The Art of Elysium is holding their Third Annual Black Tie charity gala titled “Heaven” on Saturday, January 16, 2010. The event will take place the night before the Golden Globes and will honor Kirsten Dunst

Artist Shepard Fairey (creator of “Obey Giant” and the force behind the Obama “Hope” poster) is this year’s visionary and will create all visual and conceptual aspects of the themed gala entitled “Heaven”.

“When I was asked by The Art of Elysium to conceive my vision of heaven, I immediately thought of a world where creativity, compassion and connection are celebrated,” he said. “I thought of humanity and nature existing in harmony; after all, humans are part of nature, not above nature, and connected to one another just the same. We need to look out for each other and understand how our actions impact others and the planet we inhabit.”

Kirsten Dunst will be receiving the “Spirit of Elysium” Award at the gala: “Art has always held a therapeutic and fulfilling place in my life, as it allows me to channel any sort of negativity and turn it into something positive. I applaud The Art of Elysium for introducing that idea to the lives of young people who are courageously battling serious and terminal illnesses. The warriors I have gotten to meet through The Art of Elysium have blown me away with their humor, their sophistication and their wisdom. I feel so lucky to be able to spend time with them. They embody a kind of strength rarely seen in most adults. The relationships I have within The Art of Elysium community are very close to my heart and I will treasure them always.”

Kirsten has been an enthusiastic supporter of The Art of Elysium for over six years. In that time, she has been very active in the hospital programs, participating in plays, as well as reading to and doing artwork with the children. Additionally, she has secured considerable financial support for the organization, as well as serving as a valuable partner in working with important corporate sponsors. Both the 2009 Visionary, Jim Sheridan and the 2009 “Spirit of Elysium” award recipient, Eva Mendes will be in attendance to pass the torch to Shepard and Kirsten.

The event will take place at 9900 Wilshire Boulevard with cocktails beginning at 7:00 pm followed by Dinner and a Vogue Fashion Show starting at 8:00 pm. The private after party will take place at a location within the venue and will feature a musical tribute to the works of David Bowie, Iggy Pop and Lou Reed with special performances by Billy Idol and Steve Jones with other surprise guests. The turn tables will host various deejays including Elijah Wood, Steve Jones, Chris Holmes and Shepard Fairey.

Founder of The Art of Elysium, Jennifer Howell states, "Heaven on earth for The Art of Elysium is bringing artists to the bedsides of hospitalized children and empowering the artists to give the gift of their creative process. The “Heaven” gala was created to give a visionary the license to create their own personal version of “Heaven” and it is our hope that by experiencing “Heaven” year after year that guests reflect on the mission of the charity and ask themselves what is the best way to give back. We are so grateful to Shepard Fairey for sharing his belief in interconnectivity with us and to Kirsten Dunst for being the true “Spirit of Elysium”. A very special thank you to the Chairman of the Board and Event Co-Chair Ryan Kavanaugh for all that he does to allow us to give our children artistic experiences. A thank you to the Event Co-Chairs Lisa Love, Shawn Stanford and Jean-Christophe Bedos for contributing both their personal time and companies’ support to making this year’s event a tremendous success."

Other celebrities confirmed to attend include Jason Bateman, Rachel Bilson, Kate Bosworth, Sophia Bush, Scarlett Johansson, Ali Larter , Benji Madden, Nicole Richie & Joel Madden, Ashley Olsen, Ryan Seacrest, Bonnie Somerville, Mark Wahlberg, Alicia Witt and many more.

The Art of Elysium is a non-profit organization, founded in 1997 by Jennifer Howell, which encourages actors, artists and musicians to voluntarily dedicate their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. They provide artistic workshops in the following disciplines: acting, art, comedy, fashion, music, radio, songwriting and creative writing. They work with numerous hospitals and hospices throughout Los Angeles, California and began servicing hospitals in New York, New York in 2009.

For more information on The Art of Elysium please go to www.theartofelysium.org.

For ticket and sponsor information please contact Deborah Marcus at dmarcus@theartofelysium.org.

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