37th Season Gala

A Heartfelt Gala Celebrating Founder Ruth Felt

On September 30, 2016, audiences, artists, civic leaders and members of the arts community gathered to toast President Emeritus Ruth Felt, San Francisco Performances’ dynamic and visionary founder, on the occasion of her retirement after 37 years leading the organization.

Hosted by Gala Chairs Fred Levin and Gussie Stewart, A Heartfelt Gala began at San Francisco’s magnificent City Hall with a reception and dinner, followed by a concert at the Herbst Theatre featuring some of Ruth’s favorite artists, including mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke, composer/pianist Philip Glass, composer/pianist Jake Heggie, trumpeter Sean Jones with Edward Simon and Marcus Shelby, violinist Jennifer Koh, and composer/vocalist Luciana Souza. As a final treat, San Francisco Performances President Melanie Smith and Board Chair Patrick McCabe introduced a poignant video tribute and a surprise performance by jazz violinist Regina Carter, who performed her composition How Ruth Felt. An after party with the artists followed in the beautiful Veterans War Memorial Green Room. The Gala raised over $320,000, with proceeds supporting San Francisco Performances’ education programs.

Read more about A Heartfelt Gala at SF Gate

Gala Photos

2016 Gala Slide Show

San Francisco Performances extends its thanks to the sponsors who helped make this very special event possible:

Dinner Committee


  • Robert and Ruth Dell
  • James C. Hormel and Michael P. Nguyen
  • Fred Levin and Nancy Livingston
  • Patrick R. McCabe
  • Roger D. Miles and Satomi Fukuda Miles
  • Gussie and John Stewart


  • Frank S. Bayley and Martin and Maria Quinn
  • Thomas and Lily Beischer
  • Farella Braun + Martel LLP
  • George and Marie Hecksher and Yanek and Mary Chiu
  • San Francisco Community Music Center
  • George and Camilla Smith


  • American Conservatory Theater
  • Paul and Kathy Bissinger
  • Lynn Feintech and Anthony Bernhardt
  • Legato Capital Management, LLC
  • Susie and Grant Lundberg
  • Merola Opera Program
  • Berit and Robert Muh
  • Amanda Nelson and Julian Reyes
  • Paul Taylor Dance Company
  • San Francisco Ballet
  • San Francisco Conservatory of Music
  • San Francisco Opera
  • Shartsis Friese LLP
  • LaVerne and Alan Silverman
  • Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

Inkind Sponsors