HOLLYWOOD, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Academy of Magical Arts is congratulating its president, Gay Blackstone, on being named one of the “2007 Hollywood Women of Distinction” by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation. The Academy of Magical Arts, Inc. is the prestigious club for magic professionals and enthusiasts whose clubhouse is the world-famous Magic Castle in Hollywood.
“I have known and worked with Gay Blackstone for many years, and am extremely pleased to see her honored by her peers in Hollywood,” said Milt Larsen, founder of the Magic Castle and a board member of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce.
The “2007 Hollywood Women of Distinction” Awards will take place on Tuesday, May 15, at the Globe Theatre at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Women of Distinction Luncheon is the largest fundraiser of the year for the Hollywood Chamber Community Foundation, which has given out over $300,000 in grant money to Hollywood charities since its inception in 1998.
More than 400 business and civic leaders are expected to attend the event, including Honorary Mayor of Hollywood Johnny Grant. CBS Channel 2 News Anchor and eight-time Emmy Award-winner Laura Diaz will emcee the “2007 Hollywood Women of Distinction” Awards Luncheon.
Actor/producer Cindy Williams is being presented with the 2007 Mary Pickford Award. Past recipients have included Stefanie Powers and Leeza Gibbons. In addition to Blackstone, other outstanding individuals who will be honored at the “2007 Hollywood Women of Distinction” Awards Luncheon are Gail Koretz, Kaiser Permanente; Christi Van Cleve, Roschen Van Cleve Architects; and Renee Weitzer, LA City Council District 4 Chief of Staff.
Gay Blackstone is currently President of the Academy of Magical Arts, and is a respected television and stage producer, director, consultant, lecturer, and author.
Blackstone was a child performer, and her theatre experience led her to perform with Andy Williams, Jim Nabors and as a “Gold Digger” on The Dean Martin show. In between performances, she obtained a degree in Physics. Gay Blackstone also worked as a magic assistant for the legendary actor Orson Welles. After marrying illusionist Harry Blackstone, Jr., the two performed on stages across the country and around the world.
Gay was co-producer of the Broadway show “Blackstone: The Magnificent Musical Magic Show,” the longest running Magic Show in Broadway history. She has produced over 25 years of touring shows and more than 500 corporate and commercial shows.
Gay Blackstone also produced 23 hours of Network Television over the last five years, including “Masters of Illusion” (the first magic series in network television in 40 years), as well as the Time Life series “Kids 100 Favorite Songs,” for which she received a Telly Award. She was executive producer of the 1999 and 2000 World Magic Awards. Blackstone worked as a creative consultant and producer of “Siegfried and Roy Presents: Darren Romeo – The Voice of Magic” that premiered summer 2002 at the Mirage Resort and Casino in Las Vegas and is now seen at The Welk Resort Theatre in Branson, Missouri. She recently consulted or produced several productions internationally, including shows in the Netherlands and Japan.
In addition to the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation, many causes important to Blackstone have benefited from her support, and she has championed the efforts of The Bonnes Merres Auxiliary with The Children's Fund of San Bernardino County, as well as Feed the Children, the Boy Scouts of America and the Stanford Organ Donor Program. In the Redlands and Inland Empire areas she has provided all-around community support to numerous local organizations benefiting education and children, including the Redlands Symphony, Redlands YMCA, Tri-State United Way, and Montessori Academy, and as Chair of the Redlands High School GATE program.
Gay Blackstone said she is thrilled and honored to be recognized by the Hollywood Chamber, noting, “If you live in a world you must give to the world, and this event is really about helping the community.” Net proceeds from the “2007 Hollywood Women of Distinction” Awards will be used to support and advance local educational, cultural and economic interests through the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce Community Foundation. For reservations, call Mick Barrett at 323-468-1373; for more information, visit www.hollywoodchamber.net.