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Annual Luncheon Benefits Educational Programs for NYC School Children
and New Exhibits at New-York Historical about King’s Pursuit
of Excellence and Fairness

New York, NY, April 24, 2019 — Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss will be honored at New-York Historical Society’s 2019 Strawberry Festival benefit luncheon, an annual event that dates back to 1856. Ms. King and Ms. Kloss will receive the Women in Public Life Award for their outstanding public service. The luncheon will take place on May 14 at New-York Historical (170 Central Park West at 77th Street) and feature Ms. King and Ms. Kloss in conversation with Nicolle Wallace, anchor of Deadline: White House on MSNBC and NBC news political analyst. Event check-in begins at 11:30 am.

“We’re honored to recognize Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss at this year’s Strawberry Festival for their unwavering commitment to equality and social justice,” said Pam Schafler, chair of the New-York Historical Society’s Board of Trustees. “Their achievements—both on and off the court—have made a lasting impact, not just in sports, but to the countless lives they have advocated for and inspired.”

Billie Jean King and Ilana Kloss join a remarkable list of people celebrated at the Strawberry Festival in prior years. Past honorees include Stuart Weitzman, Loretta Lynch, Ayaan Hirsi Ali, Mika Brzezinski, Hillary Clinton, Kirsten Gillibrand, Doris Kearns Goodwin, Michelle Obama, Anna Quindlen, Christine Quinn, Cokie Roberts, Lesley Stahl, Pat Klingenstein, and Sue Ann Weinberg.

Named one of the “100 Most Important Americans of the 20th Century” by Life magazine and a 2009 recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, Billie Jean King is the founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, the co-founder of World TeamTennis, and part of the ownership group of the Los Angeles Dodgers. She founded the Women’s Sports Foundation and the Women’s Tennis Association. In August 2006, the National Tennis Center, home of the US Open, was renamed the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in honor of her accomplishments on and off the court.

Ilana Kloss is the president of Billie Jean King Enterprises and co-founder of the Billie Jean King Leadership Initiative, where she oversees corporate partnerships, strategic programs, and philanthropic efforts that support Billie Jean King’s legacy. From 2001-2018, she was the CEO and commissioner of World TeamTennis, managing both the professional sports league and nationwide grassroots recreational programs. A former world No. 1 doubles player and US Open doubles champion, she is part of the Los Angeles Dodgers ownership group, serves as a member of the executive board of the Women’s Sports Foundation, and is a founding board member of the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

In 2016, Billie Jean King donated her archive to New-York Historical, including her rackets, documents, photographs, and other items from her illustrious career. More recently the exhibition, Billie Jean King: The Road to 75, showcased her remarkable life and career through more than 75 photographs on display.

New-York Historical’s Strawberry Festival has recognized honorees’ contributions to public life since its first gathering in 1856, when guests enjoyed a stimulating lecture and a strawberry feast in Washington Square Park. Funds raised this year support education programs in the DiMenna Children’s History Museum together with new exhibits that tell the story of Billie Jean King’s lifelong pursuit of excellence and fairness. In addition to offering critical initiatives in history education for 200,000 New York City public school students annually, DCHM and the Barbara K. Lipman Children’s History Library have become magnets for underserved children and families, with scholarships offered for weekend and holiday family programs and summertime history camps.

New-York Historical’s Center for Women’s History is the first of its kind in the nation within the walls of a major museum. The Center explores the lives and legacies of women who have shaped and continue to shape the American experience. As a hub for scholarship and education, it demonstrates how women across the spectrum of race, class, and sexuality exercised power and effected change. Guided by a committee of distinguished historians and informed by the latest research, the Center features permanent installations, temporary exhibitions, and a vibrant array of talks and programs, enriching the cultural landscape of New York City and creating new opportunities for historical discovery.

Tickets for the 2019 Strawberry Festival begin at $500, and table prices begin at $5,000. For tickets or more information, please call Barbi Zakin at (212) 744-0799 or e-mail barbi@barbizakinevents.com.

Media RSVP is required. To RSVP, please contact Marybeth Ihle (212) 873-3400 x326, marybeth.ihle@nyhistory.org.

About the New-York Historical Society
Founded in 1804, the New-York Historical Society has a mission to explore the richly layered history of New York City, state, and the country, as well as to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. New-York Historical is recognized for engaging the public with deeply researched and far-ranging exhibitions, such as Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Made Modern America; Slavery in New York; Nature and the American Vision: The Hudson River School at the New-York Historical Society; Nueva York; Chinese American: Exclusion/Inclusion; Superheroes in Gotham; The Vietnam War: 1945–1975; Harry Potter: A History of Magic; and Hudson Rising. Supporting these exhibitions and related education programs is one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American artworks, and other materials documenting the history of the United States and New York.

Press Contacts
Ines Aslan, (212) 873-3400 x263, ines.aslan@nyhistory.org
Marybeth Ihle, (212) 873-3400 x326, marybeth.ihle@nyhistory.org

Wednesday, April 24, 2019
Creative: Tronvig Group