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James Franco Joins Tisch School of the Arts Gala Honoring Billy Crystal, Class of 1970


The Tisch School of the Arts announced today that Golden Globe® Award Winner, James Franco, will join its annual gala, honoring Billy Crystal, Class of 1970. The celebrated evening will be held on Monday, December 6th at the renowned Frederick P. Rose Hall, home of Jazz at Lincoln Center.

This year, The Face of Tisch gala 2010 will support the modernization of the original home of the Tisch School of the Arts, 111 Second Avenue. In the 1950's the building was known as The Central Plaza where Billy Crystal's father, Jack Crystal, produced legendary live jazz concerts known as "The Sessions." It was during these performances where young Billy learned to entertain an audience. His ties to the building grew stronger when he returned to 111 Second Avenue as a student at the School of the Arts (predecessor to Tisch) in 1968, where he graduated with his BFA in 1970. Now, Mr. Crystal once again returns to assist with the fundraising efforts for the building that played such a significant role in his family's and his own life.

"We are thrilled that such a renowned artist like James Franco has joined our special evening honoring Billy Crystal. For more than 40 years, Tisch School of the Arts has drawn on the vast resources of New York City and New York University to create an extraordinary training ground for the individual artist and scholar of the arts," Dean Mary Schmidt Campbell commented today. "Our students learn their craft in a spirited, risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a major research university. The Face of Tisch gala will raise funds to continue this critical work in educating and cultivating the next generation of artists."

Mr. Franco stated, "I am extremely proud to join the celebrated lineup of The Face of Tisch gala and participate in an evening that will support arts education and an institution like Tisch where I have benefited personally from their extraordinary training. I am thrilled to give back to my Tisch community."

The Face of Tisch is more than a fundraising event or a gala dinner. It is a celebration of some of the nation's most distinguished artists, alumni and current students performing live at Frederick P. Rose Hall. The star-studded evening will be produced and directed by Arthur Masella. Past Tisch galas have included performances from Tony Award® winning Broadway shows such as Spring Awakening and participation from some of the entertainment industry's most celebrated talent such as Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, Wyclef Jean, Bill Cosby, Marcia Gay Harden, Debra Messing, Laura Benanti, Elaine Stritch, Raúl Esparza, Rainn Wilson, Matthew Morrison, Joel and Ethan Coen, Tony Kushner, Mariska Hargitay, George Wolfe and Jesse L. Martin.

About Tisch School of the Arts
As one of the nation's leading centers of undergraduate and graduate study in the performing and cinematic arts, Tisch offers programs of study that incorporate state-of-the-art facilities; a collaboratively oriented community of award-winning faculty members; internship opportunities with established professionals; and the incomparable artistic and cultural resources of New York City.

ABOUT James Franco
James Franco is currently enrolled at the Maurice Kanbar Institute of Film & Television at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts where he is focusing on film production. Mr. Franco has been acting in films for 14 years and has been a highly acclaimed painter for over 20 years. This past year saw the Sundance Film Festival premieres of his short film Herbert White and the drama Howl. Franco also opened his first solo art exhibition, "The Dangerous Book Four Boys." This, in conjunction with his guest appearance on General Hospital, was used to successfully blend media with performance art at The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (MOCA). Mr. Franco has starred in the blockbuster Spider-Man films, Eat Pray Love and Milk. He is currently starring in 127 Hours.

For more information on this year's gala and ticket purchase information, visit

Photo Credit: BWW-Staff

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