Keeping Princess Grace legacy’s alive
It was in 1982 that Prince Rainier III of Monaco created the Princess Grace Foundation-USA (PGF-USA) to honor his wife’s legacy. Grace Kelly, the Oscar-winning Hollywood icon, worldwide known as the Princess of Monaco loved her country of origin and was passionate for the arts, and during her lifetime helped emerging artists realize their career goals. This year the Foundation is celebrating what would have been beloved Princess Grace’s 90th birthday.
The Foundation, that interconnects the Principality, the Prince’s family and the United States, has the mission to identify and assist emerging talent in theater, dance and film by awarding grants in the form of scholarships, apprenticeships, and fellowships, with more than 800 recipients joining the Princess Grace Awards family totaling up to date over US Dollars 11 million.
Prince Albert, following in his father footsteps, is a devoted supporter of the Foundation, and recently opened his Palace to welcome Brisa Trinchero the new CEO of PGF-USA, and honored her predecessor Toby Boshak for her contribution.
Toby Boshak, who has been at the Foundation for more than two decades, announced she will be on sabbatical. Toby was welcomed at the Palace by Prince Albert II and Princess Caroline of Hanover, and she received a well-deserved medal for her extensive contribution to the Foundation.
Brisa Trinchero committed to enhancing the Foundation’s mission
Brisa Trinchero joins the PGF-USA bringing vast knowledge and experience in the arts, with quite an impressive resume, and will surely add immense value to the Foundation. The multifaceted Brisa, has a degree in music, an MBA in finance, and a certificate in Sports Entertainment Business from Harvard Business School.
Brisa is a two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway producer, a “40 Under 40” award-winning entrepreneur, and an expert in business entertainment. She is one of the investors in the smash hit, Hamilton, and thanks to her successful investment portfolio have been featured in both Forbes and the Financial Times. Brisa hosts a national radio show and is a frequent speaker on entertainment, fundraising, and innovation.
Brisa has led efforts in fundraising, financial strategy, business development, investor relations, and tech innovation for major brands and for-profit and not-for-profit organizations around the world. She is a member of several boards of entertainment production companies.
In addition to her corporate activities, her charitable work includes 10 years as a non-profit executive, fundraiser, consultant, and board member. She’s led successful multi-million dollar capital campaigns and has built and executed sustainable major donor initiatives. She also founded a nationally recognized artists retreat to host Broadway’s top creators. Attendees include Tony and Pulitzer Prize winners. She’s also served multiple terms as a theater selection panelist for the National Endowment for the Arts.
Honoring Stephen Hillenburg
The Princess Grace Foundation USA sent a delegation of 20 to the Monaco TV Festival and participated in a reception at the Prince’s Palace. There was a special Family Day during the festival to honor Stephen Hillenburg, marine biologist, cartoonist, animator, and director, who created the famous animated characters SpongeBob SquarePants.The long-running SpongeBob series debuted in 1999. The New York premiere of the first SpongeBob movie, which opened in 2004, was also a Princess Grace Foundation benefit.
Stephen and Karen Hillenburg believe in giving back to society, so in 2017 they created the Stephen Hillenburg Animation Scholarship – a gift awarded annually to support emerging animators and named after the creator of the Nickelodeon franchise.
Hillenburg himself received the Princess Grace Award in 1991, and in 2012 he was honored with the Statue Award, the highest honor bestowed on a prior award-winner. Karen and Stephen Hillenburg have endowed the Foundation with a gift that will support the new award. He is the first PGF award winner to gift the Foundation with a scholarship. It was early in 2017 that Stephen announced he had been diagnosed with ALS.
Unfortunately, Stephen passed away last year, after battling ALS, but before that, he and his family endowed an award for an animation student, the same category for which he himself had won the award. His wife, Karen Hillenburg, will be representing him. The TV Festival showed the very first episode of Sponge Bob and also a new one that has not come out yet. Stephen sold Sponge Bob to Nickelodeon a long time ago but he was still involved in the creative process while he was still able to work.
Royal twins meet SpongeBob SquarePants
Prince Jacques and Princess Gabriella, accompanied by their dad Prince Albert, were happy to meet SpongeBob SquarePants in person, as well as Karen Hillenburg, the wife of famous cartoon characters’ creator Stephen Hillenburg. The PGF-USA decided to collaborate with the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation to highlight the plight of the oceans through the beloved cartoon characters. John B. Kelly, President of the PGF-USA Foundation said: “This is a way to capitalize on the popularity of SpongeBob to children and explain the importance of protecting the oceans. It is a ludic way to reach children and help them understand the message.”
“Vita brevis, ars longa” (Art is long, life is short.) Hippocrates