LOS ANGELES—Some of entertainment’s biggest names from Nicole Kidman to John David Washington shared encouraging words for aspiring young creators whose organizations were collectively granted millions by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.
More than $5.1 million in funds were given to over 70 nonprofit organizations during the “HFPA Philanthropy: Empowering the Next Generation” virtual event on Tuesday. The event, formerly known as the Grants Banquet, celebrated some of the organizations with aspiring artists, filmmakers and storytellers.
“Self-expression is one of the most important ways we can connect and grow as human beings, particularly for young people,” said Washington, the star of Tenet. “It is an instrumental part of how we view ourselves as we learn to navigate the world. For those in communities that have suffered from historic lack of representation, this is even more critical.”
Mary J. Blige, Millie Bobby Brown, Billie Eilish, Anna Kendrick, Method Man and others were among the entertainers who appeared to discuss the charities that benefit from HFPA grants. The organization is known for putting on the Golden Globes.
Each celebrity presenter spoke for a couple minutes during the hour-long ceremony, which was hosted by James Corden. The ceremony also included a performance by Jennifer Hudson, who sang her soulful “Burden Down.”
Billy Porter’s advice to young creators was “honor your craft.” Meanwhile, Lin-Manuel Miranda suggested that aspiring filmmakers should “create what you think is missing.”
Kidman acknowledged the importance of the HFPA program and organizations’ efforts, saying “the next generation of talent in our industry are important now more than ever before.”
The program will showcase recent work in film, dance, music and spoken word by students of supported schools. “The faces and creations we see showcased to you remind us that movies and arts will not only continue to help us survive, but will also offer comfort, hope and inspiration to a world that is striving to become more just, peaceful and inclusive,” said Meher Tatna, board chairman of the HFPA.
Salma Hayek paid homage to the Las Fotos Project, a nonprofit organization that inspires teenage girls through photography. “Growing up in Mexico, I have fond memories of not only finding my own creative voice, but also being inspired by my parents who stressed the importance of philanthropy,” Hayek said. “What a pleasure to highlight these young Latinas who channel their creativity through the lens of the camera and become agents of change.”
The HFPA gave a social justice grant to the Urban Peace Institute. The donation of $300,000 was given to the organization for its diligence in the field of community safety and systemic reform to end violence and mass incarceration.
Tracee Ellis Ross presented the grant to UPI founder and civil rights leader Connie Rice, who called it “a profound and deep honor.”
“The driving vision behind the Urban Peace Institute…is safety,” Rice said, a mission she called “foundational for human rights.”
“We take gladiator cops and transform them into guardians,” she said. “We create police who are invested in the community.”