San Francisco, CA—May 24, 2023—California College of the Arts (CCA) celebrated beloved Bay Area art collectors Carla Emil and Rich Silverstein as the 2023 honorees at its annual gala, which took place Tuesday, May 23. The event grossed over $1.23 million for student scholarships.
Organized by co-chairs Stanlee Gatti and Kimberlee Swig, the gala celebrated Emil and Silverstein’s philanthropic leadership, which has made a tremendous impact on the cultural life of the Bay Area and nationwide.
“Carla and Rich are two of the most generous and passionate arts and design advocates. Together, they have made a significant mark on our community, and we’re so happy to have had the opportunity to honor their contributions at our gala this year,” said CCA President Stephen Beal.
Keynote remarks were delivered by Neal Benezra, former SFMOMA Director, who spoke about Carla Emil’s contributions to the Bay Area arts community; and Jeff Goodby, co-founder of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners in San Francisco, speaking to Rich Silverstein’s legacy and sharing highlights from their 40-year partnership together. A moving speech from CCA scholarship recipient Ashley Robles-Rasgado concluded the speaking program at the event.
Leaders of major art organizations who attended include Christopher Bedford, SFMOMA; John Berggruen, Berggruen Gallery; Frish Brandt (BFA Printmaking 1979), Fraenkel Gallery; Jeffrey Fraenkel, Fraenkel Gallery; Todd Hosfelt, Hosfelt Gallery; Ann Philbin, Hammer Museum; Jessica Silverman (MA Curatorial Practice 2007), Jessica Silverman Gallery; and Valerie Wade, Crown Point Press.
Among the many notable designers, architects, artists, curators, and writers in attendance were Lawrence Azerrad (BFA Graphic Design 1995), Michael Brennan, Connie Butler, Daniele De Iuliis, Loretta Gargan, George Jewett (BArch Architecture 1996), Zesty Meyers, Annie Morhauser (BFA Glass 1979), Erin O’Toole, Stanley Saitowitz, Lucille Tenazas, Sarah Thornton, and Catherine Wagner.
Major cultural and societal figures of the San Francisco Bay Area included Neal Benezra, Lorna Meyer Calas and Dennis Calas, Jack Calhoun and Trent Norris, Roselyne Chroman Swig, Catherine Courage, Carla Crane and David Crane, Stanlee Gatti, Jeff Goodby, Mimi Haas, Parker Harris and Holly Johnson, Kay Kimpton Walker, Daniel Lurie and Becca Prowda, Gary May and LeShelle May, Ken McNeely, Eileen Michael and Peter Michael, Clint Reilly and Janet Reilly, Komal Shah, David Spencer, Kimberlee Swig, Susan Swig, Jack Wadsworth and Susy Wadsworth, Diane Wilsey, and Mary Zlot.
A video titled “Together / Apart” created by Emil and Silverstein highlighted the many projects and non-profits that they have supported throughout the years, as a thank you to the community.
Event details: CCA’s 2023 gala was co-chaired by CCA Trustees Stanlee Gatti and Kimberlee Swig. The evening featured decor by Stanlee R. Gatti Designs and included a cocktail hour with libations by San Francisco-based cocktail bar Rye, and wine provided by River Myst Haven (RMH) and Peregrine Ranch; a seated dinner by McCalls Catering & Events; and keynote remarks by Neal Benezra, former SFMOMA Director, and Jeff Goodby, co-founder of Goodby, Silverstein & Partners.
Past CCA gala honorees include Roselyne C. Swig (2022), Sir Jony Ive (2021), Lorna Meyer Calas (2020), Wayne Thiebaud (2019), Kay Kimpton Walker (2018), David Kelley (2017), Stanlee Gatti (2016) and M. Arthur Gensler, Jr. (2014).
About CCA’s Scholarship Program
Eighty-three percent of CCA students receive scholarships and financial aid. The college firmly believes that an excellent art and design education is only made possible with the inclusion of diverse persons and perspectives on campus and that financial barriers should never prevent any talented, committed student from enrolling at CCA.
To achieve this goal, CCA dedicates significant institutional resources to need-based aid, with the scholarship fund being its highest fundraising priority.
About Carla Emil
Carla Emil is the founder of C Project, a non-profit foundation that is dedicated to bringing original, site-specific, performance-based art experiences to San Francisco. She has been involved in various non-profit organizations for many years, where her primary focus has been the arts, arts education, and human rights.
Carla’s professional career was in advertising and film production. She worked in Chicago and San Francisco for advertising agencies that included Ogilvy and Mather and Ketchum and then at Colossal Pictures, a film production company in San Francisco, where she was Executive Producer.
Carla is currently the Co-Chair of the Hammer Museum’s Board of Advisors. She is an Honorary Trustee of the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and is a member of the Human Rights Watch United States Advisory Committee. She is also a Trustee Emerita of CCA.
Carla lives in San Francisco with her husband Rich Silverstein.
About Rich Silverstein
Rich Silverstein is founder and Co-Chair of Goodby Silverstein & Partners, a highly awarded advertising agency headquartered in San Francisco. He grew up in Yorktown Heights, New York and went on to study graphic design at Parsons School of Design.
Rich was an art director at Rolling Stone Magazine and at a series of San Francisco advertising agencies before settling at Ogilvy & Mather where he met his partner Jeff Goodby. They formed their eponymous agency 40 years ago, in 1983.
Rich is a member of the New York One Club Hall of Fame and the Art Directors Club Hall of Fame, and was awarded the prestigious Lion of St. Mark at Cannes along with Jeff Goodby in 2019. He and Jeff also starred in an 18-part Master Class series in 2020.
Rich’s passion is cycling. He lives in San Francisco with his wife Carla Emil.
About California College of the Arts
Founded in 1907, California College of the Arts (CCA) educates students to shape culture and society through the practice and critical study of art, architecture, design, and writing. Benefitting from its San Francisco Bay Area location, the college prepares students for lifelong creative work by cultivating innovation, community engagement, and social and environmental responsibility.
CCA offers a rich curriculum of 22 undergraduate and 10 graduate programs in art, design, architecture, and writing taught by a faculty of expert practitioners. Attracting promising students from across the nation and around the world, CCA is among the 25 most diverse colleges in the U.S. Last year, U.S. News & World Report ranked CCA as one of the top 10 graduate schools for fine arts in the country.
Graduates are highly sought after by companies such as Pixar/Disney, Apple, Intel, Facebook, Gensler, Google, IDEO, Autodesk, Mattel, and Nike, and many have launched their own successful businesses. Alumni and faculty are often recognized with the highest honors in their fields, including Academy Awards, AIGA Medals, Fulbright Scholarships, Guggenheim Fellowships, MacArthur Fellowships, National Medal of Arts, and the Rome Prize, among others.
CCA is creating a new, expanded college campus at its current site in San Francisco, spearheaded by the architectural firm Studio Gang. The new campus design will be a model of sustainable construction and practice; will unite the college’s programs in art, crafts, design, architecture, and writing in one location to create new adjacencies and interactions; and will provide more student housing than ever before.