeds benefit the programs and services of the Westport Library. 

Past recipients include Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Arthur Mitchell, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Barry Levinson, Patti Smith, and Jon Meacham.

BOOKED for the evening videos

June 6, 2013

Enjoy these videos of the BOOKED for the evening fundraiser on May 22, 2013. The first is a highlight video of the event, and the second is Jon Meacham's acceptance speech.

Jon Meacham Named BOOKED Honoree

March 1, 2013

Westport Now, THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2013
Pulitzer Historian Named Library’s ‘Booked’ Honoree


Jon Meacham, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author whose most recent work,”Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power,” was a best seller, will be the honoree at the Westport Public Library’s annual Booked for the Evening fundraiser on Wednesday, May 22, it was announced today.

Jon MeachamIn addition to being an author, Meachman is Random House executive editor, and former editor of Newsweek.

Meacham received the Pulitzer Prize for “American Lion,” his bestselling 2008 biography of Andrew Jackson. He is also the author of The New York Times bestsellers “Franklin and Winston” and “American Gospel.”

Meacham is a contributing editor to Time magazine and has written for The New York Times and The Washington Post, among other publications. He is a regular contributor on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “Morning Joe,” and “Charlie Rose.”

A Fellow of the Society of American Historians, Meacham serves on the boards of the New York Historical Society, the Churchill Centre, and The McCallie School.

He is a former trustee and regent of The University of the South and has served on the vestries of St. Thomas Church Fifth Avenue and Trinity Church Wall Street.

Born in Chattanooga in 1969, Meacham was educated at McCallie and at The University of the South, where he was salutatorian and Phi Beta Kappa.

He began his career as a reporter at The Chattanooga Times. He and his wife live with their three children in Nashville and in Sewanee.

Previous Booked for the evening honorees have been Barry Levinson, Tom Brokaw, E.L. Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, Will Shortz, and Patti Smith.

All proceeds from the event benefit the programs and services of Westport Library. For reservations, contact or Cindy Clark at clark [at] westportlibrary [dot] org or (203)291-4824.

Posted 02/28 at 08:38 PM

Photo: Jon Meacham: journalist and author. Photo by Damien Donck for Newsweek

Patti Smith Receives Westport Library Award at BOOKED for the evening

May 19, 2011

Author, poet, artist, and singer Patti Smith accepted the 13th Annual Westport Public Library Award at the Library’s fundraising event, BOOKED for the evening on May 19 in the Library’s Great Hall.



Ms. Smith, who is the winner of the 2010 National Book Award, is in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and who has the highest honor awarded to an artist by France, was recognized by the Westport Library as one whose work furthers the goals of the Library—-to nurture a love of learning and to enhance our understanding of the world.

Other recipients of the Westport Library Award are: Tom Brokaw, E.L.Doctorow, Calvin Trillin, Wendy Wasserstein, Pete Hamill, Martin Scorsese, Arthur Mitchell, Doris Kearns Goodwin, David Halberstam, Oscar Hijuelos, Adam Gopnik, and Will Shortz.

At BOOKED for the evening, Smith showed her gratitude for the recognition by entertaining the sell-out crowd of 400-plus with her poetry and her music, accompanied by Lenny Kaye, her daughter, Jesse Smith, and Jesse’s fiancé, Michael Campbell.

Co-chairs, Hedi Lieberman and Candice Savin acknowledge the generous, community-wide support that BOOKED for the evening inspires. “We see the Library’s best friends and make new ones every year,” they said.

Library Board of Trustees President, Eduardo Andrade said, “Once a year the Library closes for one day for this unique benefit so that on all the 351 days we’re open, we use the money raised tonight to enrich and enlarge the programs and services for the community.”

Ms. Smith, who was born in Chicago and raised in New Jersey, moved to New York in 1967 where she met fellow artists, including photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, playwright Sam Shepard, and musician Lenny Kaye. Her award-winning book, Just Kids, is the story of her friendship with Mapplethorpe. Her 1975 debut album, Horses, has been hailed as one of the top 100 albums of all time.