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Jeremy Irons, Debbie Allen, Nigel Lithgoe and More Join Virtual Benefit Celebrating 25th Anniversary of The Wallis Founding

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The event will take place on Thursday, December 3, 2020, 6:30 PM (PST).

Jeremy Irons, Debbie Allen, Nigel Lithgoe and More Join Virtual Benefit Celebrating 25th Anniversary of The Wallis Founding

Wallis Annenberg Center for Performing Arts will commemorate the 25th anniversary of its founding with DreamBuilders: From Post Office to Box Office, a virtual benefit celebrating the landmark occasion and honoring Dreambuilders the Honorable Vicki Reynolds, Founding President Paul Selwyn and the late President Emeritus Richard Rosenzweig, on Thursday, December 3, 2020, at 6:30 pm. Presented by Harry Winston, Inc., the benefit is hosted by Wallis Board Members Debbie Allen and Nigel Lythgoe, OBE, with Wallis Annenberg serving as Honorary Chair. The festive celebration, filled with dazzling entertainment, includes virtual red carpet arrivals plus performances by such stellar artists as Academy Award-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who starred in The Wallis' 2018 presentation of Long Day's Journey into Night; Artist-in-Residence/acclaimed violinist Daniel Hope; jazz legend Patrice Rushen; and Grammy-nominated R&B singer/songwriter Sheléa. It also features performances by Broadway star and American Idol season one top-four finalist Tamarya Gray (Rent, Once on the Island) with Lily Zager, star student from GRoW@TheWallis' acclaimed Broadway Dreams program and The Miracle Project; the nationally recognized John Burrows High School Powerhouse Choir; and the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.

Dreambuilders provides a fascinating 25-year look-back at The Wallis' remarkable history, from its origins in 1933 as the City of Beverly Hill's historic post office, to its transformation into a world class performing arts venue, which embraces both classic and modern architecture and opened its doors to tremendous critical acclaim in 2013. The breathtaking 70,000-square-foot facility, quickly became a dynamic cultural hub and community resource where local, national and International Artists share their artistry with ever-expanding audiences, and the eclectic programming it presents mirrors the diverse landscape of Los Angeles and its location in the entertainment capital of the world.

Proceeds benefit the Hope @ The Wallis Resiliency Fund, a crucial source of philanthropic support for The Wallis during its unanticipated and lengthy closure due to the global pandemic.

"As we celebrate The Wallis' silver anniversary, we proudly recognize Vicki Reynolds, Paul Selwyn and the late Richard Rosenzweig for their enormous role in its founding," said benefit co-chairs Daphna Nazarian and Stephanie Vahn. "Their extraordinary vision, exceptional leadership and tireless efforts over many years helped ensure The Wallis' genesis. Twenty-five years ago, they envisioned a future where an iconic Beverly Hills post office could become a world-class performance venue, delivering the performing arts, civic life and arts education to our community. Supported by many others, including the inimitable Fred Hayman and fearless Founding Chairman Bram Goldsmith, who shared in their desire to establish a premier cultural arts destination in Beverly Hills, they made their dream an exquisite reality. It is with deep gratitude that we honor them as community visionaries and dream builders. Together we go far."

The Wallis Executive Director and CEO Rachel Fine states, "Not only does our first virtual benefit enable The Wallis to reflect on its roots by honoring the dedicated community members who made possible its very existence, but also it helps support our unprecedented and vital fundraising needs to ensure The Wallis can reopen with strength once it's safe to do so. This virtual benefit, in particular, is helping to bolster our organization and assure its future."

Patron sponsor packages and single tickets for the virtual benefit, starting at $500, are available beginning November 2. For tickets and information, visit TheWallis.org/DreamBuilders, call 310.746.4000 (Tues. - Fri., 9:30am - 2:30pm) or email Tickets@TheWallis.org.

About the Honorees

VICKI REYNOLDS has devoted her lifetime to community service. As a volunteer, elected or appointed official she has advocated for public education, civil rights and women's issues and is committed to arts education and community participation. During Reynolds' unprecedented three terms as Mayor of Beverly Hills, she spearheaded the preservation and funding of the historic Beverly Hills Post Office for its reuse as an exceptional regional performing arts center now known as The Wallis. She also created the Westside Summit of Elected Officials and initiated the Beverly Hills Outdoor Dining Ordinance as an economic benefit and community gathering opportunity. Lauded as UCLA Alumna of the Year, Reynolds has also been recognized by the American Jewish Committee Regional Board, UCLA Luskin Board of Advisors, Cedars Sinai Board of Governors and the Getty Museum Photography Council. She is a former Trustee of the California State Summer School for the Arts. Reynolds attended Bennington College and has a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA, a Degree Superieur from the Sorbonne at the University of Paris and an Honorary Doctorate for Honoris Causa from the American Jewish University. Reynolds and her husband, Murray Pepper, Ph.D., collect Chinese Photography, Chinese Art and Sculpture, ancient Textiles, Contemporary Art and Sculpture and Native American pottery. She has two children, and together with Murray, she has six grandchildren.

Richard Rosenzweig, who passed away on May 6, 2020, was a longtime executive at Playboy Enterprises, Inc., and a founding member of what is now known as the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. A long-time friend and trusted advisor to Hugh Hefner, Rosenzweig served as executive vice president of Playboy Enterprises, Inc., and president and executive producer of the internationally acclaimed Playboy Jazz Festival, and led the company's subsidiary, Alta Loma Entertainment, Inc. into mainstream feature film as well as television and stage production. Over six decades, Rosenzweig held a variety of positions within the company, including production and syndication manager of the first Playboy's Penthouse television series; special assistant to the editorial director, Playboy magazine; and associate promotion director, HMH Publishing Company. In 1977, he moved to Los Angeles to oversee all West Coast operations for Playboy, including The Entertainment Group. A committed supporter of the arts, Rosenzweig was an avid collector of contemporary art and a champion of the City of Beverly Hills, serving on the Beverly Hills Arts and Culture Commission, Beverly Hills General Plan Committee, and Beverly Hills Convention and Visitors Bureau. In 1993, he was appointed by the mayor to the Economic Advisory Committee of Beverly Hills and was awarded the Beverly Hills Medal by the City Council for his outstanding services to the community. He was also president of the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce and chaired the city's Centennial Celebration in 2014. Rosenzweig, in 1996, became a founding member of the board and executive committee of the Beverly Hills Cultural Center Foundation, was elected president, and served as vice chairman of what became the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts in 2000. Additionally, Rosenzweig and his wife, Judy, were founders of the Museum of Contemporary Art. In 2000, he was elected chair of the Modern and Contemporary Art Council of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Rosenzweig has also distinguished himself in such posts as chairman of the board of Children of the Night, a nationally honored program for runaway teens; a board member of the ACLU Foundation of Southern California; a groundbreaker of the American Cinematheque; and a board member of the Henry Mancini Institute of the American Jazz Philharmonic. He served as president and chair of The Maple Counseling Center in Beverly Hills and was appointed by Governor Edmund G. Brown Jr. to the Economic and Business Development Board of California. Rosenzweig was named to Who's Who In America and was a member of the Producers Guild of America The American Film Institute, The Recording Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the International Documentary Association. He earned a B.A from Northwestern and served in the United States Army active reserve at Fort Bragg, NC in the 305th Psychological Warfare Battalion.

PAUL SELWYN was born in Antwerp, Belgium in 1933, and immigrated with his parents to Beverly Hills, CA in 1938. Five years later, he became a U.S. citizen. He played on the Beverly Hills High School tennis team and attended UCLA, where he was a member of the tennis and cricket teams and joined the ROTC program. After graduating, he was commissioned as an Ensign in the US Navy, serving in the Philippines. Selwyn subsequently took a job with the Herald International in Hong Kong before returning to Beverly Hills in 1958, becoming Vice President of Pauling and Company, importing diamonds and gem stones and manufacturing fine jewelry. In 1968, he became the company's owner, retiring in 1990. Selwyn was a Founding Board Member of the Los Angeles Children's Museum, where he served as President and Chairman. He served on the Beverly Hills Architectural Commission from 1980 to 1986, and was appointed to the Beverly Hills Planning Commission, on which he served from 1986 to 1994, chairing both commissions twice during his terms. In 1996, Selwyn launched and became President of the Beverly Hills Cultural Center Foundation, which later became the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts. He served on the organization's Board of Directors until 2014 and holds the title of Founding President. Selwyn was a member of the Beverly Hills Tennis Club for 30 years, serving as President from 1992 to 1993 and, in 2012, founded "F3," the First Friday Forum lunch group for the business and professional communities. He also served as President of the Santa Barbara Children's Museum from 2000-2009 and was a Trustee of the Santa Barbara Museum of Art from 2003 to 2006.


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