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Beutner Awards Recognize Student Excellence at CalArts

2012 Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts recipients (left to right): Sofia Canales, Arturo Molinar-Avitia, Drew Foster, Christopher Burnett, Antonio Gennaro.
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Five Extraordinary Students at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Receive the Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts

Scholarships of up to $50,000 fund students in their final year of study.

March 23, 2012, Los Angeles, CA—For the third year, the Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts has eased the financial burdens of exceptionally promising and talented students at California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). In 2009, Austin Beutner, Chair of CalArts Board of Trustees, and his wife Virginia expressed their commitment to arts education with a gift to CalArts. Their $1 million gift allows its recipients to complete their studies and make strong entrances into professional life.

The award is structured to provide five scholarships a year, up to $50,000 each, to fund undergraduate and graduate students in their final year of study. The overarching considerations for this award are financial need, the applicants' demonstrated excellence in their work and their potential for a promising career in the arts. Each award of $50,000 is designed to cover the tuition and living costs of the recipients final year of study in an undergraduate or graduate program.

“We are trying to help students pursue their passion in the arts without the staggering burden of college loans.  Higher education needs to be more affordable so every student can pursue his or her dream,” said Austin Beutner.

"At CalArts, we foster our students’ imaginations and prepare them with the skills necessary for success in the 21st Century—in the arts, in the creative industries—or in whatever else they may choose to do," said CalArts President Steven D. Lavine.  "The generosity of Austin and Virginia Beutner allows a group of exceptional students to focus on their education and artmaking, without the distraction of outside jobs or accumulating debt, as they prepare for their entry into the next phase of their creative lives."

This year’s round of awards recognizes Arturo Molinar-Avitia (MFA, Art, School of Art), Christopher Burnett (BFA, Graphic Design, School of Art), Antonio Gennaro (BFA, Multi-focus Percussion, The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts), Drew Foster (MFA, Scenic Designer, School of Theater), Sofia Canales (BFA, Film/Video Program, School of Film/Video).

Upon notification of his selection, Scenic Design student Drew Foster said, “It’s not just a vote of confidence in my artistry, but a validation and encouragement of the tremendous work created within the School of Theater, a vote for the necessity and vitality of live performance.”

“The Beutner Family Award is not just a scholarship, it is a wonderful incentive for me to maintain the level of hard work and determination that I have pursued during my time at CalArts,” comments Christopher Burnett.  “I am truly honored to be selected as a recipient and to represent the excellence this school continues to inspire.”

"Each applicant made such an impressive and heartfelt application for the award," said Virginia Beutner. "After getting to know the candidates and their work, we felt a personal connection to each one and a real desire to help them achieve their creative goals. We are truly honored to help support their work, their dreams, and the vision that the recipients have to make a difference in the world through their art."

The Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts recipients were chosen by a selection committee comprising Austin and Virginia Beutner, CalArts President Steven Lavine, Dean of The Herb Alpert School of Music at CalArts David Rosenboom, Acting Provost  Jackie Elam, Vice President and Chief Advancement Officer Bianca Roberts and alumnus animator Stephen Hillenburg.

Austin Beutner is Chairman of the Board of CalArts.

Last edited by dthatt on Mar 27, 2012
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