The Jim Henson Studios in Hollywood, CA was transformed into an Old Hollywood 1920s Classic Themed Party, replete with breathtaking 20-foot-high Art Deco silver statues and other stunning decorative ornaments from the period, as guests attending the Hollywood Arts Council's Historic Sold-Out 30th Anniversary Black-Tie Gala and 22nd Annual Charlie Awards strolled down a 30-foot-long Red Carpet to a cozy and intimate Outdoor Courtyard Reception and Silent Auction, later followed by an elegant three-course catered Dinner and Awards Show, held on the Jim Henson Studios' Sound Stage on Saturday, March 29, 2008.
The Hollywood Arts Council's 30th Anniversary Gala and 22nd Annual Charlie Awards, which was dedicated to Hollywood's late Honorary Mayor, Johnny Grant, was Co-Chaired by Nancy J. Brown and Laurie Goldman. KABC Television's George Pennacchio served as Master of Ceremonies at the event, as 375 guests dined at chicly appointed floor-length draped tables featuring fragrant two-foot-high floral centerpieces created by Fancy Nancy. 20th Century Props and owner, Harvey Schwartz, provided décor for the Gala. Glenn Treibiz served as Musical Director, Bill McCarthy as Production Manager and Julian Fowles oversaw Video Production for the event. A Roland Piano was provided by Hollywood Piano Company for the Gala. Hollywood Arts Council staffers Bianca Caruso and Audra Mae Butts, along with event staff and many volunteers kept things running smoothly throughout the night.
Charlie Awards were presented in eight categories. The Honorees included: Community Redevelopment Agency (Public Art); The Hollywood Wax Museum (Entertainment Arts); Nyla Arslanian (Community Arts); Cinefamily/Silent Movie Theatre (Cinematic Arts); Iron Mountain (Preservation Arts); The Blank Theatre Company at 2nd Stage (Theatre Arts); Bob Mackie (Inaugural Fashion Arts); and Councilmember Tom LaBonge (Special Recognition). Charlie Awards Presenters and Celebrity Guests included: Carol Connors, Mitzi Gaynor, Leron Gubler, Kate Linder, Jimmy Jean-Louis, Lee Meriwether, Connie Stevens, Charlene Tilton, Fred Travalena and Vanessa Williams.
Event Supporters included: Presenting Sponsor: Kress; Gold Sponsor: Argent Ventures/Millennium Partners; Silver Sponsors: American Airlines, Community Redevelopment Agency, Discover Hollywood Magazine, The Jim Henson Company, Iron Mountain and Paramount Pictures; Bronze Sponsors: ADT Security Services, Alliance Residential, Apollo, Author Services, The Clarett Group, Classic Arts Showcase, California Offset Printers, The Walt Disney Company, Gerding Edlen, Hudson Capitol, L.A. Inc., MGM Studios, Newport Capital, Pacific Federal, Robertson Properties, Second Street Ventures and Selma Hotel.
The distinguished Guest List of Celebrities and VIPs in attendance at the Gala also included: Ray Aghayan, H. David Ambroz, Steve Appleton, Randall Baumberger, Adam Belanoff, Teresa Bourgoise, Hadrian Belove, Bob Blue, Beth Broderick, John Campbell, Tom Carlino, Grant Cihlar, Denice Duff, Laura and Alan Dwan, Cecilia V. Estolano, Alfred Fraijo, Cynthia Foronda, John Gallogly, Jim Garrison, Nicole Goldman, Susan Gray, Amy Helbing, Ana Martinez-Holler, Natasha Holler, Joseph Henderson, Daniel Henning, John Holly, Vincent Jung, Sharon Keyser, Ziggy Kruse, Leslie Lambert, Amalia Levari, Deanna Lund, Karen Mack, Joe McFate, Mara New, Judy Norton, Dale Olson, Mark Panatier, Michael Proctor, Phil Proctor, Lee Purcell, Erik Qvale, Deborah and Rodney Rivers, Mike Romano, Kip Rudd, Tanya Ruiz, Maureen Schultz, Harvey Schwartz, Barbara Zicka Smith, Thaddeus Smith, Michelle Stafford, Tej Sunher, Bob Swift, Bill Thiederman, Eloy Torrez, Lois Travalena, Robert Walker, Agnes-Nicole Winter and Anita Woerner.
The 30th Anniversary Gala was catered by Betty Fraser of As You Like It Catering. Fraser was recently seen on Top Chef 2. She was assisted with the Gala food preparation by Top Chef 2 winner, Ilan Hall. The 30th Anniversary Gala Menu consisted of: First Course: Belgian Endive on a bed of Mixed Greens with Apple infused Dried Cherrie and Cranberris, toasted Walnuts, shredded Parmesan and Red Onions served with a Lemon Shallot Vinaigrette. Main Course: Pan seared boneless Chicken Breast with Fresh Herbs served on a Root Vegetable Gratin Cube with a touch of cream and Gruyere topped with Sherry Wine Sauce with Fresh Thyme and Orange Zest with flash sautéed Sugar Plum Tomatoes, Microgreens and frie Onion garnish. Dessert Course: Individual Chocolate Raspberry Cakes with Dark Chocolate Raspberry Mousee, Raspberry Marmalade and Almond-Chocolate Joconde adorned with Chocolate Raspberry "twigs" and a Dark Chocolate Star with Raspberry sauce.
Silent Auction Donors included: Absolut Vodka, Architecture Tours, Arslanian & Associates, Tommy Bahama Rum, The Bowery, Nancy Brown, Catalina's Jazz Club, Nancy Cartwright, Robert Edsel, Brian Folb, The Geffen Playhouse, Giesha House, Laurie Goldman, The Greek Theatre, Grub Restaurant, Hawthorne Suites, Hollywood & Highland, Hollywood Freeway Central Park, Hollywood Renaissance Hotel, Hornblower Cruises, The Kodak Theatre, Katsuya, La Jolla de Mismaloya Resort, Lotus Vodka, Magic Castle Hotel, Mann's Theatre, Michele Michel, Musso and Franks, The Nederlander Organization and The Pantages Theatre, Dale Olson, Pala Casino Resort, Pueblo Bonito Resort Cabo, Raleigh Studios Manhattan Beach, Republic Restaurant, Rockford Studio Photography, Rowley Portraiture, Sea World, Shade Hotel, Southern Wine & Spirits, Spa Luce, Stella Stevens, Supperclub LA, Theatre West, Bill Thiederman and Keitha Scott and Yamishio Restaurant. A Live Auction item of two first class tickets US48 Canada, Caribbean, Bahamas, Bermudo or Mexico sold for $4,500.
The memorable evening was filled with unforgettable moments, including: Nyla Arslanian dancing with joy as she received her Charlie Award; Mitzi Gaynor's reminiscences of how designer Bob Mackie's career started and her sharing of behind the scenes Hollywood dish, along with an entertaining video including thoughts about the fashion designer and congratulations from Cher, Elton John, Carol Burnett, Bette Midler and Ann-Margret; Fred Travelena's plethora of comedic impressions; Cecilia V. Estolano's, Vanessa Williams's and Daniel Henning's impassioned speeches about the importance of The Arts in everyone's lives; the Hollywood Arts Council's educational video on their Project Soar and Councilmember Tom LaBonge's thoughtful comments about the importance of the Hollywood Arts Council, to name a few.
The Hollywood Arts Council (HAC) is a community-based nonprofit organization formed in 1978 making a difference in Hollywood through the Arts. It was originally founded to ensure that the arts play a significant role in the revitalization of Hollywood. The mission of the Hollywood Arts Council is to enhance the quality of life in our community by promoting, nurturing and supporting the Arts. The Hollywood Arts Council believes that the arts revitalize people as well as communities. It is towards this vision that the Hollywood Arts Council serves Hollywood. HAC serves the community through advocacy, coalition building, free public arts events, and promotes the work of artists and arts organizations. Its after school art program has served over 2,000 elementary schools.
For 22 years, the Charlie Awards Luncheon has been the Council's #1 fundraiser. This year the awards presentation was incorporated into the 30th Anniversary Celebration—A Gala Event at the Jim Henson Company, formerly the historic Charlie Chaplin Studio. The Charlie Awards recognize contributions of merit to the community of Hollywood and its Arts. Awards are presented by celebrities in a number of categories, including Theatre, Preservation, Entertainment, Public Art, etc. Recipients for awards are chosen by the Board of Trustees of the Hollywood Arts Council.
To learn more about the Hollywood Arts Council, please visit the website, www.hollywoodartscouncil.org.