Look out, Jeffrey Katzenberg.
Your throne as Hollywood’s fundraiser-in-chief just got a nudge.
Instead of working his day job helping steer the careers of award winners like Meryl Streep, Jennifer Aniston, and James Corden, CAA managing director Kevin Huvane steered a litany of industry notables to Brentwood this week to fill the coffers for the high school dropout prevention organization Communities In Schools.
$800,000 later, I’d say they got the right guy.
This was no one-night stand though.
Huvane has served on CIS’ National Board of Directors, housed CISLA’s offices inside the agency’s own Century City workspace, and Huvane has personally mentored some of the 11,000 students in the program each year.
CIS partners with schools, families, and community leaders to empower high school and middle school students to stay in school.
Under the leadership of Executive Director Deborah Marcus, CISLA has helped raise the graduation rate at each high school in their program by an average of 31 percent. Deonte Lange, who stayed in high school through the program and went on to graduate college, presented Huvane with an award.
British singer and songwriter Lianne La Havas (above and below) performed here during one of L.A.’s busiest music weeks of the year — the purgatory week between the two Coachella festival weekends. The “Green & Gold” singer continued the trend of British performers at this relaxed event, where Chris Martin once joked about getting the gig after seeing it posted on the corkboard in a Brentwood Starbucks and then took requests from his kids seated in the audience.
This year, the CISLA crowd included industry heavyweights like J.J. Abrams and his wife Katie McGrath, NBCUniversal Vice Chairman Ron Meyer, BET Founder Robert Johnson, Working Title President Liza Chasin, “Game of Thrones” co-executive producer Guymon Casady and Dylan McDermott, among others.
Marcus called out Huvane for “using his position to encourage the storytellers of our time to use their voices and help focus resources in support of youth, women, and those impacted by HIV/AIDS.”
Were this fundraiser a summer blockbuster instead of a fundraiser, this $800,000 night would have made this CISLA event the 14th highest grossing movie of last weekend.
For reference, that’s an outstanding number when faced with “The Fate of the Furious,” which ate up nearly $100 million and crushed the field.
In the spirit of success spawning sequels, the busy CAA chief could be back for a fundraising sequel in 2018.
In that case, Katzenberg is probably smiling.
It’s more like, “Look out, Kevin Huvane.”