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Real Estate Leaders to Host Benefit Evening for Grateful Dead Exhibition at New York Historical Society, Band Members Phil Lesh and Bob Weir to Attend

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By Beth McGuire

RISMEDIA, October 19, 2009—In support of the new exhibition “The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society,” (opening March 2010) and the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California, Santa Cruz, the Historical Society will hold a fundraising reception on Wednesday, October 21, 2009, co-hosted by real estate business leaders Emanuel Stern, Brian Harris, Robert Lapidus, Tom Marano, Billy Procida, Brad Settleman and Marc Warren. 

Phil Lesh and Bob Weir of the Grateful Dead will be guests of honor at the reception, where they and other attendees will have the opportunity to preview select highlights from the Archive. 

“We’re all good friends, we’re all in real estate and we all love the Grateful Dead,” said Robert Lapidus, President, Chief Investment Officer and Co-founder of L&L Holding Company, LLC, a privately owned real estate company dedicated to investing in office buildings, primarily in Manhattan. “We thought there are so many Deadheads (what devoted fans of the band are known as) in New York, and what better area to bring the archive to and what better place than the New York Historical Society.”

The idea for the exhibit grew from discussions the co-chairs had earlier this year on how to raise publicity for the recently established official Grateful Dead Archive (2008) located at the University of California, Santa Cruz, to which they had made donations. Emanuel Stern, President and COO of Hartz Mountain Industries in Secaucus, NJ, who manages one of the largest privately held commercial real estate portfolios in the country, totaling 38 million square feet over 200 office, industrial, hotel and retail buildings, also has been on the board of trustees at the Historical Society for nine years and was instrumental in connecting the California archive to the East Coast cultural landmark.

“Billy Procida [president of William Procida Inc., an Englewood Cliffs, NJ-based turnaround management firm for middle market real estate companies – and lifelong Grateful Dead fan] called me for support of the band and the recently named archive at UC Santa Cruz. We went out there and met with the archive librarian to discuss ways we could help promote it and I suggested she contact Louise [Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society]. Louise loved the idea – that’s how it got started and it’s picked up quite a pace.” 

Stern added that as band members Bob Weir and Phil Lesh learned about the event they offered their participation while Weir is in town with his band Rat Dog this week playing two nights at the Grand Ballroom and three nights at the Beacon Theater in Manhattan. 

Lapidus noted that he personally has seen the Grateful Dead and any of its breakout bands, like Rat Dog and Phil and Friends, over 400 times. “Together, the co-chairs of this event easily have seen the Dead a combined total of 1,000 times.” 

The Grateful Dead: Now Playing at the New York Historical Society traces the career and achievements of a band that became one of the significant cultural forces in 20th century America. Through a wealth of original artwork and documents including concert and recording posters, album art, large-scale marionettes and other stage props, banners and decorated fan mail, the exhibition will explore the musical creativity and influence of the Grateful Dead from 1965 to 1995, the sociological phenomenon of the Deadheads (the band’s network of devoted fans) and the enduring impact of the Dead’s pioneering approach to the music business. 

Materials in the exhibition will be drawn almost exclusively from the extraordinary holdings of the Grateful Dead Archive at the University of California Santa Cruz, established in 2008.

The exhibit, while unique, doesn’t fall outside the norm of historical collections at the New York Historical Society, Stern added. A preeminent education and research institution, the building is home to both New York City’s oldest museum and one of the nation’s most distinguished independent research libraries. The Society is dedicated to presenting exhibitions and public programs, and fostering research that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, its holdings cover four centuries of American history, and include one of the world’s greatest collections of historical artifacts, American art and other materials documenting the history of the United States as seen through the prism of New York City and State.

In addition to Stern and Lapidus, co-chairs of the event include: 

Brian Harris, CEO of Ladder Capital, a New York-based specialty finance company that provides a comprehensive set of financing solutions to the commercial real estate industry; 

Tom Marano, chief executive officer of GMAC’s mortgage operations and GMAC’s chief capital markets executive; 

Billy Procida, president of William Procida Inc., an Englewood Cliffs, NJ-based turnaround management firm for middle market real estate companies; 

Brad Settleman, Managing Director of Latus Partners, a real estate private equity fund based in New York City, which seeks to selectively invest in a variety of complex, opportunistic, distressed, and/or transitional real estate transactions using equity, debt and hybrid structures; and 

Marc Warren, Owner, Linear Realty Captial, LLC in the Greater New York area. 

Tickets are still available for $300 and are 100% tax deductible. 

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