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CalArts Students and Alumni Honored with 2010 Princess Grace Awards

Valencia, CA, August 4, 2010--This week, the Board of Trustees of the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) and its Chairman, Hon. John F. Lehman, announced the recipients of the 2010 Princess Grace Awards. California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) students, Laura Kraning, an MFA candidate in the School of Film/Video and Andrew Wojtal, an undergraduate in The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance, are among the recipients. Alumni Virginia Grise, (MFA, Theater, 2009) and Chi-wang Yang (MFA, Theater 2007) are also awardees. They will receive their awards at the annual black-tie Princess Grace Awards Gala, held in the presence of HRH The Princess of Hanover, on November 10.

The Foundation's awards for theater, dance and choreography, and film continue the legacy of Princess Grace (Kelly) of Monaco, who anonymously helped emerging artists pursue their artistic goals during her lifetime.

"We are thrilled for Andrew," said Stephan Koplowitz, Dean of The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance at CalArts. "This scholarship award will have tremendous impact on his career and we are honored to once again be a part of the Princess Grace Foundation's legacy." Of Kraning, who is a recipient of the Princess Grace Foundation John H. Johnson Film Award, Steve Anker, Dean of CalArts School of Film/Video commented, "Laura is one of our most accomplished graduate students of recent years whose films are already shown widely at festivals around the world. Her selection gives further evidence of the importance of CalArts as a breeding ground for important new talent."

A filmmaker whose work blurs the boundaries of documentary and experimental film, Kraning often explores the surreal within the real. Her films have screened at numerous festivals and venues including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Edinburgh International Film Festival and the Athens International Film and Video Festival, among others. Her most recent film, Vineland, premiered at the 2009 New York Film Festival and received The City is Cinema Jury Award at the 2010 Ann Arbor Film Festival. She is now working on her thesis film Devil's Gate, which explores the metaphysical undercurrents of a Southern California landscape scarred by fire.

Upon graduating from the Dance Studio of Maine, Wojtal decided to further his artistic goals as a performer and choreographer at CalArts. There, he participated in creating new works, with American choreographers Colin Connor and Rosanna Gamson, which premiered at the Institute and appeared at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater) in Los Angeles. He also choreographed three of his own works for students and, in summer 2009, premiered a fourth composition at Bates Dance Festival in Lewiston, Maine. This summer, he was invited by the Island Moving Company, in Newport Rhode Island, to perform in two new works by choreographer Scott Putman at the Great Friends Dance Festival. Wojtal
is the recipient of a Princess Grace Dance Scholarship.


The Princess Grace Foundation-USA is a not-for-profit, publicly-supported foundation, headquartered in New York City and founded more than 25 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco in honor of his wife, Princess Grace (Kelly).  The Foundation's mission, that mirrors Princess Grace's in Her lifetime, is to support emerging artists in theater, dance and film through the awarding of scholarships,
apprenticeships and fellowships. Since the Foundation’s inception, more than 650 Awards have been given to recipients, totaling more than $7 million. Some notable Princess Grace Awards recipients in Theater include: 2008 Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Play, Anna D. Shapiro; Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner; and Academy Award winner Eric Simonson.  Film recipients include: Stephen Hillenburg, creator of SpongeBob SquarePants; Greg Mottola, director of Adventureland and Superbad; and Cary Joji Fukunaga, writer and director of Sin Nombre. Dance/Choreography Awards recipients include: American Ballet
Theatre's Ethan Stiefel and Jacoby&Pronk's Drew Jacoby; as well as choreographers Robert Battle and Dominic Walsh.

For more information, please visit www.pgfusa.org.

CalArts has a multidisciplinary approach to its studies of the arts through six schools: Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music and Theater. CalArts encourages students to explore and recognize the complexity of the many aspects of the arts. It is supported by a distinguished faculty of practicing artists and provides its Bachelor and Master of Fine Arts students with the hands-on training and exposure necessary for an artist's growth. CalArts was founded in 1961 and opened in 1969 as the first institution of higher learning in the United States specifically for students interested in the pursuit of degrees in all areas of visual and performing arts.

Last edited by Smith on Aug 18, 2010
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