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California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) Receives $1.4 Million to Support Deserving Students

United States
Austin and Virginia Beutner’s life changing gift, the Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts, offers 20 extraordinary students scholarships of up to $50,000.

The Beutner Family Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Award provides scholarships for CAP alumni who attend CalArts.

Valencia, California, December 3, 2009 — Steven D. Lavine, President of California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) announced that Austin Beutner, Chairman of CalArts’ Board of Trustees, and his wife, Virginia, have made a $1.4 million commitment to CalArts. The gift funds the Beutner Family Award for Excellence in the Arts, a scholarship fund for exceptional students and the Beutner Family Community Arts Partnership (CAP) Award, which will increase access to CalArts for Los Angeles area youths.

“Austin and Virginia’s gift, by allowing some of our most outstanding students to spend their final year at CalArts without adding debt, will make it easier for these talented artists to go on to the next stage of their careers,” said President Lavine. This gift affirms, in a wonderful way, CalArts’ commitment not only to educate the artists of the future, but also to do everything we can to help launch them into productive careers after graduation. Austin and Virginia’s generosity is going to make a huge difference to some of the most promising artists of this next generation.”

At the spring 2009 meeting of the CalArts Board of Trustees, Austin Beutner heard graduating students share stories of their lives at the Institute. “The students were doing remarkable work balancing their art practices with more than one part-time job and community service. Even though they were working hard to make ends meet, their enthusiasm for their art was boundless,” he noted. “I couldn’t help but be inspired.”

Virginia and Austin Beutner’s generous gift will help 20 extraordinary CalArts students complete their studies and make a strong entrance into professional life. Over the course of four years, beginning in the 2010/11 school year, five scholarships of up to $50,000 each will fund undergraduate and/or graduate students in their final year of study. These scholarships are intended to pay the full cost of attending CalArts. The amount of the award that exceeds tuition and fees may be used for room, board, books and materials associated with their studies.

Nationally, the average student loan debt among graduating seniors is around $24,186. Virginia and Austin Beutner’s gift goes towards lifting this burden for CalArts’ students who display unusual talent, initiative and commitment. CalArts is one of the most economically and ethnically diverse private arts colleges in the nation.

CAP, now celebrating its 20th anniversary, is a public-private arts partnership dedicated to providing free college-level arts education for the youth of Los Angeles County. As co-chair of the CAP Council, Beutner is committed to helping CAP students attend the Institute. Each year, for the next fifteen years, CalArts will select an incoming student, who has participated in one or more CAP programs, to receive the Beutner Family Community Arts Partnership Award of $20,000 over up to four years.

Austin Beutner 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 is the primary sponsor of the International Children’s Film Festival held annually at REDCAT (Roy and Edna Disney CalArts Theater) in downtown Los Angeles and is Co-Chair of the advisory council of CalArts Community Arts Partnership (CAP).

California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) is recognized internationally as a leading laboratory for the visual, performing, media and literary arts. Housing six schools--Art, Critical Studies, Dance, Film/Video, Music, and Theater--CalArts educates professional artists in an intensive learning environment founded on artmaking excellence, creative experimentation, cross-pollination among diverse artistic disciplines, and a broad context of social and cultural understanding. CalArts also operates the Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater (REDCAT) in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in downtown Los Angeles.
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