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Hollywood Arts Council's 28th Annual Charlie Awards Luncheon to Honor Richard M. Sherman, Open Fist Theatre and More, 4/25


The Hollywood Arts Council's 28th Annual Charlie Awards Luncheon, benefiting the Council's arts programs for underserved children in the community, will be held on April 25, 2014. Emceed by ABC7 Television's George Pennacchio, the luncheon will take place in the Blossom Room in the Hollywoof Roosevelt Hotel. Arrivals will happen between 11:15am and 12:00noon, at which time the event begins.

This year's Charlie Award honorees include Richard M. Sherman (Music Arts Award), Newfilmmakers Los Angeles (Cinema Arts Award), George Pennacchio (Media Arts Award), Open Fist Theatre Company (Theatre Arts Award), Pink's Hot Dogs (Inaugural Culinary Arts Award), Christy McAvoy and the Historic Resources Group (Preservation Arts Award), and the Hollywood Christmas Parade (Entertainment Arts Awards). The event will also feature a special musical presentation of Sherman brothers songs performed by students from Selma Avenue School.

The Sherman Brothers' (Richard M. Sherman and the late Robert B. Sherman) prolific careers have spanned over six decades. Their achievements include two Academy Awards for MARY POPPINS (score) and CHIM CHIM CHER-EE (song), nine Oscar nominations, three Grammy Awards, 24 Gold and Platinum albums, a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and notably a National Medal of Arts presented at the White House in 2008. The Sherman Brothers' 36 feature Disney film credits include: JUNGLE BOOK, THE PARENT TRAP and the WINNIE THE POOH series. They wrote Disney's long-running television theme song, THE WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR and their many contributions to Disney theme parks include THE TIKI TIKI TIKI ROOM and the most translated song on earth, IT'S A SMALL WORLD (AFTER ALL). After their Disney decade, The Shermans wrote words and music for CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG, SNOOPY COME HOME and CHARLOTTE'S WEB. The Walt Disney Company's 2013 film SAVING MR. BANKS, about the making of the film MARY POPPINS, features actors Jason Schwartzman as Richard M. Sherman and B.J. Novak as Robert B. Sherman, along with Tom Hanks as Walt Disney and Emma Thompson as P.L. Travers. To learn more, please visit the website,

Founded in 2007 and located in Sunset Gower Studios, the non-profit 501(c) 3 organization NEWFILMMAKERS LOS ANGELES has established itself as a strong gathering place for independent cinema with over 20,000 constituents in the Los Angeles community, screening upwards of 750 films from over 43 countries. In addition to fostering the advancement of new filmmakers and its members in Los Angeles, NewFilmmakers Los Angeles' objective is to promote the economic, educational, social, and cultural advancement of filmmaking, arts and culture. Many well-known films have debuted and been discovered at NewFilmmakers Los Angeles including TOO MUCH SLEEP, ZERO DAY and BLAIR WITCH PROJECT. To learn more, please visit

George Pennacchio is the Entertainment Guru for ABC7 Eyewitness News. He is also host of ABC7's "On The Red Carpet At The Oscars" pre-show and post-show. He has won three Emmy Awards? for his work and has been honored with The Press Award by The Publicists Guild of America for his coverage of the entertainment industry. Pennacchio is only one of six journalists who have received The Critics' Critic Award from The Broadcast Film Critics Association, North America's largest critics group. He is also the recipient of several National Entertainment Journalism Awards for his coverage of Hollywood. In June 2014, George Pennacchio will celebrate his 19th year wil ABC7. This year marks his 16th year as Emcee of the Hollywood Arts Council's Annual Charlie Awards. To learn more, please visit

The Open Fist Theatre Company was founded in 1990 by five graduates of Cal State Fullerton under the Artistic Directorship of Ziad Hamzeh. Under the current leadership of Artistic Director Martha Demson, the company has evolved into a collective, self-producing artistic enterprise with all facets of its operation run by its artist members. The company has won 11 LA Weekly Awards, six Back Stage West Garland Awards, 11 Ovations Awards and 20 Drama-Logue Awards. In addition, the company has received an additional 45 LA Weekly Award nominations, three Back Stage West Garland Award nominations, six Ovation Award nominations and 18 Back Stage West Garland Award Honorable Mentions. To learn more, please visit

PINK'S HOT DOGS is a landmark ultimate mom and pop hot dog stand founded in 1939 by Paul and Betty Pink as a pushcart near the corner of La Brea Avenue and MelroseAvenue in Hollywood. Now celebrating their 75th Anniversary, Pink's is renowned for its delicious variety of hot dogs and hamburgers, huge portions and affordable prices. Its historic, fun atmosphere is considered a quintessential Hollywood experience, particularly for the late-night club crowd. Pink's has been visited by many stars too, ranging fromOrson Welles to Betty White to Michael Jackson and Jay Leno. The hot dog establishment is currently run today by Richard and Gloria Pink and Beverly Pink-Wolfe. To learn more, please visit the website,

Christy Johnson McAvoy, Founding Principal of Historic Resources Group (HRG), now celebrating its 25th Anniversary, has been at the forefront of historic preservation since the late 1970s. McAvoy's command of the regulatory and incentive environments for historic resources combined with expertise in urban and social history has enabled HRG to successfully develop creative and integrated approaches to a wide variety of preservation efforts including the rehabilitation and adaptive reuse of historic buildings, historic resource identification, preservation planning, environmental review, community outreach, and heritage education. McAvoy consults with real estate developers, architects, public agencies and non-profit organizations to help them meet their preservation-related planning, educational and economic needs. Recent projects include SurveyLA, a multi-year historic resource survey and educational effort of the City of Los Angeles Planning Department. Her work has received recognition from the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the American Institute of Architects, the California Preservation Foundation, the Cultural Heritage Commission of the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Conservancy; the Los Angeles City Historical Society and the Governor of California. She served on the Board of Advisors of the National Trust for Historic Preservation and on the Board of the National Center for Preservation Training and Technology. She is a past president of both the Los Angeles Conservancy and the California Preservation Foundation and a co-founder of Hollywood Heritage. To learn more, please visit the website

The Hollywood Christmas Parade, a treasured American holiday tradition in its 83rd year, has been revitalized thanks to Emmy Award-nominated television personality Laura McKenzie whose vision and interest in the parade led Associated Television International (ATI) to become involved as the parade's producer. Taped for both national and local telecasts, the parade is hosted by Laura McKenzie (World's Funniest Moments, Laura McKenzie's Traveler); Dean Cain (Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman, Ripley's Believe It or Not!); Erik Estrada (World's Funniest Moments, CHiPS) and Montel Williams (The Montel Williams Show). The live parade is made possible by The City of Los Angeles in association with ATI, which produces telecasts of the parade airing on major television networks during the holiday season. Each year the parade features a Celebrity Grand Marshal as well as other celebrities from film, television and stage, award-winning bands from around the country, colorful equestrians, ornate floats, spectacular live celebrity performers, festive balloons and popular characters/novelties and, or course Santa Claus. To learn more, please visit

Students for Selma Elementary School, under the musical direction of Melissa Berman, a music teacher who works on behalf of the Hollywood Arts Council to bring music into local schools, along with Shauna McClure, Executive Director of the Hollywood Arts Council, will be presenting The Music Arts Award to Richard M. Sherman.

Joe Spano is an Emmy Award-winning actor, who for seven years, starred as Lieutenant Henry Goldblume on the television series Hill Street Blues. He also starred in the series Mercy Point, Amazing Grace, Murder One and NYPD Blue. He has starred in 20 films made for television and guest-starred on 38 television shows, most recently The Mentalist. He is in his 11th year of playing Special FBI Agent T. C. Fornell in the CBS series, NCIS. He has appeared in 30 feature films, including Hart's War, Primal Fear, Apollo 13, American Graffiti, Hollywoodland, Fracture and Frost/Nixon. New York stage credits include the Roundabout Theater's Tony Award-nominated revival of Arthur Miller's play, The Price. He will be presenting the Theatre Arts Award to Open Fist Theatre Company.

John Huertas is an Alma Award-nominated actor who stars as NYPD Detective Javier Esposito on ABC's Castle. He has also starred as the outspoken and gritty Sergeant Antonio "Poke" Espera in the Emmy Award-nominated series, Generation Kill. As a recording artist, his first album was "Grown & Sexy Music." As a film producer, projects include The Insatiable and Neil LaBute's After School Special. He made his directorial debut with a short film called Lone. His current project, The Box, is making the film festival rounds. He has produced acclaimed documentaries like Sahaya Going Beyond and The Hill Chris Climbed: The Gridiron Heroes Story. He serves on the National and Local Board of Directors for SAG-AFTRA. He will be presenting to New Filmmakers Los Angeles.

Councilmember Tom LaBonge's role as Councilmember for the Fourth District of the City of Los Angeles is the culmination of a lifetime spent in service to his native city. He has worked in some capacity for the City of Los Angeles for almost four decades. He has been the recipient of many distinguished recommendations and awards. In 2009 Los Angeles Magazine dubbed LaBonge "Mr. Los Angeles," in recognition of his years of service. LaBonge first took office in 2001, in a special election to replace his friend and political mentor John Ferraro. He was subsequently re-elected to four-year terms in 2003, 2007 and 2011. Councilmember LaBonge has worked for the city for more than 35 years, starting as a volunteer with Mayor Tom Bradley's Youth Council in 1974 and 1975 and Mayor Bradley's Summer Youth Beautification Team. A daily hiker, LaBonge established the annual "Hike for Health" to introduce elementary school students from Los Angeles to "Get to Know" nature and healthy lifestyle habits. He counts as one his greatest achievements in office the acquisition of Cahuenga Peak, which saved 138 acres from redevelopment and added them as open space to Griffith Park. He has also worked tirelessly in support of Los Angeles's sister city program, maintaining connections with cities all over the world. He will be presenting the Inaugural Culinary Arts Award to Pink's Hot Dogs.

A very special guest soon to be announced will be presenting the Preservation Arts Award to Christy McAvoy, Historic Resources Group.

Joe Mantegna was awarded the Tony Award and Joseph Jefferson Award for his role in David Mamet's Pulitzer Prize-winning play Glengarry Glen Ross. His long-standing association with Mamet includes the premieres of A Life in the Theatre, The Disappearance of the Jews and Speed The Plow on Broadway. Mantegna has also directed a highly lauded production of Mamet's Lakeboat. In the world of film, he has starred in over 100 films, among them: The Godfather III, Alice, Celebrity, Liberty Heights, Bugsy, Forget Paris, Uncle Nino, Nine Lives, Searching for Bobby Fisher and Baby's Day Out. He starred in the critically acclaimed Mamet films House of Games, Homicide and Things Change, for which he received the Best Actor Award at the Venice Film Festival. Always the baseball fan, Mantegna conceived and co-wrote the Off-Broadway play Bleacher Bums, which earned him an Emmy Award when it was subsequently produced for television. He has received three Emmy Award nominations - first for the HBO special The Rat Pack, in which he as also nominated for a Golden Globe Award for his portrayal of Dean Martin; second for his role of Pippi DeLena in the CBS mini-series, The Last Don and third for his work in the USA Network series, The Starter Wife. He has also starred in the CBS series Joan of Arcadia, and for the last 21 years he has been the voice of Fat Tony on the Fox series The Simpsons. He also lent his voice to the Disney/Pixar smash hit, CARS2. Mantegna currently stars as David Rossi in the 9th season on the CBS hit drama, Criminal Minds. In 2012 he served as the Grand Marshal of 81st Hollywood Christmas Parade benefiting Marine Toys for Tots. He will be presenting The Entertainment Arts Award to the Hollywood Christmas Parade Produced by Associated Television International.

Leonard Maltin is one of the world's most respected film critics and historians. He is best known for his widely used reference work Leonard Maltin's Movie Guide and its companion volume Leonard Maltin's Classic Movie Guide, as well as his 30-year-run on television's Entertainment Tonight. He teaches at the USC School of Cinematic Arts and appears regularly on Reelz Channel. His books include The 151 Best Movies You've Never Seen, Of Mice and Magic: A History of American Animated Cartoons, The Great Movie Comedians, The Disney Films, The Art of the Cinematographer, Movie Comedy Teams, The Great American Broadcast and Leonard Maltin's Movie Encyclopedia. He served two terms as President of the Los Angeles Film Critics Association, is a voting member of the National Film Registry and was appointed by the Librarian of Congress to sit on the Board of Directors of the National Film Preservation Foundation. He hosted and co-produced the popular Walt Disney Treasures DVD series and has appeared on innumerable television programs and documentaries. He has been the recipient of awards from the American Society of Cinematographers, the Telluride Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, and San Diego's Comic-Con International. Perhaps the pinnacle of his career was his appearance in a now-classic episode of South Park. (Or was it Carmela consulting his Movie Guide on an episode of The Sopranos?) He will be presenting the Media Arts Award to George Pennacchio.

VIPS at the event will include Nyla Arslanian (President, Hollywood Arts Council; Editor of "Discover Hollywood Magazine"); Oscar P. Arslanian (Publisher of "Discover Hollywood Magazine;" Hollywood Arts Council Trustee and Charlie Awards Producer); Michael Aguilera (District Representative for Congressman Adam Schiff); Richard Allen (Music Director, The Magic Castle); Christopher J. Barton (Executive Vice President of Operations and Development, Hudson Pacific Properties); Randy Baumberger (President, Paramount Pictures Studio Group); Melissa Berman (Music Teacher who works on behalf of the Hollywood Arts Council to bring music into local schools. Twenty fourth grade children from Selma Elementary School will perform a musical medley of Sherman Brother songs at this year's Charlie Awards); Kamilla Blanche (Director of Arts and Culture, District 4 for Councilmember Tom La Bonge; Director of The Sister Cities of Los Angeles; she is the newest Hollywood Arts Council Trustee); Nancy J Brown (Fancy Nancy Décor; Property Manager, Studio Village Homeowners Association); Ava Bromberg (Senior Vice President, New Business Development at The Reef: A Creative Habitat); Susan Cabral-Ebert (President, Make-Up Artists & Hair Stylist Guild IATSE Local 706); Charlie Chaplin ("The Little Tramp" visiting from Madame Tussauds Hollywood); Carol Connors (Two Time Academy Award Nominated Composer; Rocky, The Rescuers); Sylvan De La Cruz (Community Organizer for Mitch O'Farrell, Councilmember, Thirteenth District, City of Los Angeles); Martha Demson (Artistic Director, Open Fist Theatre Company) (Theatre Arts Charlie Award recipient); Bryan Fahrbach (Historic Resources Group); John Gallogly (Executive Director, Theatre West); Laurie L. Goldman (Hollywood Central Park); Howard Green (Vice President, Animation Communications, Walt Disney Animation Studios); John Goodwin (President and Publisher, Galaxy Press); Leron Gubler (President/CEO, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce); Peyton Hall (Renowned Preservation Architect); Daniel Henning (Hollywood Arts Council Vice President; Artistic Director, The Blank Theatre Company); Noel Hernandez (General Manager, AKA Beverly Hills); Dale Hindman (Executive Director, Magic Castle, Inc.); Jon Huertas (Cinema Arts Charlie Award Presenter); Andrea Humberger (Partner, Historic Resources Group); Gunhild Jacobs (Sr. Vice President, Marketing and Sales, Author Services, Inc.); K-Earth 101 On-Air D.J.s - Gary Bryan and Lisa Stanley; Yeghig L. Keshishian (Central Area Representative, Department of External Affairs, Office of Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti); Susie Kim (Artistic Director, New FilmMakers Los Angeles) (Cinema Arts Charlie Award recipient); Karen Sharpe-Kramer (Golden Globe Award-winning actress; The Disorderly Orderly; Man in the Vault; Mrs. Stanley Kramer); Kat Kramer (Miss Golden Globe, Kat Kramer's Films That Change The World); Joni Labaqui (Director of Public Affairs, Author Services, Inc.); Larry LaBoe (Executive Director, New FilmMakers Los Angeles) (Cinema Arts Charlie Award recipient); Councilmember Tom LaBonge (Councilmember, District Four, City of Los Angeles) - Inaugural Culinary Arts Charlie Award Presenter); Milt Larsen (Creator of The Magic Castle) and his wife, Arlene Larsen; Kate Linder (Actress, "The Young and the Restless"); Leonard Maltin (Media Arts Charlie Award Presenter) and his wife, Alice Maltin; Lisa Mancarella (Regional Events Manager, Karl Strauss Brewing Company); Joe Mantegna (Entertainment Arts Charlie Award Presenter); Christy McAvoy (Founding Principal, Historic Resources Group, now celebrating their 25th Anniversary) (Preservation Arts Charlie Award recipient) and her husband, Steve McAvoy; Angie McCabe (Marketing Director, LBA Realty); Shauna McClure (Executive Director, Hollywood Arts Council); David McKenzie (Executive Producer, The Hollywood Christmas Parade and Owner of Associated Television International, the producers of the Hollywood Christmas Parade; Emmy Award-winning Television Producer); Laura McKenzie (Host of The Hollywood Christmas Parade Produced by Associated Television International; Emmy Award nominated Host of Laura McKenzie's Traveler; Co-Host of The World Funniest Moments); Ilyanne Morden Kichaven (Executive Director, SAG-AFTRA); Amy Lemisch (Executive Director, California Film Commission); Jim Mulligan (Noted Artist for The Walt Disney Company and Warner Bros.); Councilmember Mitch O'Farrell (Councilmember, Thirteenth District, City of Los Angeles); George Pennacchio (Award-Winning Entertainment Reporter for ABC7 Television; Event Emcee and Media Arts Charlie Award recipient); Beverly Pink-Wolfe, Gloria Pink and Richard Pink (Owners of Pink's Hot Dogs, now celebrating their 75th Anniversary as a Hollywood landmark. Richard Pink serves as Managing Director of Clarion Partners.) (Inaugural Culinary Arts Charlie Award recipients); Rob Richards (Organist of the El Capitan Theatre); Tana Rivas (Senior Sales Manager, AKA Beverly Hills); Ken Rutkowksi (Host, Co-Founder, Co-Owner and President of "Business Rockstars" popular syndicated radio show CBS and locally KFWB News Talk 980 AM)); Carol Schatz (CEO, Central City Association); Congressman Adam B. Schiff (U.S. House of Representatives); Brian E. Sheehan (Director of Marketing, Variety); Richard M. Sherman (Multiple Academy Award and Grammy Award-winning composer with his wife, Elizabeth Sherman (Richard M. Sherman is the recipient of the Music Arts Charlie Award); Cari Skillman (Producer, ABC7 Television); Gilbert Smith (Chairman/Secretary, Ricardo Montalbán Foundation Board of Directors); Michelle Sobrino-Stearns (Publisher, Variety); Joe Spano (Theatre Arts Charlie Award Presenter); Sunny Vachher (President, Hollywood Casting and Film); Amanda Weier (Production Manager, Open Fist Theatre Company); Jay Weston (Movie Producer: For Love of Ivy, Lady Sings The Blues, W.C. Fields and Me, Chu Chu and Philly Flesh, Heartbreack Ridge, Buddy. Buddy, Bell, Book & Candle; Writer for The Huffington Post); Kirstin Wilder (Vice President/Managing Editor, Variety); Steven J. Wolfe (NewFilmMakers Los Angeles Board of Directors; Independent Spirit Award-Nominated Producer: (500) Days of Summer, Baggage Claim, Our Family Wedding); and Julia Li Wu (Trustee Emeritus, Los Angeles Community College District).

The Hollywood Arts Council Board of Trustees includes Nyla Arslanian, Oscar Arslanian, Pasqual Bettio, Nancy J Brown, Arturo Castillo, Tony Clark, Drew Colquitt, Daniel Henning, Joni Labaqui, Anastasia Mann, Lindsay Merfeld,Andre Miripolsky, Patti Negri, Louise Reichlin, Anita Rosenberg, Harvey Schwartz, Marty Shelton, Deanna-Marie Smith, Gil Smith, Elaine Stein, Steve Tronson, David Warren, Stasia Washington, Anji Williams, Julia Li Wu and Shauna McClure, Executive Director.

According to Shauna McClure, Executive Director of the Hollywood Arts Council: "Our annual Charlie Awards have become one of Hollywood's favorite events. Proceeds from the annual luncheon benefit the programs of the Hollywood Arts Council, most particularly, Project S.O.A.R. (Students Overcoming All Risks), the Council's arts workshops presented at Hollywood area elementary schools. We're proud of our track record of offering high quality arts education through Project S.O.A.R. because we know that meaningful engagement in the arts helps keep children in school. The arts can provide the spark and motivation to keep at-risk and underserved students on the path to graduation. The Charlie Awards also support the Council's free Annual Children's Festival of the Arts at Paramount Pictures held on the second Sunday of August, as well as other worthy and necessary community efforts."

The Annual Charlie Awards are attended by more than 300 dignitaries, community leaders and special guests.

Glenn Tribitz of Hollywood Piano Company will serve as Musical Director of the event. Centerpieces for the event will be provided by Fancy Nancy Décor, and third graders from Cheremoya Elementary School, with the assistance of Elayne Koslow, an art instructor. Gavin Minton will oversee video presentations.

The Hollywood Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an action-oriented organization that works for the benefit of the Hollywood community through the arts. Founded in 1978 to insure that the arts play a vital role in revitalization plans then underway, the Hollywood Arts Council has been providing service to the Hollywood community, and artists and arts organizations working in Hollywood for 36 years.

Strongly linked to the Council's purpose to promote, nurture and support the arts is the belief that the arts revitalize people as well as communities. Project S.O.A.R. (Students Overcoming All Risks), its arts workshops program, and the annual Children's Festival of the Arts, now in it's 28th year, held annually on the second Sunday of each August at Paramount Pictures, bring free art workshops and performances to thousands of children and their families. The Council also created the Annual Awards Luncheon "The Charlies" to honor individuals and organizations for their significant contributions to the arts and Hollywood. Through the years, the Council has spearheaded many community arts projects. It also serves as a catalyst convening artists and arts organizations addressing issues of concern. Most recently it introduced the Stayin' Live initiative to address the loss of live theatre space in Hollywood. The Council promotes Hollywood's performing arts with a daily calendar of arts activities published in Discover Hollywood magazine and on its website

Both Oscar Arslanian, Trustee/Producer of the annual luncheon and his wife, Nyla Arslanian, President of the Hollywood Arts Council, have served the organization for 36 years. Oscar is the publisher of Discover Hollywood magazine, while Nyla serves as the publication's editor. The Arslanians have been recognized for their tireless work in support of the arts and culture in Hollywood by the Travel and Tourism Marketing Association, State Senator Curren Price, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, ArtPlace and the Los Angeles City Council.

The catered fundraising Charlie Awards Show Luncheon is open to the general public. Tickets are $100 each. For reservations and further information, please call the Hollywood Arts Council at 323-462-2355 and visit the website Valet Parking is available. An Online Auction for one-of-a-kind items, shows, art, etc. will be held at in advance of the Charlie Awards. Please visit online for more details.

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