Sondheim an honoree, Trump a target at annual PEN gala

By on April 26, 2017

NEW YORK –Stephen Sondheim accepted an honorary prize and the Trump administration came under repeated criticism at the annual gala for PEN America, the literary and human rights organization.

Tuesday night’s ceremony at the Museum of Natural History in Manhattan also included tributes to the women’s marches held the day after Trump’s inauguration and to the imprisoned Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov.

The PEN gala has traditionally focused on threats to free expression overseas, but virtually every speech Tuesday referred to Republican President Donald Trump, his attacks against the media and his proposal to eliminate the National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities. Even a brief film screened at the start of the event, which raised a record $2 million for PEN, included a warning about Trump.