Letter from the NYWIFT CEO – thank you for an inspirational Muse 2024!

On the 2024 NYWIFT Muse Awards red carpet from left: NYWIFT Board President Leslie Fields-Cruz; honorees Raney Aronson-Rath, Michèle Stephenson, Latasha Gillespie, Millicent Simmonds, Kyra Sedgwick, Alex Borstein, and Tantoo Cardinal; NYWIFT CEO Cynthia Lopez; and SAG-AFTRA EVP Linda Powell


Dear NYWIFT Creative Community:

Muse 2024 was fabulous – and don’t just take our word for it. The hundreds of emails, texts, and phone calls said it all. It was our second year at Cipriani 42nd Street and from many accounts this year’s fresh setup gave us all a better view of the amazing honorees that we celebrated, including: Raney Aronson-Rath (Editor-in-Chief an Executive Producer, FRONTLINE), Alex Borstein (Actor, Writer, and Producer); Tantoo Cardinal (Actor and Activist); Latasha Gillespie (Head of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility for Amazon MGM Studios, Prime Video, and Freevee); Kyra Sedgwick (Actor, Producer, and Director); Millicent Simmonds (Actor); and Michèle Stephenson (Filmmaker, Artist, and Author). A special thanks to SAG-AFTRA Executive Vice President Linda Powell, who stepped in to accept the Muse Award on behalf of Fran Drescher (Actor, Writer, and SAG-AFTRA President), who regretfully missed the ceremony due to a death in the family. Fran’s funny and poignant tribute reel by Jennifer Wollan and rousing words delivered by Linda were a highlight of the day.

Clockwise from top left: Michèle Stephenson, Millicent Simmonds, Tantoo Cardinal takes a bow, and Kyra Sedgwick


The ceremony began with a thoughtful land recognition by NYWIFT Board Member Yvonne Russo honoring the original Native stewards of Manhatta, followed by our incredible Board President Leslie Fields-Cruz’s opening remarks.

The Muse Awards Ceremony was authentic, heartfelt, and inspiring – like having a party for your best friends that you love and admire. Nothing fake and everything respectful.

To give you a taste, check out our opening organizational reel:


While we can’t show you everything because the full program will be edited for our televised broadcast on NYC Life. You can see the broadcast version of last year’s program here:

The honoree presentations and acceptance speeches this year were powerful. We can give you a taste of what you missed: The MOME Made in NY Muse honoree Alex Borstein’s creative reel shows the spirit of the ceremony:

You’ll have to wait to see the rest of the creative reels as part of the broadcast in 2024.

We had some fabulous press coverage as well, including in Variety, Deadline, PBS, and The Knockturnal.

To the NYWIFT Members that support our organization and purchased tickets, thank you so much for your dedication to this organization. To the volunteers that made our event possible (listed here), we could not have done it without you…

To the Creative Team Katie Chambers and Easmanie Michel, Melanie Sutherland, Jennifer Wollan, and Jennifer Dean, as well as the NYWIFT Powerhouse Team Rashiek Smart, Sara Tandoi, Maud Kersnowski-Sachs, and Catherine Woo, we cannot thank you enough for the hours you spent making the event possible.  

To our Board, particularly Special Events Committee Sibyl Reymundo-Santiago, Kia Brooks, and Emelyn Stuart; VP of Development Kim Jackson; and Audrey Rosenberg, thank you for going above and beyond.

To the unions and organizational partners that champion our vision and causes, we most definitely could not make such an event possible without your contributions. 

To all the corporate sponsors, including Artemis Rising Foundation, NH Collection Madison Avenue, Loreen Arbus Foundation, Enid Roth Estate, Chubb Insurance, Nancy Malone Estate, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Freixenet, Hollywood Reporter,  Variety, WNYC, Carmel Limo, Goldcrest Post Productions, Kettle Media, Bridge Multimedia, and Gotham Sound, we could not exist without your financial and in-kind contributions.

With the elections happening in the Fall and climate change events upon us, we still have much to be thankful for. In spite of it all, we need to continue to build a movement of women who believe in recognizing vision, excellence, and uncompromising journalism that informs and does not entertain for distraction but rather educates to provoke response and hold our governmental, corporate, and industry agencies accountable.  




Cynthia Lopez