Basilica Hudson’s Pioneering People Series is bi-annual event and program celebrating pioneering and groundbreaking artists, across a range of disciplines, who have changed our culture dialogue and shifted our collective perspective. 

We host and honor our one-of-a-kind icons in our iconic industrial church on the waterfront of the Hudson River. Each evening includes accolades, conversation, and a performance — all to benefit and support Basilica Hudson’s non-profit mission to make cutting-edge culture and emerging ideas accessible to all. 


In 2020, this program was interrupted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and, like all small arts organizations, we have been slowly recovering from the disruption. Our goal, always, is to continue to serve our mission of spreading arts x eco awareness and ethos in all we do.

Because,  yes, now, more than ever, the world needs independent thinkers and artists who challenge the status quo and create a safer world for cutting-edge ideas to take root and thrive. Expand our view of what’s possible. And rev us up to join hands and do it.

Stay tuned for the reveal of our next extraordinary pioneering person, this year’s honoree!

Pioneering People Honoree 2014

The inaugural 2014 program featured the one-man-show, visionary filmmaker and one-of-a-kind personality John Waters, whose unique accomplishments in film and culture are still influencing visual artists and filmmakers today. Read HERE for a full recap of the evening.

Pioneering People Honoree 2016

In 2016 we celebrated Rufus Wainwright, whose singular musical gift is symbolic of Basilica Hudson’s dedication to present an always-vibrant roster of edge-pushing music and art programs. Wainwright performed an epic grand piano performance bin our industrial church, embodying the kind of free and fearless artistic path that Basilica Hudson strives to support. Read HERE for a full recap of the magical night.

Pioneering People Honoree 2016

Melissa Auf der Maur and Courtney Love performing at Basilica Hudson's Pioneering People gala honoring Love

Courtney Love performing with Melissa Auf der Maur at Pioneering People 2018

In 2018 we welcomed Courtney Love, with a tribute celebrating The Magic and The Power. Basilica Hudson Co-Founder Melissa Auf der Maur joined Courtney on stage for a riveting performance, honoring the legacy of musician, songwriter, actor, performer and incomparable cultural force that is Courtney. Read a full recap of the unforgettable evening HERE.