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Visionary: Celebrating Leadership in the Arts

October 02, 202311:00 am - 1:00 pm

Please note that this event is held at The Four Seasons Hotel, 120 East Delaware Place.

Two women sit on a stage in front of a crowd of people.

Women’s Board Visionary Luncheon featuring Lorna Simpson in conversation with Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn,
Oct 3, 2022. Photo: Jeremy Lawson Photography, © MCA Chicago.

About the Event

Join us for an intimate, momentous conversation between two of the most dynamic artists working today, Laurie Simmons and Marilyn Minter, and the MCA’s Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn, then recognize Nancy and Steve Crown and Crown Family Philanthropies for their philanthropic leadership with the presentation of the Arts Philanthropy Award.

King Harris, the event cochair, is pleased to partner with the MCA’s Women’s Board to support and host this gathering.

For tickets or more information, please contact [email protected] or 312-397-3871.

MCA Learning Video for Visionary 2023. Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago. Video: Andy Underwood-Bultmann.

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2023 Visionary Honorees

Visionary Artists

Marilyn Minter

A woman with short brown hair sits holding a pencil in one hand and a piece of paper in the other.

Marilyn Minter. Photo: Nadya Wasylko, courtesy of the artist.

Laurie Simmons

Close-up portrait of a woman with long brown hair gazing intently into the camera. She wears a green shirt against a green background.

Laurie Simmons. Photo: Danielle Bartholomew, courtesy of the artist.

Arts Education Philanthropy Honoree

Nancy and Steve Crown and Crown Family Philanthropies

Nancy and Steve Crown. Art Institute of Chicago. Courtesy of Nancy and Steve Crown.

About Our Honorees

About the Artists

Marilyn Minter

Marilyn Minter deftly explores American culture’s pathology of glamour through painting, photography, and video works that focus primary on the female body and its treatment in popular media. In striking Photorealist paintings and sexually charged photographs, Minter abstracts her subjects as she reimagines them at the cusp of beauty. From early bodies of work, including Coral Ridge Towers, which captured the artist’s mother in shocking intimacy, to her Food Porn paintings, which anticipated contemporary aestheticization of food of consumption, her images are always powerfully urgent.

Laurie Simmons

Laurie Simmons, a central figure of the Pictures Generation, is a photographer and filmmaker who imbues her subjects (primarily inanimate human-like entities) with living energy, suffusing synthetic spaces with nostalgia colored by an adult’s memories, longing, and regret. Simmons’s work blends psychological, political, and conceptual approaches to artmaking—transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium. Laurie Simmons: Big Camera/Little Camera was on view at the MCA in 2019 and she has numerous pieces in the MCA Collection.

About the Philanthropy Honoree

Nancy and Steve Crown and Crown Family Philanthropies

Nancy C. Crown is a Principal of Henry Crown and Company and a Vice President of the Ojai Valley Inn. Ms. Crown sits on various committees of Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP), is a Trustee of the Museum of Contemporary Art, and serves on both the Board and the Executive Committee of the Whitney Museum of American Art. She sits on the board of Start Early, a child advocacy organization in Chicago, which focuses on closing the opportunity gap for young learners, and the International Advisory Board of the Friends of Genoa.

A Steven Crown is Co-President of Henry Crown and Company and sits on the Board of CFP. Mr. Crown is a Trustee of The Art Institute of Chicago, Claremont McKenna College, NorthShore–Edward-Elmhurst Health, and Northwestern University. He currently serves on the Board of Managers for the YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago and the Board of Governors for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He is also a member of the UCLA Anderson School of Management Board of Advisors.

In 2009, after more than 60 years of family grantmaking under the name Arie and Ida Crown Memorial, Crown Family Philanthropies (CFP) was developed to represent an array of family grantmaking practices. Today the legacy of Arie and Ida Crown lives on in the work continued by their descendants, who remain dedicated to the Jewish tradition of tikkun olam, or “repairing the world.” Supported by a professional staff of experts, CFP is led by more than 50 family members across multiple generations who come together to set strategy and make grantmaking decisions.

CFP partners with communities across the country and around the world, and their deep focus on Chicago has remained central across decades of family leadership. They are committed to a Chicago where all people have what they need to thrive: from equitable and high-quality public education, to shelter and safety, to beautiful and enriching public spaces. CFP’s work in Arts Education facilitates equitable access to strong arts education programming in Chicago to ensure that all students have the benefit of well-rounded and holistic learning experiences.

Together the Crowns cochaired Mayor Rahm Emanuel’s 2014 campaign to fuel Arts Education in Chicago Public schools, raising over $38 million.

Visionary Leadership

King Harris
MCA Trustee, Visionary Cochair
Rachel Grund
President, MCA Women’s Board
Cathy Ross
MCA Women’s Board, Visionary Cochair
Yumi Shilowitz Ross 
MCA Women’s Board, Visionary Cochair

Funding and Sponsorships

Presented by


Major Sponsors

Nancy and Steve Crown and the Crown Family
Kenneth C. Griffin
Carol Prins and John Hart/The Jessica Fund
Zell Family Foundation

GCM Grosvenor logo
Northern Trust logo

Supporting Sponsors

Julie and Larry Bernstein
Dr. Anita Blanchard and Martin Nesbitt
Marlene Breslow-Blitstein and Berle Blitstein
Robert J. Buford
Stefan Edlis and Gael Neeson Foundation
Paul and Dedrea Gray
Rachel and David Grund
Agnes Gund
Harris Family Foundation
Anne L. Kaplan
Susie Karkomi and Marvin Leavitt
Kovler Family Foundation
Liz and Eric Lefkofsky
Sylvia Neil and Daniel Fischel
Cathy Ross and Chris Liguori
Douglas and Yumi Ross
Cari and Michael Sacks
Rebekah and Ilan Shalit
Karyn and Bill Silverstein

Illinois Tool Works logo
Wagner Foundation Logo


The Bluhm Family
Jennifer Brown
Helyn Goldenberg and Michael Alper
Jeri Netter Henoch/Elizabeth Mollen
Cynthia Hunt and Philip Rudolph
Karen Z. Gray-Krehbiel and John H. Krehbiel, Jr.
Caitlynde and James Langer/Lauren Grundhofer Peterson
Pam and John McCambridge, Donna and Paul Konstant
Gary Metzner/Sotheby’s
Melissa Grund Sarnoff and David Sarnoff
Robin Loewenberg Tebbe and Mark Tebbe
Ellen Wallace and Steven Gould
Dan and Nancy Yih

Eisen Family Foundation logo
Hindman Auctions and Appraisals logo
Norcon Inc. logo.