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Inaugural Benefit for CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Exceeds Expectations

Inaugural Benefit for CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Exceeds Expectations

Held at CAP Council member Susan Disney Lord's restaurant The Bel-Air, the benefit raised more than $60,000.

At the event, CalArts President Steven Lavine was honored for his dedication and service to the Institute and CAP. 

The Inaugural Benefit for CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP) was hosted by CAP Council member Susan Disney Lord at her Brentwood restaurant The Bel-Air. The evening event took place on Friday, October 28 and raised more than $60,000 to help support CAP's efforts to provide arts education, free of charge, to youth throughout Los Angeles County. For more than 25 years, this co-curricular program of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) has offered after-school, summer, and school-based arts programs for youth ages 6-18. 

The evening included a cocktail reception, tribute to CalArts President Steve D. Lavine, and a successful silent auction of 47 pieces of art, all donated by CalArts students, staff, faculty and alumni. At the event, CalArts Trustee Joan Abrahamson remarked, “I can’t believe that this is the first benefit we are hosting for CAP, but I know it will not be the last. I am hoping that this is the seed that will grow and expand and make more people aware of CAP, and draw more young people to it.”

President Lavine was honored for his nearly three decades of leadership at CalArts and dedicated support of CAP. He shared his thoughts about CAP’s mission: “On one hand, it ties us to Greater Los Angeles and demonstrates that CalArts is a citizen in the larger community. CAP allows our students to connect with the world while they are being shaped as artists. On the other hand, the way to make the world work is to connect yourself to the parts of the ecosystem that are before you and after you—so if you are in college, you owe some responsibility to the kids on the way to college. CAP has done this brilliantly.”

Of President Lavine, Glenna Avila, Artistic Director of CAP and Wallis Annenberg Director of Youth Programs, said, “Steven’s goals initially were multi-faceted: to set a national standard for arts training both at the collegiate and pre-collegiate levels; to provide multi-cultural alternatives to conventional arts training; and to serve a larger community of which CalArts is a part. With Steven’s leadership, we achieved these goals.”

Critically acclaimed CalArts faculty who donated to the auction included 2016 MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Maggie Nelson, multimedia artist Sam Durant, and actor, director and internationally renowned voice teacher Rafael Lopez-Barrantes.

Host committee members included: Neda and Tim Disney, Chair of CalArts Board of Trustees; civic leader Janet Dreisen Rappaport; CalArts alumnus and creator of SpongeBob SquarePants Stephen Hillenburg; CalArts Trustee Karen Hillenburg; former United States Ambassador to Uruguay Frank Baxter; and philanthropist and member of Netflix’s Board of Directors, Anne Sweeney

CAP Benefit Sponsors included Hauser & Wirth, Sony Pictures Entertainment, The Herb Alpert Foundation, Jim and Anita Lovelace, and FASTFRAME Valencia.

The award-winning CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP), a co-curricular program of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts), offers free after-school, summer, and school-based arts programs for youth ages 6-18 in every discipline taught at CalArts. Programs are offered at public schools, community centers and social service agencies, covering a thousand square mile radius across Los Angeles County. With classes led by a teaching corps of accomplished CalArts faculty, alumni, and student instructors, CAP participants learn to create original works of art and to experiment with prevailing conventions of artistic expression. CAP’s success has served as a model for other arts education organizations locally and nationally. And the program has received numerous honors, including the National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award, which recognizes exemplary programs that foster the creative and intellectual development of America’s children.

Ranked as America’s top college for students in the arts by Newsweek/The Daily Beast, California Institute of the Arts has set the pace for educating professional artists since 1970. Offering rigorous undergraduate and graduate degree programs through six schools – Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater – CalArts has championed creative excellence, critical reflection, and the development of new forms and expressions. As successive generations of faculty and alumni have helped shape the landscape of contemporary arts, the Institution envisioned by Walt Disney encompasses a vibrant, eclectic community with global reach, inviting experimentation, independent inquiry, and active collaboration and exchange among artists, artistic disciplines and cultural traditions.