Downtown L.A.’s REDCAT theater celebrated its 10th anniversary Saturday night with a gala dinner hosted by debut master of ceremonies Jack Black and honoring artist Catherine Opie and the Walt Disney Co.
Launched by the California Institute of the Arts inside the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex in 2003, the space -- whose name is an acronym of Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater -- has a mandate to present innovative visual and performance works.
Black has been a supporter since he married -- as he put it -- into the CalArts family. “I came to an event a few years ago and really liked what they do, and my wife, Tanya, is an alumni of CalArts, and so is my father-in-law, jazz bass player, musician Charlie Haden, who started the jazz program at CalArts,” said Black, who told The Hollywood Reporter he has more projects in the works with his band Tenacious D.
Tim Allen presented the award to Disney, with studio president Alan Bergman accepting. Disney has fostered the work and careers of many artists through its years of commitment to CalArts. This year, the school saw three graduates nominated for Oscars in the best animation category: Tim Burton for Frankenweenie, Mark Andrews for Brave and Rich Moore for Wreck-It Ralph.
"It's so exciting to see how this theater and art center has emerged as a bold and logical expression of the CalArts mission. Disney is thrilled to be a partner in helping CalArts develop and nurture the talents of today and tomorrow," said Bergman.
Artist Lari Pittman introduced honoree Opie, whose current show of portraits and landscapes is up at Hollywood’s Regen Projects (6750 Santa Monica Blvd.).
A glittering crowd attended the gala, including event co-chair Tim Disney, Bravo’s Dukes of Melrose star Cameron Silver, renowned artist Mark Bradford, Lilly Tartikoff Karatz, Viveca Paulin-Farrell, philanthropist Eileen Norton and celebrity restaurateur Michael Chow.
“This is my first year invited. I hadn’t known about it beforehand, but I intend to be a loyal supporter,” said Chow, who added that he’s especially pleased by the success of his recently opened Malibu Mr. Chow.
Performance artist and CalArts alumnus Cynthia Hopkins provided entertainment, while The Kitchen for Exploring did the catering, including salted caramel brownies. The night brought in a total of $600,000.