The Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation hosted its fourth annual fundraising auction gala on July 26, 2017 in St. Tropez, France. Proceeds from the auction support the foundation’s global, high-impact grantmaking portfolio.
Since 2008, LDF has committed over $80 million in grants to environmental projects across six areas: wildlife and landscape conservation, marine life and ocean conservation, climate change, innovative solutions, indigenous rights and the California program. LDF’s grantees and partners are currently active on every continent and in every ocean.
The auction gala, held in St. Tropez where many donors and guests are already located at the end of July, was hosted by LDF Founder and Chairman Leonardo DiCaprio, foundation CEO Terry Tamminen.
Mr. DiCaprio led the evening, recounting a number of urgent challenges facing the planet, from rising global temperatures and melting polar ice, to rapidly-disappearing species and natural habitats on land and at sea, stressing: “The health of our planet is grave – this crisis is real. What we seem to lose sight of is that we are part of nature, in fact we depend on nature for our very survival. Our natural systems sustain us with all that is necessary for life – such as ample food, clean air and drinkable water.”
Commenting on progress being made in part due to the efforts of LDF and its partners, Mr. DiCaprio said, “This past year LDF and its partners had a measureable impact on our natural world. We helped protect more than 1.6 million square kilometers of ocean – an area more than twice the size of Texas – including in the Ross Sea. Our work is helping save endangered species such as the wild jaguar and the Gray Wolf, which has made a comeback after being on the brink of extinction. We are active in Tanzania, restoring the wildlife of Mkomazi national park, and in the grasslands of Kenya, where we are helping jump start an important carbon sequestration project. These are just a few of the stories about the impact the generosity of our donors has helped make possible.”
Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo was honored with the foundation’s “New World Leadership Award” for her commitment to bringing about sustainable policies and innovative climate resiliency programs in Paris. In her remarks, Mayor Hidalgo said: “Climate change is the greatest challenge of this century. All countries and territories are concerned. We need to deliver on the promise of the Paris Agreement – it is a political, social, cultural and economic challenge. Together, we will build a better world for tomorrow.”
There was a special performance by GRAMMY-winning artist Lenny Kravitz. Additionally, there was a surprise performance by GRAMMY Award and Golden Globe-winning artist Madonna, who performed 4 Minutes, Ray of Light, Ghosttown, Open Your Heart and La Isla Bonita.
Simon de Pury conducted the live auction, which was filled with unique experiences, collectibles and memorabilia, and an unrivalled collection of fine art from universally renowned artists. Included in the catalogue were works by Paul McCarthy, Rashid Johnson, Sanya Kantarovsky, Adrian Ghenie, Damien Hirst, Jonas Wood, Sean Scully, Lynda Benglis, Andrea Bowers, Cecily Brown, Urs Fischer, Rudolf Stingel, Richard Prince, and it featured a special commission by Lawrence Weiner.
Guests dined on a sustainable pescatarian menu featuring local fish, and produce sourced by area growers.
Event Chairs included Prince Albert II of Monaco, Cate Blanchett, Marion Cotillard, Philippe Cousteau, Penélope Cruz, Tom Hanks, Kate Hudson, Doutzen Kroes, Jared Leto, Madonna, Tobey Maguire, Edward Norton, Emma Stone, Uma Thurman and Kate Winslet. Among the guests in attendance were Adrien Brody, Sean Penn, Kate Winslet, Tobey Maguire, Anne Hidalgo, Doutzen Kroes, Taylor Hill, Iman Hamman, Madonna, Lenny Kravitz and Gerard Butler.
Art featured in the auction was curated by Lisa Schiff of SFA Advisory, and the event was produced by Andy Boose and AAB Productions.