The Bridge Awards
Thank you to everyone who was involved in our 12th Annual Bridge Awards at Walt Disney Concert Hall on May 21st! The evening was a wonderful success, and featured performances from Café Vida. Check out our picture gallery below or click over to our Honoree tab to learn more about the incredible honorees that shared the spotlight that evening.
Founding Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum
Gordon Davidson is the Founding Artistic Director of Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum at the Los Angeles Music Center and subsequently became Artistic Director of the Ahmanson Theatre and CTG’s newest space, the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City. He led the Mark Taper Forum throughout its first 38 seasons, guiding over 300 productions to its stage and winning countless awards for himself and the theatre – including the 1977 Tony Award for theatrical excellence. The Taper was also distinguished by having two of its plays, The Kentucky Cycle (even before it played in New York) and Angels in America, receive in consecutive years the Pulitzer Prize in Drama.
His directing credits include Pulitzer Prize winner The Shadow Box (Tony Award for directing),
The Trial of the Catonsville Nine (Tony nomination), Children of a Lesser God (Tony
nomination), In the Matter of J. Robert Oppenheimer, QED and Stuff Happens. For the inauguration of the Kennedy Center in 1971, he directed the world premiere of Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. He has been involved in the presentation of all of August Wilson’s plays and directed Jitney, one of the 10 plays in the Kennedy Center’s 2008 festival: August Wilson’s 20th
Among his many honors and awards he received the Margo Jones Award for encouraging new plays and playwrights, the Mr. Abbott Award for Lifetime Achievement, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Circle Distinguished Direction Awards and a Guggenheim Fellowship.
Senior Program Ofc. of Arts and Culture, Ford Foundation
Roberta Uno is Senior Program Officer for Arts and Culture, in the Freedom of Expression unit of the Education, Creativity, and Free Expression program of the Ford Foundation. She headed the development of, and programs the new Arts and Culture initiative in the United States, “Supporting Diverse Arts Spaces”. The initiative is focused on identifying and supporting exemplary facilities-based arts organizations that are national exemplars of artistic excellence, cultural diversity, innovative and equitable space development, and social justice. This initiative is also the focus of Ford Foundation Arts and Culture work in Egypt and Mexico. She also is a member of the Executive Committee of ArtPlace, a collaboration of national and regional philanthropies, the National Endowment for the Arts, and various federal agencies to accelerate creative placemaking in the United States.
Prior to her arrival at Ford in 2002, she was the founder and Artistic Director of the New WORLD Theater, in residence at the Fine Arts Center at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and a Professor of directing and dramaturgy in the University’s Department of Theater. Founded in 1979, New WORLD Theater over thirty years earned a national and international reputation as a visionary cultural institution dedicated to works by artists of color. A member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers, her directing and dramaturgy credits span three decades, with a primary focus on new plays, interdisciplinary work, and solo performance. Her publications include The Color Of Theater: Race, Culture, and Contemporary Performance, UK: Continuum Press, 2002 and Unbroken Thread: An Anthology of Plays by Asian American Women, Amherst: UMass Press, 1993; she is co-editor with Kathy Perkins of Contemporary Plays by Women of Color, Routledge, 1996; and editor of Monologues for Actors of Color: Men and Monologues for Actors of Color: Men and Women, NYC: Routledge, 1999.
Serving Downtown Los Angeles
Inner-City Arts is a learning oasis in the heart of Los Angeles’ Skid Row where professional artists teach students in a real studio environment. Since its inception, Inner-City Arts has served more than 150,000 of the city’s most at-risk children at no cost to the students. Founded in 1989, Inner-City Arts works in partnership with the Los Angeles Unified School District to bring elementary and middle school students to the campus during the school day for instruction in the visual and performing arts. High school students participate in after-school and Saturday programs.
National, long-term research proves that students who attend Inner-City Arts’ classes show dramatic increases in statewide standardized test scores: 25% in math, 18% in reading, 8% in English proficiency. They also learn skills that are highly valued in the 21st century workforce such as collaboration, and creative and conceptual thinking. Most importantly, students who receive education in the arts are able to create a whole new vision of self- a new world of hope that includes accomplishment and belonging.
Bob Bates, Co-Founder & Artistic Director. Bob has been an artist/inventor and educator for most of his adult life. He invents things, builds musical instruments, is a student of the Flamenco Guitar and improvises music on many types of harps and percussive instruments—he has a full machine shop and studio and can make anything that comes to his mind. Over 25 years ago, Bob had a vision to start an art school for children in downtown Los Angeles. Bob and business man Irv Jaeger teamed up and formed Inner-City Arts in 1989. Since that time the school has grown considerably and is known world-wide for its unique approach, efforts and training in the Arts and Creativity. Bob teaches children and adults regularly at Inner-City Arts, has taught Art at the University of Miami and has done many workshops in the US and Europe. In 2011 he started a Creativity Lab at Inner-City Arts. He has been married for 44 years. His education includes a BFA from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from the University of Cincinnati.
Joseph A. Collins – President & CEO. A veteran in the fields of arts, education and youth development, Joseph has spent most of his career providing opportunities for youth to express themselves and improve their lives by creating safe and nurturing arts rich environments in NY, LA and Chicago. As CEO of the Kanye West Foundation he led the implementation of the Loop Dreams™ program, a year-round music and education program that exposed youth from the inner city to the arts and executive produced the nationally televised stay-in-school concert series S.H.O.W (Students Helping Our World). Joseph spent his early career working for two of the premiere nonprofit agencies in New York City, University Settlement and The Door – A Center of Alternatives, a nonprofit youth agency serving over 10,000 young people a year. Under Joseph’s leadership, he grew the visual and performing arts programs, launched a national career awareness model for out-of-school youth, and led the partnerships of several New York City school programs. He also created and produced Roots! An Intergenerational Hip Hop Culture Celebration, a year-long arts and education initiative; developed comprehensive arts-in-education programs; as well as implemented a rigorous college preparation program, and managed a multi-year summer residential community service project. Joseph holds both a bachelor’s and Masters degree from New York University.