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CalArts Honors Major Donors To Its $125 Million Campaign

Over $100 million has been raised towards goal

LOS ANGELES, November 6, 2006 -- California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced at the launch of the public phase of The Campaign for CalArts on Saturday, November 4, 2006, that it has raised $105 million from trustees and friends towards the Campaign's $125 million goal. This news was shared at The Campaign for CalArts Celebration, an intimate evening that paid tribute to the visionary supporters of The Campaign by honoring five major benefactors and, through its alumni honorees, celebrated the school's achievements in nurturing groundbreaking artists and ideas for over three decades. The event was held at the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in downtown Los Angeles.

"CalArts has become a creative force recognized around the world," said CalArts Board of Trustees Chair Austin M. Beutner. "A place like CalArts does not take shape without a circle of friends who invest their time, energy and money in its growth. We offer our thanks to the 2500 donors who have contributed to CalArts during the quiet phase of this comprehensive fundraising campaign. Through their support, we have a stronger more diverse student body and an international reputation that is the envy of art schools everywhere."

To celebrate the Campaign, CalArts recognized the contributions of five outstanding long-term benefactors at this special event: Roy E. Disney Family and Foundation, The Walt Disney Company, Lillian and Jon B. Lovelace, The Sharon D. Lund Foundation and Richard Seaver. This group is comprised of donors whose gifts have increased scholarship support for students, secured a faculty of gifted artists who are also dedicated teachers, seeded new initiatives, endowed the School of Dance and built REDCAT for Los Angeles audiences. Among them are philanthropists, corporate visionaries and multiple generations of donors.

Martin Sklar, Ambassador of Walt Disney Imagineering, specially acknowledged The Roy E. Disney Family and Foundation, comprising three generations of supporters. Roy E.'s uncle Walt Disney's original vision and generous bequest built the CalArts campus in the late 1960s and seeded the endowment. CalArts president Steven Lavine lauded The Walt Disney Company, which has nurtured the fulfillment of Walt Disney's CalArts dream through unprecedented and uninterrupted annual support since the Institute's founding in 1970. Today President and CEO Robert A. Iger continues this legacy of support. Lillian and Jon Lovelace, married for 55 years, are active participants in the cultural community of Los Angeles and quietly support numerous education and arts organizations in Southern California. Their son James Lovelace, now a vice chair of the CalArts Board of Trustees himself, paid tribute to his parents' extraordinary generosity, which has helped to attract and to reward the most creative and dedicated artist/teachers on the CalArts faculty and to seed new initiatives that keep the Institute at the leading edge of the arts.

The younger daughter of Walt Disney, the late Sharon Disney Lund was a longtime supporter of CalArts and a member of the Board of Trustees for almost two decades. Alumnus Bret Price (BFA 75), son of Trustee Emeritus Harrison "Buzz" Price and lifelong friend of the Lund Family, commemorated The Sharon D. Lund Foundation, which, led by her children Michelle and Brad, endowed the School of Dance, which was renamed in her honor, and helped build REDCAT. Richard Seaver, who is an active supporter of Los Angeles cultural, educational and medical institutions, recently provided two major gifts, the first one created the largest endowment for scholarships at CalArts and the second endowed the deanship of the School of Music. An opera lover, he was serenaded at the Celebration with Donizetti's Ah, mes amis.

"There are two ways to educate students: one is to tell them what they ought to know; the other is to discover what they want to do and help them to the knowledge that will get them there," said CalArts President Steven D. Lavine. "Only with the support of our donors, can CalArts break the rules which today means transcending the artificial separation among the arts."

The Celebration also paid tribute to exceptional alumni who embody the dedication to creative experimentation and intellectual rigor that is nurtured in CalArts students. The artistic innovations of these two honorees were recognized for their impact on the arts.

Don Cheadle (BFA 86) has consistently turned in powerful performances on the stage and screen. In 2005, he was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor in Hotel Rwanda. In the same year, Cheadle appeared in and produced Crash, which won the Academy Award for best picture in 2006. An accomplished stage actor as well, Cheadle originated the role of "Booth" in Suzan-Lori Parks' Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog at New York's Public Theatre under the direction of George C. Wolfe.

Pixar's creative department is led by John A. Lasseter (BFA 79), an Academy Award-winning director and animator, recognized for creating the first feature-length computer animated film, Toy Story. He went on to direct A Bug's Life, Toy Story 2 and Cars, and was executive producer of

Guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the REDCAT lobby where selections of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, blockbuster retrospective, Tomorrowland: CalArts in Moving Pictures, were projected, featuring innovative and artistically daring work made at CalArts over the past 35 years. Actor Andy Garcia, whose daughter is attending CalArts, welcomed over 200 guests to the transformed REDCAT space. Garcia is known for his project The Lost City and his roles in The Untouchables, Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead, Modigliani, Ocean's Eleven and Ocean's Twelve. The evening's festivities also included special performances, exhibitions and film screenings featuring student, alumni and faculty work. CalArts alumnus, MacArthur Fellow, and Tony Award winning actor and mime Bill Irwin created a special performance that incorporated video with live performers.

Also in attendance at the Celebration were distinguished and acclaimed artists, business leaders and philanthropists, including: event co-chairs David and Marianna Fisher, Campaign Steering Committee Chair Tim Disney along with his sister Susan M. Disney Lord and her husband Scott, Roger Birnbaum, Alice Estes Davis, Cliff and Mandy Einstein, Charmaine Jefferson, Eric Hanks, Lisa Henson, Kim and Michael McCarty, Anne and Harrison "Buzz" Price, Lee and Lawrence Ramer, Phylicia Rashad, Lucinda and David Schiff, Abby Sher, Barbara and Rick Springfield, Tarina Tarantino, Gary Trousdale, Andrea and John Van de Kamp and Nancy Englander and Harold Williams. Dinner was catered by Jackson Somerset.

The Celebration was made possible by the generosity of several lead corporate sponsors including Swarovski, the world's leading brand for cut crystal; The Walt Disney Company; Shamrock Holdings, Inc; Lockton Insurance Brokers, Inc. with Teena Hostovich and Doug Martinet; and The Capital Group Companies. Additional support was provided by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.

The $125 million Campaign for CalArts became public at the Celebration on November 4, 2006 and will conclude on December 31, 2008.

Last edited by Smith on Aug 30, 2010
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