This year marks Bob Papazian’s fifth year as Co-Chair of the Caucus. He is joined this year by his long time business partner, Jim Hirsch. Together, they will be leading the Caucus through unprecedented times. 2020 is a year that will forever change the world we live in, and the Caucus is no exception. What lies ahead will require new ideas and a new plan for the future.
This year the Covid-19 pandemic has wrought havoc throughout the world, and the TV and Movie business has been among the hardest hit. For the Caucus and its members, the impact has been no less unexpected and impactful. The American Spirit Awards luncheon, one of the highlights of our yearly events, had to be canceled in June. Our Annual Awards Dinner will now be online and virtual. When it takes place is still being considered.
It is in difficult times, however, that new ideas are often borne. In early August, our Events Chair, Emmy winner Paul Miller, held an online panel in conjunction with Emerson College on the prepping and producing of online programs. Over 200 students and guests listened to experts Jesse Collins, Raj Kapoor, Doug Herzog and Tiktok influencer Niki Baber as they regaled the viewing participants with their expertise.
And now, we are using these difficult times to find a new approach to leading the evolution. This time it will be the evolution of the Caucus. Working with Foundation Board President Sharon Arnett, and with the backing of the Executive and Steering Committees and the Foundation Board, we have begun the process of combining the over forty years of Caucus experience and expertise with the mission of the Foundation: to provide support grants, scholarships and mentoring to the next generation of content creators, especially those who are underserved and who need our guidance to help them choose a career path in this ever changing world of entertainment.
The rest of this year will be a period of exploring the ways in which this idea can be best put to work. We look forward to working with all our Caucus members in our efforts to forge a new and important organization ready to face the challenges in the years ahead. As always, leading the evolution.