Joyful Heart in the News

Mariska Hargitay hosts the 2011 Joyful Heart Foundation Gala

May 18th, 2011
The Examiner
Cathy O'Brien

Mariska Hargitay hosted the 2011 Joyful Heart Foundation Gala last night at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the event featured a celebrity guest list as well as live performances by celebrity musicians. Guests such as Hilary Swank and Courtney Love enjoyed music from Adam Duritz of the Counting Crows and Patti Smith. In addition to the live performances, the evening helped raise funds for the Joyful Heart Foundation.

From Mariska Hargitay: “When people are abused and assaulted, it is like the doors to their souls slam shut. The goal of Joyful Heart is to let the light, and the life, back in-to banish the darkness and let the healing begin.”

The 2011 Joyful Heart Foundation Gala gave celebrities a chance to give heartfelt speeches about the important work of the non-profit and how they help victims on a daily basis. Speakers at the event included Courtney Love, Wynonna Judd, Maria Bello, Isaac Mixrahi, Hilary Swank, Hugh Jackman, Brian Williams and Mario Batali.

Guests of the event enjoyed dinner and live performances as well as the chance to write and sign letters to send to state representatives in a campaign to push states to improve their process in dealing with, and testing, rape kits.

The Joyful Heart Foundation was started by Mariska Hargitay who found that fans of the show she starred on, “Law & Order: Special Victims Unit” were confessing to her the pain and suffering they had gone through from domestic violence and child abuse. Many fans felt inspired by the show and Mariska Hargitay’s role, which compelled the television star to found the Joyful Heart Foundation in 2004. Since then, the organization has helped over 2.000 survivors. To learn more about the Joyful Heart Foundation, please visit

To view photos from the 2011 Joyful Heart Foundation Gala, please click on the slideshow here. 

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