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Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts Recognizes Eight Extraordinary Students

From left to right: Michael Tomlin III, Ashley Jacobson, Zoe Etkin, Kirsten Lepore, Justus Caudell, Kathryn Marks, Lauren Halsey, Jose Trujillo.

Eight 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.

Due to the strength of this year's finalists, Austin and Virginia Beutner expanded awards from five to eight students.

March 22, 2011, Los Angeles, CA—For the second 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).

The Beutner Family 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. Due to the strength of this year's finalists, Austin and Virginia Beutner chose to select not five, but eight, students to receive this prestigious award—generously pledging to support three more students for the 2011/2012 academic year.

Upon notification of her selection, Film Directing student Kathryn Marks said, “The Beutner Family Award is proof that even in our economy’s darkest hours, there is astounding generosity and support for the pursuit of art.”

This year’s round of awards recognizes Justus Caudell (MFA, Writing, School of Critical Studies), Zoe Etkin (MFA, Writing, School of Critical Studies), Lauren Halsey (BFA, Art, School of Art), Ashley Jacobson (BFA, Composition/Music Technology, The Herb Alpert School of Music), Kirsten Lepore (MFA, Experimental Animation, School of Film/Video), Kathryn Marks (MFA, Film Directing, School of Film/Video), Michael Tomlin III (BFA, Dance, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance), and Jose Trujillo (BFA, Dance, The Sharon Disney Lund School of Dance).

“A central goal of CalArts is to prepare students for their lives beyond these walls,” said CalArts’ Co-acting President and Dean of the Herb Alpert School of Music David Rosenboom.  “The Beutner Family Award affirms this commitment, not only to educate the artists of the future, but also to launch them smoothly into the next phase of their artistic careers.”

In fall 2009, Austin Beutner, Chair of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Board of Trustees, and his wife Virginia made a gift of $1 million to help 20 exceptional CalArts students complete their studies and make strong entrances to professional life. The primary consideration for this award is the applicants' excellence in their chosen métiers and potential for promising careers in the arts.

"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 each recipient has to make a difference in the world through their art."

Vice President of International Relations and Dean of Enrollment Management Carol Kim commented, “The Beutners had already extended their generosity to two additional students when I received not one, not two but three emails from Virginia Beutner. I called and she spoke with great passion and said, ‘there’s one finalist I just can’t let go. ’ So, yet another student’s life will be changed by a gift of such magnitude—it was inspiring.”

The Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts recipients were chosen by a selection committee comprising Austin and Virginia Beutner, David Rosenboom, Carol Kim, School of Theater faculty member Ellen McCartney and alumnus animator Stephen Hillenburg.

Austin Beutner is the First Deputy Mayor and Chief Executive of Economic Development and Business Policy for the City of Los Angeles. He is the retired President and Co-Chief Executive Officer of Evercore Partners, which he co-founded in 1996. He currently serves as Chairman of the Board of the California Governor's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports, is Chairman of the Board of the Broad Stage in Santa Monica, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and is also the founder and chairman of the Mammoth Mountain Community Foundation. A strong supporter of the arts for young people, Beutner, and his wife Virginia, are the primary sponsors of the International Children's Film Festival held annually at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater) in downtown Los Angeles. Beutner is also Co-Chair of the advisory council of CalArts' Community Arts Partnership (CAP).

Last edited by dthatt on Mar 23, 2011
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