Howard and Grazer Honored at This is Tisch!


On Monday, November 2, 2009, NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts held their Gala celebration at the Frederick P. Rose Hall, home to the famous Jazz at Lincoln Center series.

kristen2The honorees for the evening were Brian Grazer (Dean’s Council, parent, Founder and Producer of Imagine Entertainment), Ron Howard (parent, Founder and Director of Imagine Entertainment), Marcia Gay Harden (’88 MFA, Acting, Academy Award and Tony Award winning actress), Diana King (Trustee and President, The Charles & Lucille King Family Foundation) and Sheila Nevins (President of HBO Documentary Films). Photo above shows, left to right: Ron Howard, Sir Howard Stringer (President, CEO and Chairman of Sony), Sheila Nevins (President HBO Films), Richard Pleper (Co-President of HBO), Kristen Johnston (in photo, left), Spike Lee, and Brian Grazer.

The funds raised from the Gala celebration help support the Tisch Talent Identification Process (TIP), part of a new initiative to bring in and keep “highly motivated, ambitious, hard working, curious, self-starting risk takers who have already demonstrated their talent and commitment to their artistic field but who may have considered the costs of a Tisch education out of reach.”

“They need this kind of support,” Ron Howard said. “It’s really crucial because the arts are always invigorated and often led by people coming from corners of the country or the globe who don’t necessarily have the resources to afford a place like this. So, you want those very creative catalysts to have access to a good school like Tisch.”

Under the new initiative, the school likens its search for exceptional talent to the way in which “elite schools scout for members of their athletic teams.”


“Once they get to Tisch, we make sure they’re able to stay,” said Mary Schmidt Campbell, Dean of the school (shown above with Alec Baldwin). “Every year, it’s been extraordinary to see the kind of support we get for that group.”

Ron Howard attended USC Film School but his daughters attended Tisch. “With my girls,” he said, “I couldn’t even get them to look at other schools. It was very frightening as a father. They were so determined this was the place. They got the grades and did their auditions and here they are.”


Honoree and HBO Films President, Sheila Nevins (shown above with Spike Lee), said the best thing about her award was the recognition from young people. “The interns from Tisch are the smartest, the most difficult, the most aggressive and soon to be the most famous – that’s what this means,” she said.

The school boasts a long list of award-winning actors, writers and directors as well as numerous acclaimed Broadway and television stars. Academy Award winners Martin Scorcese, Joel Coen and Ang Lee are just some of the talent coming out of Tisch over the years.

The Host for the evening was Kristen Johnston, a 1989 Graduate of Tisch. Johnston arrived in an original gown and accessories by Christian Siriano, a recent winner of Project Runway. “He made everything for me, including the jewelry,” she said. “It’s so beautiful.”


On hand for the celebration were several A-list celebrities including Spike Lee, ’82, Glenn Close (photo, above), Alec Baldwin, ’94, Samuel L. Jackson, David Pittu, Melina Kanakaredes, Sterling K. Brown and Sir Howard Stringer.

For more information on NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, please go to www.tisch.nyu.edu

This is Tisch! Big Apple Awards

Outstanding Achievement in Cinematic collaboration: Brian Grazer, Ron Howard

Outstanding Achievement in the Performing Arts: Marcia Gay Harden

Philanthropic Leadership in the Arts: Diana King

Outstanding Achievement in Documentary Programming: Sheila Nevins

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