Sofia Carson And Johnese Spisso To Be Honored At Los Angeles Ballet's Gala
Los Angeles Ballet (LAB), the city's own and only professional classical ballet company, celebrates its Season 13 Gala on Thursday, April 11, 2019 at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills. This year's honorees are Johnese Spisso, President of UCLA Health, CEO UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor, UCLA Health Services who will receive the Global Impact Award and actress and singer Sofia Carson, who will receive the Los Angeles Ballet Ambassador Award.
The Gala will be hosted by director, producer and choreographer Adam Shankman, who received the Industry Excellence Award at last year's gala, and will include a stunning performance of Balanchine's Serenade, that is featured in Los Angeles Ballet's current production. The evening's co-chairs are Leslie Kavanaugh and Kirsten Sarkisian.
The Gala supports Los Angeles Ballet's mission to provide world-class performances and provide diverse arts education outreach opportunities throughout Southern California. At a time when the arts are underfunded and continue to be absent from public school curricula, it is Los Angeles Ballet's mission to share the gift of dance with the broadest possible audience and to give back to the community that has so generously supported it. LAB opens its doors with free classes for all ages with A Chance to Dance and provides thousands of free tickets with Power of Performance (POP!), to special needs children and adults, military families, veterans, seniors, and others through collaboration with 50 social service community partners.
Los Angeles Ballet is known for its superb stagings of the Balanchine repertory, stylistically meticulous classical ballets and its commitment to new works. It was founded in 2004 by artistic directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary and executive director Julie Whittaker.
Past honorees include Paula Abdul, Lawrence Bender, Governor Gray Davis & Sharon Davis, Robert Day, Jenna Dewan, Linda Duttenhaver, Derek Hough, Ghada Irani, Nigel Lythgoe, Lori Milken, Jane Seymour, Adam Shankman and Ben Vereen.
For additional information about Los Angeles Ballet and the 2019 Gala please visit Los Angeles Ballet.
Johnese Spisso assumed the position of President of UCLA Health, CEO of UCLA Hospital System and Associate Vice Chancellor of UCLA Health Sciences in 2016. She is a nationally recognized academic healthcare leader with more than 30 years of experience, and oversees all operations of UCLA's hospitals and clinics as well as the health system's regional outreach strategy.
Before coming to UCLA, Spisso spent 20 years at UW Medicine, in Seattle, Washington, where she was chief health system officer and vice president of medical affairs for the University of Washington. While there, she played a major role in expanding collaborations with regional hospitals and in the operational integration of two major community hospitals into UW Medicine. She also helped to lead development of a statewide trauma system.
A registered nurse, Spisso rose through the ranks at UC Davis Medical Center to direct critical care; trauma, burn and emergency services; and the Life Flight Air-Medical Program. Before that, she was a critical-care nurse in the medical, surgical and transplant intensive care unit at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Presbyterian.
Spisso received a master's degree in health care administration and public administration from the University of San Francisco, and a bachelor's degree in health sciences from Chapman College. She earned her RN at the St. Francis School of Nursing. She has published numerous articles and book chapters on healthcare leadership, and she serves on several national boards, including the American Association of Medical Colleges' Council of Teaching Hospitals and Health Systems.
In the world of entertainment, Carson is a force of nature, rising to the top of all she endeavors with grace and style. Sofia is best known for her role as Evie, the daughter of the Evil Queen in the global phenomenon Disney Channel Original Movie "Descendants" and "Descendants 2." The soundtracks for the "Descendants" franchise have yielded two RIAA GOLD CERTIFIED Albums, one #1 album, and its VEVO/YouTube music videos have surpassed 1 billion views. Both "Descendants" soundtracks have over 130 million streams worldwide. Sofia has also starred in Disney's "Adventures In Babysitting" and Warner's "A Cinderella Story: If The Shoe Fits." She appeared as a Special Guest Star in the hit Freeform series "Famous In Love." In January 2018, it was announced that Carson would be starring in the upcoming Freeform television series "Pretty Little Liars: The Perfectionists". Descendants 3, the final movie of the successful franchise, will premier in 2019.
As a musician, her career started with a #1 Billboard album: the soundtrack for Disney Channel's Original Movie "Descendants" that featured Sofia's "Rotten To The Core" single. Sofia's foray into mainstream radio kicked off with the release of her first solo effort, the infectious "Love Is The Name." This single zoomed up the Top 40 radio charts and hit # 1 at Radio Disney. Sofia's past four singles, "Love Is The Name", "Back To Beautiful", "Ins and Outs" and "Rumors" have combined views of over 200 million. In 2018 alone, Sofia collaborated on single releases with producers Allan Walker, R3HAB and Galantis. Sofia is currently in the studio recording new music to be released in 2019. She has already received award nominations, among them nods for Teen Choice Awards's Next Big Thing, Premios Juventud for Producer's Choice Award and RDMA's Best Song. Sofia was also named Radio Disney's Next Big Thing (NBT). She is signed to Hollywood Records and Republic Records.
About Los Angeles Ballet
Founded in 2004 by Artistic Directors Thordal Christensen and Colleen Neary, and Executive Director Julie Whittaker, Los Angeles Ballet is known for its superb stagings of the Balanchine repertory, stylistically meticulous classical ballets, and its commitment to new works. LAB has become recognized as a world-class ballet company in twelve seasons, presenting 38 productions encompassing 69 works, including 18 commissioned world premieres. Los Angeles Ballet 'tours' throughout LA County, regularly appearing at five venues. Since its inception in 2006, LAB's Power of Performance (POP!) program has provided thousands of free tickets to underserved or disadvantaged children, seniors, veterans, and their families. LAB's A Chance to Dance Community Days outreach program was launched in October 2012.