Gala Raises Record-Breaking Amount For Scholarships

Trustee Sharon Nyree Williams and President Raymond Tymas-Jones PhD. Photo: W. Westergard.

Gala Raises Record-Breaking Amount For Scholarships

The 2018 Scholarship Gala exceeded all expectations, setting a new record with more than $1 million raised for scholarships. President Raymond Tymas-Jones PhD was joined by special guest artists Sam Picart '13, Diana Huey '08, and SassyBlack '08 at the sold-out event.

Gala Raises Record-Breaking Amount For Scholarships

Cornish College of the Arts’ annual Scholarship Gala on October 27 raised more than $1 million dollars to help fund students’ education, announced Vice President of Advancement Anne Derieux today. The sold-out event was held at the Chihuly Garden and Glass at the Seattle Center.

New President Raymond Tymas-Jones PhD welcomed guests and reminded them of the importance of scholarships for Cornish students. “Sixty percent of the students who attend Cornish are from low-income families with a diverse range of backgrounds,” said President Tymas-Jones. “Roughly 25% of each incoming class would not be able to attend any college without scholarship donations.” The annual Scholarship Gala “has become extremely important in our efforts to assist the amazing young artists and creatives who chose to develop their craft and artistic acumen at Cornish.”

The President went on to thank the Carl and Renee Behnke family who served as the 2018 Honorary Gala Chairs.

Sherry Raisbeck ‘88, a graduate and current trustee of Cornish College of the Arts, and her husband James Raisbeck started the Raise the Paddle with a gift of $200,000. Former trustee Ed Littlefield issued a matching challenge that resulted in another $500,000 quickly secured for scholarships. By the end of the evening, Gala Chairs Virginia Anderson and Sharon Nyree Williams informed the cheering crowd that the 2018 Scholarship Gala had topped all previous records and raised more than $1 million.

Dance Chair Victoria Watts PhD and alumnus Sam Picart ‘13 served as co-hosts. Other special guest artists included alumni Diana Huey ‘08 and SassyBlack ‘08. Huey entertained during the supper with a selection of Broadway hits and popular songs including “Part of Your World” from Disney’s The Little Mermaid. As the first Asian-American to star as Ariel in a national tour, Huey championed a message of making a world without racism and bigotry the norm throughout her tour and appeared on numerous news shows.

SassyBlack led the popular Gala After Party. Currently a Seattle Music Commissioner, SassyBlack has been working in Seattle to help elevate youth voices and to make the music industry stronger throughout the region. She is currently appearing in Earshot Jazz Festival. Her latest EP, “Wakanda Funk Lounge,” was released in June 2018.

Current Cornish students Wilysha Walton ‘19 and Alexander Hawker ‘19 also performed during the Gala.

Support for the Gala was provided by Bon Appetit, Northwest Security Services Inc, Holland Partner Group, Foster Pepper, Chihuly Garden and Glass, Coldstream Wealth Management, AllianceBernstein, Carolyn Wassmer Design, City Flowers, and 321 Foto.