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Cornish Gala Raises Half-Million for Students

Cornish Gala Raises Half-Million for Students

: Cornish gala: dance students (l ro r) perform "Echad Mi Yodea": Madkenzie Kimberel, Sam Opsal and Mariah Martens. Photo by Barry Peterson for TPNW, Inc. © 2013.

The College’s annual gala, Cornish Celebrates an Evening of the Arts, starring Kronos Quartet and featuring an array of Cornish talent, raises $535,000 for scholarships.

The number is in, and it is large. This year’s edition of Cornish Celebrates an Evening of the Arts took in an astonishing total of $535,000 for scholarships on Sunday, November 17. To put it another way, guests at the annual gala raised more than one-half million dollars to support Cornish students. The funds were raised from ticket sales to the event, corporate sponsorships, non-attending donations and an after-dinner “Raise the Paddle” pledge event. The numbers attending broke all records for the event. The gala was featured in Seattle Times in the column of reporter Nicole Brodeur.

Of the impressive sum, $100,000 was a donation from James Raisbeck to add to an endowed scholarship fund in the name of his wife and Cornish aluma, Sherry Raisbeck (AR ’88). The Raisbecks have been major donors for some time, and the main campus theater is named for them, Raisbeck Performance Hall.

The “Raise the Paddle” event garnered over $300,000 of the total. Once again, the College was delighted to have a “matching angel,” Cornish trustee Ed Littlefield, who matched every $1,000 pledge. This provided a match of $50,000.

The gala featured the venerable Kronos Quartet, fresh from a 40th anniversary performance at Seattle’s Neptune Theatre. The quartet — David Harrington (violin), John Sherba (violin), Hank Dutt (viola), and Sunny Yang (cello) — is known internationally for their daring work re-imagining the string quartet. The members of Kronos received honorary doctorates in music at this past commencement, and they said they now consider themselves alumni. The quartet was joined by an impressive array of student work, including a performance of Bach’s Suite No. 5 in C Minor, videos of art projects, and a performance of a musical theater piece, The 11 O’Clock Song from the play, Working. All were exceptionally well received.

This year’s dance piece, Echad Mi Yodea, by Isreali choreographer Ohad Naharin, earned a rousing response, complete with howls and hoots.

On hand to help celebrate Cornish were mayor-elect Ed Murray and his husband, Michael Shiosake. They came in support of Cornish trustee Dorothy Mann. Also in the audience were arts leaders from several organizations in town. 


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