On the Town: Hundreds attend Burbank Arts for All party


Since its establishment in 2006, the Burbank Arts for All Foundation has proved two things: By making its mission a reality, every student in Burbank public schools now receives a quality arts education as part of their core curriculum, and its members really know how to throw a great party.

The organization proved the latter to be true once again as its members held their fifth annual Party on the Plaza at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood this past Friday evening.

Staged to raise funding that ensures all of the 15,000-plus students in the Burbank Unified School District have equal access to a quality arts education, this event also honors individuals and organizations that embrace and forward the foundation’s mission.

Co-chaired by Joan McCarthy and Cathy Stevens, and emceed by NBC LA weatherman Fritz Coleman, the event included the 2016 Patron of the Arts Award, bestowed to the Los Angeles County Arts Education Initiative represented by Denise Grande, Mark Slavkin and Laura Zucker.

Also honored during the festivities, with awards designed by John Burroughs High School visual arts teacher Beth Morrison and her student Lilli Barbaduomo were Joaquin Miller Elementary School Principal Judy Hession, who received the Arts for All Educator Award, and retired teacher and community volunteer Judy Dellinger, who was named the organization’s 2016 Champion of the Arts.

Among the more than 400 people who enjoyed the evening’s dinner prepared by Wolfgang Puck Catering and a musical performance by SPLASH, was outgoing-Mayor Bob Frutos, making one of his last official appearances before turning over the mayoral reins to Jess Talamantes this past Monday.

Other special guests in attendance included City Council members David Gordon and Emily Gabel-Luddy, former Mayors Marsha Ramos and Jef Vander Borght, Scott Strobl, senior vice president and head of operations at Universal Studios Hollywood, who was accompanied by his daughter, Brianna, Carrie Brown, chairman of Burbank Arts for All, the group’s board of directors composed of Bob Mohler, Mauro Diaz, Jill Vander Borght, Alexandra Helfrich, Craig Murray, Tom Vice, Barbara Beckley, Ruth Davidson-Guerra, Freddy Jarjour, John Mazur, Kevin McCarney, Lili Rossi, Carson Smith, Caroline Ross Solberg, Heidi Trotta, Karen Volpei, Suzanne Weerts, and the foundation’s executive director, Trena Pitchford.

For more information about the Burbank Arts for All Foundation, its work as well as volunteer and support opportunities and upcoming events, visit


DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at or (818) 563-1007.