The Real Value of Philanthropy: The Princess Grace Foundation
The Princess Grace Foundation funding is thanks to its many philanthropic donors including other foundations such as the FLARE and F.O.R.E. foundations that Generously endowed the funds for the LOUIS D. SRYBNIK FILM AWARD given to Anaiis Cisco.
Without philanthropy would art even exist? It most certainly would but probably not to the extent that we need it. We need it to expose our children to art in schools, to expand and change ideas that are not commercial, and to give young undiscovered artists a chance. I would go so far as to say to make life worth living.
IRK Magazine attended the 2018 annual Princess Grace Gala celebrated in the presence of her Serene Highness The Princess of Monaco to understand the spirit of charitable giving to the arts. The Princess Grace Foundation-USA was founded 36 years ago by Prince Rainier III of Monaco to honor his wife, Princess Grace Kelly’s legacy. They have awarded nearly 800 artists. Some notable Princess Grace Award recipients include Emmy winner Cary Fukunaga, director of HBO’s “True Detective”, Jane Eyre and Beasts of No Nation; Tony Award winner for Best Direction of a Play, Anna D. Shapiro; Pulitzer and Tony Award winning playwright Tony Kushner; Golden Globe Award winner Oscar Isaac; Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Artistic Director Robert Battle; and New York City Ballet’s Tiler Peck; as well as choreographers Camille A. Brown and Michelle Dorrance.
IRK Magazine had the opportunity to speak with Her Excellency Maguy Maccario Doylee Ambassador of Monaco to the United States and Canada. Her Excellency serves as Vice President of The Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, USA and President of The Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation, USA. In recognition for her services to the Principality of Monaco and the Princely Family, she was presented by His Serene Highness Prince Rainier III of Monaco in 1996, with the prestigious “Chevalier de l’Ordre de Saint-Charles” distinction. As well as her tireless support of the royal family, she is a committed advocate for children and women’s issues, and a tireless worker on behalf of charitable and philanthropic endeavors.
IRK: We hope to interview some of these winners including the film student awarded the highly competitive Louis D. SRYBNIK Film Award Generously endowed by the F.O.R.E Foundation for Art, Science, and Education, and the FLARE Foundation for the Arts through the Princess Grace Foundation-USA. What makes the Princess Grace awards so special?
HE Maguy Maccario Doylee: First of all, it is such a lovely tribute to the memory of Princess Grace and her legacy and it is so nice to see the young artists that are being awarded for their talent in the fields of Dance, theater and film and every year it is a very exciting event.
IRK: What do you think winning means to most for these young artists?
HE Maguy Maccario Doylee: It helps them fulfill their dreams which is so important and sometimes they do not have the financial capacity to finish what they have dreamed of becoming and that is really the goal of the Princess Grace Foundation and many contributing downers and Foundations. I am so happy to see the young artists, who were acknowledged years ago, now blossoming into celebrities.
We also caught up with Toby E. Boshak the Princess Grace Foundation -USA Executive Director who thanks to her years with the Princess Grace Foundation and her upbringing surrounded by art, sees why it is so rewarding to support the arts.
IRK: Why is it so important to give to the arts?
Toby E. Boshak: The arts feed us and our souls and I am quoting Mikhail Baryshnikov who received the Prince Rainier III award in 2005 who opened his speech by saying that the arts feed our souls and without that we would be empty so the importance of supporting both visual and performing arts is to make us whole people and to give us insight into various issues that people around the world are dealing with.
The arts are something I have always had, and I had been very fortunate to have in my life. Tonight seeing these artists being honored and given their opportunity to take their potential to greatness is incredibly rewarding to me. I have been with the foundation for 22 years and I can’t imagine doing anything else and it is this night that brings it all together.
To fully understand the benefit to the arts and its artists we also took the time to interview several artists including a young up and coming film director Anaiis Cisco. She is a storyteller with a social conscience and a lot to say as she is still a film student at the San Francisco State University. A film student who was awarded the highly competitive LOUIS D. SRYBNIK FILM AWARD Generously endowed by the F.O.R.E Foundation for Art, Science, and Education, and the FLARE Foundation for the Arts through the Princess Grace Foundation-USA.
IRK: How does it feel to have won the Princess Grace, LOUIS D. SRYBNIK FILM AWARD endowed by the FLARE and F.O.R.E Foundations?
Anaiis Cisco: It has been really exciting to be here tonight and receive the LOUIS D. SRYBNIK FILM AWARD. I am really excited for my career as a filmmaker. Being on stage tonight I realized that I have a lot of work ahead and I am really looking forward to telling fresh stories and introducing my work at events like tonight.
IRK: Do you consider yourself a storyteller above all?
Anaiis Cisco: Yes absolutely! I believe that today with the digital age anyone can consider themselves a filmmaker but storytelling is something that should be encouraged and supported.
IRK: What do you think this award is going to do for you?
Anaiis Cisco: It is going to transform my life as a filmmaker. I already feel transformed just being here tonight. I am excited to see how my work will evolve and where my work will be seen in the country and in the world. Starting off in Brooklyn and now being amongst such fine people is really exciting and I am gearing up for all the work that is to come, and introducing audiences to social ills through this creative work.
IRK: With the money you won tonight you are going to start your film?
Anaiis Cisco: Yes, I am going to shoot my thesis film over four days in November. The film is a black queer love story about two young women who fall in love while working in a cafe but they both have boyfriends so they lack the space to explore their love for each other outside of the work. When the protagonist invites her love interest over her boyfriend walks in on their kiss and as he is discovering her sexual identity and transformation, it is happening to her in that same moment. It takes place in Brooklyn. I am just trying to show intimacy and vulnerability on the screen with black subjects.
IRK: Princess Grace who was one of the most gracious women on earth made this night possible. Do you think she is looking down at this moment and is proud of what she is doing for you?
Anaiis Cisco: I really hope that I can be as gracious as she is as a filmmaker. Seeing her work, her movements and how she embodied her characters is all so compelling and fascinating and I hope that I can do the same with my films and my actors.
Plus this night would not be possible if it was not for her support of artists during her life. So yes I believe she is here. Actually, she is right over there.
The Princess Grace Foundation funding is thanks to its many philanthropic donors including other foundations such as the FLARE and F.O.R.E. foundations that endowed the funds for the LOUIS D. SRYBNIK FILM AWARD given to Anaiis Cisco.
The FLARE Foundation for the Arts was formed for the purpose of sponsoring and presenting artistic performances throughout the United States in connection with this nation’s Bicentennial Celebration. Thereafter the foundation’s mission is to further the recognition of the arts.
The F.O.R.E Foundation for Art, Science and Education provides programs, projects, grants, loans and scholarships for students, practitioners of the arts; science, personal rehabilitation and education. It also supports other not-for-profit organizations/practitioners established to benefit education or rehabilitation, the arts, and sciences.
The Grant they gave is in honor of Louis D. Srybnik, one of the original founders of the FLARE Foundation for the Arts, as well as the F.O.R.E Foundation, and a Benefactor for both Foundations during his life and in his legacy.
IRK Magazine also had the opportunity to speak with past winners to see how much this coveted the Princess Grace awards has made a difference to them. We first spoke to the Actress from American Housewife Carly Hughes.
IRK: How has being a recipient of the Princess Grace Award in 2003 changed your life?
Carly Hughes: I think once I won, I realized what a big deal it was. At that age, you just do things because you are supposed to do them and the next and the next thing and then you take a moment. The moment for me being the Gala when I received the award I realized wow this is an accomplishment. The Prince Grace Foundation is huge as it represents everything to the arts in America.
IRK: Do you think Princess Grace would be proud of her legacy?
Carly Hughes: Absolutely, It is like she were here tonight sprinkling fairy dust over all of us. I think she would be very happy.
We also spoke to internationally acclaimed choreographer Kyle Abraham who was back this year to receive his second award as the Statue Award Recipient. He gave us insights on how the award has helped him to get recognized; and how the financial aid has allowed him to support his dancers on a world tour, but also given him the financial freedom to spend time with his family.
IRK: This is your second time winning a Princess Grace award. That must be a very rare honor?
Kyle Abraham: That is part of the beauty of winning the statue award. It is saying that Princess Grace was there at the beginning when you are an emerging artist. I have gone through a lot of my career and it is great that this organization is still there supporting me and honoring me in a way that people who may not have seen my work are seeing it and acknowledging this history of being with Princess Grace.
IRK: If you could say one thing that the Princess Grace award has done for you what would it be?
Kyle Abraham: It has been an opportunity to not only do more for my dancers but to spend more time with my mother and my family. When you are too busy paying off student loans and just surviving in this industry in NY, it is great to receive the opportunity to work and make a living as an artist, Princess Grace allowed me to sustain my life and see my family.