Advancement, Gala, Press releases

More than $1 Million for Student Scholarships

Seattle, WA – Cornish College of the Arts’ annual Scholarship Gala on October 27 raised more than $1M 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 Ph.D. welcomed guests and reminded them of the importance of scholarships for Cornish students. Approximately 90% of the students attending Cornish College of the Arts receive scholarships, he said. “This event 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 $1M.

Dance chair Victoria Watts Ph.D. 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.

Media Contact

Cornish Communications

Main Campus Center
1000 Lenora St.
Seattle, WA
(800) 726-ARTS

Read More

A person typing on a laptop.

Front Page

Winter Surfs the Cornish Website

Read more

Lenora St. Blog

Five Questions with Faculty Member Sheila Daniels

Read more


Alumni: Listen to Jarrad Powell and Adrienne Verner New Album

Read more

Staff + Faculty News

Natalia Ilyin, Cornish Design Faculty, Receives Fulbright Specialist Award

Read more