Last week Creative Community For Peace held our fourth annual ‘Celebrating Ambassadors of Peace’ (AOP) event in conjunction with special media partner, Variety, who covered the event.
This year’s honorees were: Eugene Levy (Emmy Award-Winning Actor, Writer & Producer); Brandon Goodman & Danny Rukasin (Co-Founders of Best Friends Music. Clients Include Billie Eilish and Finneas); Autumn Rowe (Grammy Award Winning Songwriter, DJ, Producer. 2022 Grammy wins for Record and Album of the Year with Jon Batiste); Darren Star (Multiple Award-Winning Writer, Creator, Executive Producer. Created shows such as Sex In The City, Beverly Hills 90210, and Emily In Paris); and David Zedeck (Global Co-Head of Music, UTA).
The 2022 honorees were chosen for their commitment to using their platforms to unite people and effect positive change in the world, and to advance CCFP’s central belief that the arts and entertainment are a powerful force for building cultural bridges.
Presenting tribute videos for the honorees included: Jon Batiste (Artist), Demi Lovato (Artist); Joe Jonas (Artist); Nick Jonas (Artist); Kevin Jonas (Artist); Bebe Rexha (Artist); Paul Anka (Artist); Lucas Bravo (Actor); Lily Collins (Actress); Ashley Park (Actress); and Kim Cattrall (Actress) amongst others.
Award presenters included Leona Lewis (Artist); Jonah Platt (Actor); Steve Berman (Vice Chairman, Interscope Records); Ken Fermaglich (Partner, UTA); and Jacob Fenton (Partner, UTA).
CCFP co-founder David Renzer said, “In recent weeks, we’ve witnessed that vile antisemitism still exists in our culture. This serves as an unwelcome, yet important, reminder of the important work still to be done. We must remain steadfast in our advocacy against all forms of antisemitism — whether it comes from the BDS movement, seeking to castigate and attack Israel, or from celebrities endorsing age-old stereotypical tropes on our airwaves.”
Director of CCFP, Ari Ingel spoke about the urgent need to combat those standing in the way of peace: “I remain optimistic about a peaceful future of coexistence for Israelis and Palestinians. To reach that point, however, it’s imperative to continue to call the BDS movement what it is — an extremist movement with duplicitous aims.”
Ingel added, “Instead of trying to achieve peace, they are merely the latest manifestation in a long history of demonization and delegitimization efforts targeting Israel and another roadblock to peace. The entertainment community has a unique ability to effect positive change and must use its voice to help achieve a more prosperous and peaceful future in the region.”
Honoree Eugene Levy spoke about setting an example: “We created Schitt’s Creek to be an idyllic town blind to gender, race, and religion. Showing what a world without bigotry can look like can hopefully inspire change.”
The honorees spoke about how music brings communities together. Darren Star said that “in visiting Israel, I saw the impact that concerts have — they mesh people from all backgrounds and create a common experience that outweighs political boundaries. Besides concerts, I experienced the LGBTQ+ pride movement and Tel Aviv nightlife and I realized that Israel isn’t much different from our country -– the flawed politicians and policies should not outweigh the beautiful example of harmony and art that exists there.”
Honoree Brandon Goodman noted that “the past few weeks are a reminder of how far we have to go. My hope for the future is one where art can be shared and enjoyed anywhere on earth peacefully.”
His partner at Best Friends Music, Danny Rukasin, shared: “Art reflects the human experience and inspires future generations. It is our job to cultivate a space for those who are vulnerable enough to create.”
Autumn Rowe reflected on her personal connection to CCFP’s work in combatting antisemitism: “I am honored to be here among others with a common goal — achieving peace. I wholeheartedly believe that we are peacemakers, not just peacekeepers — we will not allow things to continue the way they have been, we spread love and start ‘good trouble,’ as the late John Lewis said. The rise of antisemitism, racism, and bigotry is terrifying, which means we must shine our light of love even brighter than ever. Joy is contagious and invites unity.”
David Zedeck reflected on his shared passion with CCFP: “Throughout my career, I’ve had a front row seat to some of the biggest names in the music industry. I’ve witnessed the profound positive impact that artists can have on their audiences and fans. Music brings people together. It mends divides. And it builds bridges across backgrounds, cultures, and generations.
Among the many industry professionals attending the CCFP event were: Co-Founder of Endeavor Rick Rosen; Songwriter Diane Warren, President of Music, Electronic Arts Steve Schnur, Artist Leona Lewis, Co-chairman and COO, Warner Records Tom Corson, EVP Hallwood Media Cory Litwin, Head of A&R and Business Development Wasserman Music Tom Windish, Actor and Musician Jonah Platt, Actor Mark Ivanir, Songwriter and Producer Jenna Andrews, Producer Matti Leshem, Founder/CEO Darkroom Justin Lubliner, Vice Chairman, Interscope Geffen A&M Steve Berman, Rock Mafia Songwriter and Producer Antonina Armato, Co-CEO of Live Nation Israel Guy Beser, CEO of Saban Music Group Gustavo Lopez, Partner at UTA Blair Kohan, EVP/Head of A&R for Warner Records Karen Kwak, Co-Founder and CEO The Revels Group Jamil Davis, Founder and President Rostrum Records Benjy Grinberg, CEO of Tomorrow Studios Marty Adelstein, UTA agent Mike G, CEO/Co-Chairman Warner Records Aaron Bay-Schuck; and President of Virgin Records Jacqueline Saturn, amongst others.
The evening concluded with live performances by honoree Autumn Rowe and the SoCal Vocals, USC’s oldest a capella group, of Jon Batiste’s Grammy Award winning song, ‘Freedom,’ which she co-wrote.
For more on this year’s Ambassadors of Peace event, check out the Variety article below, and make sure to download a digital copy of the tribute book to see all the beautiful messages from our sponsors. [LINK]
As an entertainment industry non-profit organization, we rely on your support more now than ever during these critical times to promote the arts as a bridge to peace, to counter antisemitism within the entertainment industry, and to galvanize support against the cultural boycott of Israel.