2023 Village Fête

The annual Pioneer Works Village Fête celebrates our year-round accessible programming and longstanding commitment to our mission of building community through the arts and sciences.

This year, we are proud to honor an accomplished fashion designer who has shaped the way we think about sustainability and creative innovation: Gabriela Hearst. Founder of her own eponymous label in 2015 and Creative Director at Chloé as of 2021, Gabriela displays steadfast commitment to a purpose-driven brand model which actively combats the negative environmental impact of fast fashion—eliminating synthetic fabrics, repurposing existing materials, and increasing transparency about supply chains.

The evening will feature a performance by Grammy Award winner Arooj Aftab, DJ Set by Rahill, temporary installation by artist Tamar Ettun, and a silent auction.

We rely on the generosity of our community to continue doing our work. All ticket proceeds from this annual fundraising event allow us to sustain free community-driven programs and support emerging and underrepresented creators.

Unable to attend this year's gala? Please consider making a fully tax-deductible donation here!

About Gabriela Hearst

Gabriela Hearst grew up on her family’s ranch in Uruguay, where the notion of luxury meant things were beautifully crafted and made to last which inspired the launch of her eponymous label in Fall 2015. She wanted a brand that reflected purpose in every piece—Luxury collections with a conscience, or “honest luxury”. Gabriela’s runway shows have been an eminent example of sustainability, using deadstock fabrics, and eliminating plastic use. Her SS20 collection marked the first ever carbon neutral runway show. She was the winner of the 2016/17 International Woolmark Prize for Womenswear, the 2020 CFDA American Womenswear Designer of the Year, 2022 recipient of the Infinity Trustees Award by the International Center of Photography, and was selected as one of the five Honorees in the Environment category among the fifteen Leaders of Change at the British Fashion Council’s 2020, 2021 and 2022 Fashion Awards. In December 2020, she was named Creative Director at Chloé, and most recently, she was named one of the 25 most Influential Women of 2021 by the Financial Times.

About Arooj Aftab

Arooj Aftab is a Grammy award winning singer, composer, and producer who works in various musical styles and idioms, including jazz, minimalism, and Urdu poetry. She has been named one of NPR’s Top 100 composers, and has been featured on several best concerts lists, including The New York Times. Her album Vulture Prince was released in April 2021, was premiered live in NYC at Pioneer Works and has received unprecedented critical acclaim and coverage including Pitchfork Best New Music, TIME Best Songs of 2021 so far, The Guardian Best Albums of 2021 so far, New York Times, BBC Radio 4 Women’s Hour, Uncut, Mojo, and lots more.

About Rahill

Rahill Jamalifard is a multidisciplinary artist and musician hailing from Lansing, Michigan and presently based in upstate New York’s idyllic Hudson Valley. As a founding member of Brooklyn garage-rock mainstay, Habibi, Rahill garnered a reputation for alchemizing an eclectic range of influences, distilling them into captivating and heavy pop songs that gestured towards the modes and melodies of the Iranian/American household in which she was raised—a heritage she has continued to nurture via successive trips to Iran. This affinity for Iranian culture and music is increasingly present in her emergent solo output. Indeed, maps of her familial home cities, Shiraz and Isfahan, grace the insert of her upcoming debut solo LP, Flowers At Your Feet. The record arrives fresh off the heels of 2022’s Sun Songs, a collection of covers (more-so reinterpretations, really) of standards from an eclectic and personal pantheon of cherished songwriters.

About Tamar Ettun

Pioneer Works Alumni Resident Tamar Ettun uses textile, sculpture, and performance to explore trauma and healing. Amongst other long term projects, Ettun’s multidisciplinary work Lilit the Empathic Demon has since 2020 explored the insidious side of empathy, empathy fatigue, trauma-healing modalities, and astrology as storytelling through text messages to a growing community of people and most recently a new outdoor sculpture for Shelburne Museum, Vermont. Ettun is currently developing a performance for Free First Saturdays at the Walker Art Center. She has an MFA from Yale University.

For the Village Fête, Ettun has installed gigantic sails made of dyed and sewn parachute fabric. The labor involved in making the work—crafts traditionally seen as women's work—defies the material’s association with military patriarchy, turning it into a space for healing, not warfare. The sails were originally commissioned by Pioneer Works for the artist’s 2019 Dead Sea performance.

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