Blog: Reel Works 2012 Gala Benefit
Today, aspiring and artistically driven New York City teenagers have tools at their disposal to explore areas well beyond the realm that we had in our youth. So much for throwing around a ball or sticking to some video game console for hours on end. With the help of an organization called Reel Works, teens are able to pair one on one with different professional filmmaking mentors to find their unique voice in creating widely distributed stories. And Wednesday night, the group held their annual gala benefit to raise awareness in order to provide teens with the funding and support necessary to help them work toward high school and college graduation as they focus on careers in media.
The pristine Edison Ballroom in the Theater District rolled out the proverbial red carpet for celebrity guests from all walks of life to come out in support of Reel Works. The evening’s emcee, comedian and The Daily Show correspondent, Al Madrigal was out first to greet the paparazzi, joined shortly thereafter by the likes of actors Fisher Stevens (Short Circuit, Lost), Alessandro Nivola (Face/Off), and stars of Nickelodeon series ‘Victorious,’ Avan Jogia and Elizabeth Gillies. While the evening would serve as a reminder of the fantastic forward thinking strides of Real Works, the gala would honor actress Emily Mortimer (The Newsroom, Shutter Island) and actor Jeffrey Wright (Casino Royale, W.), both of whom created a swarm of people gathered for a glimpse as they posed amid a sea of flashbulbs.
Reel Works strives to serve teenagers between the ages of 14-19, 64% of which are minorities and 33% of whom are considered at risk for school dropout or for negative behaviors. Seeking to implement a positive focus into the lives of these children, Reel Works aims to be a resource in Manhattan where 95% of public schools unfortunately fail to offer a media arts program. Partnering with over 20 local high schools and providing support to more than 200 teens every year, the program still has leaps and bounds to go as they attempt to reach more of these young students and filmmakers, and events like their classy annual gala go a long way in creating necessary awareness for new potentially artistic endeavors.
For more information on Reel Works and how you can contribute, check out Reel Works.
- Jane Van Arsdale