The Art of Elysium 3rd Annual “Heaven” Gala


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It was announced today that The Art of Elysium is holding their Third Annual Black Tie charity gala titled “Heaven” on Saturday, January 16, 2010.  The event will take place the night before the Golden Globes and will be chaired by Chairman of the Board for The Art of Elysium and Founder of Relativity Media, LLC Ryan Kavanaugh, West Coast Editor of Vogue Lisa Love, Microsoft’s Shawn Sanford and the CEO of Boucheron Jean-Christophe Bedos.  The event is being produced by Jeffrey Best of Best Events and sponsored by Title Sponsors Relativity Media, Boucheron, MSN and Vogue and presenting sponsor, Alexandre Birman

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Artist, Shepard Fairey (creator of “Obey Giant” and the force behind the Obama “Hope” poster) is this year’s visionary and will create all visual and conceptual aspects of the themed gala entitled “Heaven”.  Shepard’s remarks on “Heaven”, “When I was asked by The Art of Elysium to conceive my vision of heaven, I immediately thought of a world where creativity, compassion and connection are celebrated. I thought of humanity and nature existing in harmony; after all, humans are part of nature, not above nature, and connected to one another just the same. We need to look out for each other and understand how our actions impact others and the planet we inhabit. 

Art, for me and for many artists, is a way to express our ideals, visualize them and see them take shape. It lets us see our world in a new light, and make a blueprint for a better world. Sometimes we even try to make the best one. Who knows what heaven would mean to us if so many influential artists hadn’t tried to depict it? Art is also tangible, and whenever kids make art it gives them something to hold and be proud of. In this sense, it’s a form of therapy. When I see kids make art, I see them dream. 
In my own dream, interconnectedness is visible everywhere, but I see it especially through the lens of music. One particular image captures it perfectly: a spontaneous photo of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed arm in arm, taken in 1972 by the amazing photographer Mick Rock (who incidentally has also worked with The Art of Elysium). Iggy is wearing a T-Rex t-shirt, adding a fourth collaborator in T-Rex’s Marc Bolan. These musicians have all made a tremendous impact on my life, and to me there is no more perfect symbol of musical connection than this photo. All four of the musicians (including Bolan) have made a tremendous impact as individuals, and have also been creative collaborators who made great art together. 
In that spirit, I hope we can each have the vision to make great things in this world, and together find a harmony to inspire one another. I especially hope we can inspire children to imagine a better world, and work with them to create it.” 

Kirsten Dunst will be receiving the “Spirit of Elysium” Award at the gala.  “Art has always held a therapeutic and fulfilling place in my life, as it allows me to channel any sort of negativity and turn it into something positive.  I applaud The Art of Elysium for introducing that idea to the lives of young people who are courageously battling serious and terminal illnesses.  The warriors I have gotten to meet through The Art of Elysium have blown me away with their humor, their sophistication and their wisdom.  I feel so lucky to be able to spend time with them.  They embody a kind of strength rarely seen in most adults.  The relationships I have within The Art of Elysium community are very close to my heart and I will treasure them always” says Dunst.  Kirsten has been an enthusiastic supporter of The Art of Elysium for over six years.  In that time, she has been very active in the hospital programs, participating in plays, as well as reading to and doing artwork with the children.  Additionally, she has secured considerable financial support for the organization, as well as serving as a valuable partner in working with important corporate sponsors.  Both the 2009 Visionary, Jim Sheridan and the 2009 “Spirit of Elysium” award recipient, Eva Mendes will be in attendance to pass the torch to Shepard and Kirsten. 

The event will take place at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard with cocktails beginning at 7:00 pm followed by Dinner and a Vogue Fashion Show starting at 8:00 pm.  The private after party will take place at a location within the venue and will feature a musical tribute to the works of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed with special performances by Billy Idol and Steve Jones with other surprise guests.  The turn tables will host various deejays including Elijah Wood, Steve Jones, Chris Holmes and Shepard Fairey

Founder of The Art of Elysium, Jennifer Howell states, “Heaven on earth for The Art of Elysium is bringing artists to the bedsides of hospitalized children and empowering the artists to give the gift of their creative process.  The “Heaven” gala was created to give a visionary the license to create their own personal version of “Heaven” and it is our hope that by experiencing “Heaven” year after year that guests reflect on the mission of the charity and ask themselves what is the best way to give back.  We are so grateful to Shepard Fairey for sharing his belief in interconnectivity with us and to Kirsten Dunst for being the true “Spirit of Elysium”.  A very special thank you to the Chairman of the Board and Event Co-Chair Ryan Kavanaugh for all that he does to allow us to give our children artistic experiences.  A thank you to the Event Co-Chairs Lisa Love, Shawn Stanford and Jean-Christophe Bedos for contributing both their personal time and companies’ support to making this year’s event a tremendous success.” 

"The Art of Elysium is an enormous source of pride for me," said Ryan Kavanaugh, CEO of Relativity Media. "It is the first and only charity which supports and brings together two worlds, struggling artists and children in need.  There are few things more rewarding than artists lending their extraordinary talents to raise the spirits of sick children. The Art of Elysium’s programs put together artists and children in a way that ensures that the artist’s future support of the charity will continue to build and enrich the children’s lives forever. This gala is not only our primary and most important fundraiser which allows us to touch the lives of over 30,000 children a year; it is the only place in the world to be on the night before the Golden Globes. To have such a gifted artist as Shepard Fairey as our visionary, means we're in for a thrilling evening" 

Lisa Love remarks, “We are proud to support The Art of Elysium for their commitment to enriching the lives of children thought the Arts, we thank them.”

Shawn Sanford comments, “We are happy to continue our on-going partnership with The Art of Elysium by sponsoring the 2010 “Heaven” gala.  We’ve seen firsthand the work they do in helping children develop their inner creative voices, fostering strength and confidence for them to become tomorrow’s leaders.”

Jean-Christophe Bedos says, “We here at Boucheron are thrilled and honored to be involved in this great evening to benefit The Art of Elysium.  This is our first year to collaborate with this gala and hope it will continue for many more years to come.” 

The host committee this year will be the following and have all confirmed to attend: Kevin Abrams, Laila Ali, Amanda Anka & Jason Bateman, Dave Annable, Justin Bartha, Jeffrey Best, Rachel Bilson, Brent Bolthouse, Kate Bosworth, Joy Bryant, Sophia Bush, Eric Buterbaugh, Scott Caan, Sean Daly, Kirsten Dunst, Sunny Mabrey & Ethan Embry, Stacey & Eric Eisner, Amanda & Shepard Fairey, Daya Fernandez, Ashlee Margolis & Dan Fishman, Andrea Fiuczynski, James Franco, Liseanne & Peter Frankfurt, James Gilbert, Topher Grace, Amber & Kevin Held, Lawren Howell, Finola Hughes & Russell Young, Kirsty Hume & Donovan Leitch, Scarlett Johansson, Rashida Jones, Heather & Matthew Kavanaugh, Maggie Kayne, Bettina Korek, Eric Kranzler, Ali Larter & Hayes MacArthur, Andrew Lee, Maryam & Josh Lieberman, Benji Madden, Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, Andrew Marcus, Alexis Maybank, Eva Mendes & George Augusto, Patrik Milani, Sara Moonves, Pamela & Cedd Moses, Kimberly & Michael Muller, Ashley Olsen, Matthew Rhys, Giovanni Ribisi,  Katherine Ross, Ryan Seacrest, Fran & Jim Sheridan, Cameron Silver & Jeff Snyder, Ben Silverman, Christian Siriano, Amy Smart, Brittany Snow, Bonnie Somerville, Kit Tamkin, Tucker Tooley, Susan & Dan Unger, Kimm & Alessandro Uzielli, Guinevere Van Seenus & Scott Oster, Nicole Vecchiarelli, Jeff Vespa, Mark Wahlberg, Suzanne & Brian Watson, Alexandra Wilkis Wilson, Alicia Witt and Elijah Wood.

In addition the following are confirmed to attend the event:  Micah Alberti, Justin Baldoni, Bryce Dallas-Howard, Ioan Gruffudd, Amber Heard, Billy Idol, Steve Jones, Minka Kelly, Mia Maestro, Demetri Martin, Jennifer Morrison, Austin Nichols, Amaury Nolasco, Melissa Ordway, Katy Perry, Mick Rock, Z-Trip, Rumer Willis, and Odette Yustman

The Art of Elysium is a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization, founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, which encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions.  They provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines:  acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing.  They work with numerous hospitals and hospices throughout Los Angeles, California and began servicing hospitals in New York, New York in 2009.

For more information on The Art of Elysium please go to


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