Party for the Arts Logo (for web)



Burbank, California – April 24, 2017 – Burbank Arts For All Foundation celebrated its 6th annual Party for the Arts Gala Event on April 21st at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood, honoring three exemplary stewards of arts education for Burbank public schools: Woodbury University was presented with the Patron of the Arts Award; David Starr Jordan’s Vocal Music Director Christine DeMore received the Arts for All Educator Award; and volunteer Brenda Burroughs was honored with the Champion of the Arts Award.  Upon acceptance of their award, each honoree expressed their sentiments: Mrs. Burroughs encouraged the guests to volunteer wherever their passion lies; the President of Woodbury University Dr. David Steele-Figueredo emphasized the University’s commitment to the creative arts; and Mrs. DeMore shared that she considers the Foundation to be Burbank Unified’s own N.E.A.: the “Neighborhood Endowment for the Arts.”

All proceeds from the Party for the Arts Gala celebration benefit Burbank Arts For All Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to ensure every student in Burbank public schools receives a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum and whose vision is to inspire Burbank to build the finest arts education program in California.

Weathercaster NBC4 Southern California’s Fritz Coleman served as Master of Ceremonies for an evening that brought in more than $100,000.00 in net revenue to help support the Foundation’s grant making program, community engagement efforts, along with the Foundation’s on-going operations.

In a heartfelt speech to over 420 guests – including donors, business executives, community leaders, and educators – Carrie Brown, Chair of the Board of Directors, said,

“While we are going to have a lot more fun here tonight, we take our work very seriously — and there is still so much work to be done. While we will continue to support teachers needing critical arts supplies or materials for an innovative project, we are excited that the District is determining the three-year priorities for their Arts for All plan. We are ready to deepen our partnership with them and our community to make larger, more impactful, sustainable gifts that will help the district meet critical priorities and strengthen existing programs.”

She continued,

“Everyone in this room has a personal reason, or memory, or story about what the arts means to you and, in many cases, how it has changed your life or the life of your child. There are so many examples where the arts have been a life preserver, a powerful teaching tool, a key to unlock creative thinking. This is why we must continue to generously support, fiercely protect, and thoughtfully, sustainably grow the arts in our schools. Not just for the students who elect to study choir or theatre or dance, but also the students in a Geometry, Science or History class, English Language Learners, or students in alternative education programs.”

Among the attendees for the night were: State Senator Anthony Portantino; State Assemblymember Laura Friedman; Burbank Unified Board of Education President Larry Applebaum, Vice President Steve Ferguson, Clerk Dr. Roberta Reynolds, and members Charlene Tabet and Dr. Armond Aghakhanian; Burbank Mayor Jess Talamantes and City Council members Bob Frutos and Emily Gabel-Luddy, as well as Councilmember-Elect Sharon Springer; Michael and Caroline Cusumano; former Mayors Tom Flavin, Jef Vander Borght and Marsha Ramos; and Scott Strobl, who serves as the Senior Vice President of Operations at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Trena Pitchford, Executive Director of Burbank Arts For All Foundation, added,

“We are so grateful for the generous support of our community, Board of Directors, amazing volunteers, in-kind donors, and extremely generous sponsors which include The Walt Disney Company, Warner Bros. Entertainment, Woodbury University, NBCUniversal, Nickelodeon Animation Studios, Cusumano Real Estate Group, Real Value Properties, and Sony Pictures Entertainment, among many others. We are also grateful to our event co-chairs, Joan McCarthy and Cathy Stevens, whose leadership, vision, and grace ensure this event’s success year after year. We look forward to putting these funds to work in the coming year and we extend our deepest thanks to everyone who supported our Party for the Arts Gala!”

Continued Pitchford,

“My favorite part of the night – beyond witnessing all of our guests dancing on the dance floor – was incorporating those directly impacted by some of the investments we have made in arts education. From greeting guests with the talents of John Burroughs High School’s Vocal Music students, to hearing Avra Warsofsky share the impact of the arts on Magnolia Park School, to seeing high school students Micangelo Ferrante and Brighton Thomas perform on stage and, finally, the testimony of Walt Disney Elementary School Principal, Molly Hwang, and 3rd grade student Morgan Wright, who closed the evening’s program with, ‘The arts are something to look forward to during  a day full of tests. The arts is something that you can do at any age, any time, any place.’”

About Burbank Arts For All Foundation

Burbank Arts for All Foundation believes the arts are transformative. As a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, the Foundation believes all students should have equal access to a quality arts education that nurtures a balanced approach to life, develops 21st century skills for any career path a student chooses, and further enriches a healthy community and creative economy in Burbank.

Beyond the engagement programs the Foundation hosts or the supplemental funding it provides for creativity and innovation in the classroom, the Foundation is dedicated to this work because it is right for the kids and the Burbank community. For the Foundation, it is not just about supporting the next artist, but also helping to foster innovative, well-rounded humans in the world.

Since 2006, Burbank Arts for All Foundation has worked in partnership with Burbank Unified School District (BUSD) to reinstate and grow arts education in the classroom through its support of BUSD’s Arts for All plan. The impact of the Foundation’s work has supported thousands of students in their academic, social and emotional growth and we have engaged a unique coalition of major studios, local businesses, media companies, parents, educators, the City of Burbank and the Burbank Unified School District in the importance of a quality arts education.

Click here for more information on the Party for the Arts and to watch videos about our honorees.

Read news articles about the event:

The Burbank Leader: On the Town: Fundraiser Makes Sure Arts are for All to Enjoy Burbank Arts for All Foundation Gala Nets Over $100,000 for Arts Education

THANK YOU to Ross Benson for capturing the night! We appreciate all you do for our community!