Membership sale! Use promo code JOIN35 and save $7 (reg. $42). Sign up today! See if you qualify to join TDF.

Press & Media

Translate Page

Jimmy Smits and CUNY Chancellor Matthew Goldstein honored at TDF Gala to benefit TDF/CUNY partnership, BEAT (Bridging Education and Theatre), on Thursday, December 1

Date: Nov 21, 2011
Press Release


Facebook Twitter

City University of New York graduates, JIMMY SMITS and CUNY Chancellor MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN will be honored at a gala to benefit BEAT (Bridging Education and Theatre), a TDF/ CUNY partnership helping to make New York City theatre, music and dance accessible to the CUNY community. The gala will be held on Thursday, December 1 at The Graduate Center, City University of New York, 365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY @ 34th Street. For tickets and table information call MK Event Studio at 203.298.4722 or email:


For the evening of the gala, there will be a 6:30pm cocktail reception and silent action, followed by dinner, a ceremony and entertainment at 7:30pm.  The program will include performances by BILLY PORTER and EDEN ESPINOSA, with special appearances by JULIE HALSTON and PRISCILLA LOPEZ (who starred with Jimmy Smits on Broadway in Anna in the Tropics), and is being produced by TONY SPINOSA.  Tickets for the benefit range from $600 for Supporter tickets to $1200 for Premiere tickets.


“We’re thrilled to be celebrating this new partnership by honoring these two incredible CUNY graduates, said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s Executive Director. “Chancellor Goldstein, a graduate of City College, has been leading CUNY’s 24 schools for over 12 years and has worked tirelessly to improve the lives of the millions of students who have passed through their doors. Jimmy Smits, a graduate of Brooklyn College, is an immensely talented actor whose vast accomplishments attest to the high level of excellence at that school’s Theatre Department,” said Victoria Bailey, TDF’s executive director.”


"All of us at CUNY are delighted that in this second year of BEAT the number of campuses involved doubled, and that TDF is honoring our Chancellor, Matthew Goldstein, as well as Jimmy Smits, at a gala to support BEAT," said Alexandra W. Logue, CUNY's Executive Vice Chancellor and University Provost.  "The CUNY-TDF collaboration is exciting because it enhances our students' understanding of the contributions of the arts to education and civic life. BEAT is a win-win for everyone involved:  The CUNY community benefits from the educational, cultural, and professional opportunities that TDF provides, and CUNY contributes to the growth of new audiences for the performing arts in our fantastic city."


BEAT (Bridging Education and Theatre) is a program designed to introduce the CUNY community to New York City’s performing arts through a range of programs designed by TDF and tailored to the needs of the CUNY community.  Since 80 percent of CUNY students remain in New York City after graduation, this partnership will help them become lifelong theatre goers, able to enjoy and participate in a vital and vibrant part of the cultural life of New York City.


BEAT (Bridging Education and Theatre), which was piloted during the 2010-11 school year has just doubled in scope for its second year.  The program was originally piloted on four CUNY Campuses: Baruch College, Brooklyn College, LaGuardia Community College and Lehman College.  For this second year the program continues on those four campuses, along with Hunter College, John Jay College New York City College of Technology, Queensboro Community College to bring the total number of colleges served to eight. The program looks to expand each year, eventually to all 24 CUNY campuses.


BEAT has already launched four programs at the campuses involved in the initiative:


  • Production Process – a theatre enrichment program in which theatre professionals from different performing arts disciplines participate in moderated discussions on various aspects of theatre production for an audience of CUNY students;
  • Mentoring – a credited program in which a theatre professional mentors a group of CUNY students in a specific discipline;
  • Internships – CUNY students participate in for-credit internships in their specific field of study at TDF and throughout the theatre industry; and,
  • Ticketing – each school will have a group participate in TDF’s “New Audiences of New York,” a program which introduces theatre, through attendance and education, to underserved groups across the five boroughs. Students from each campus will attend theatre performances and participate in pre- and post-performance discussions. TDF is also offering discounted annual TDF memberships for students, faculty and staff at the eight campuses participating in CUNY/TDF BEAT.


For tickets to the benefit write:; or call MK Event Studio at 203.298.4722.


Proving that versatility is as important as skill in the acting profession, Brooklyn College graduate JIMMY SMITS has built a career that allows him to move effortlessly between film, television and stage.  Smits began his acting career performing onstage in New York theatre and returns often.  He most recently starred on Broadway in the critically acclaimed hit God of Carnage.  Prior to that he starred on Broadway in Nilo Cruz’s Pulitzer Prize-winning play Anna in the Tropics, preceded by the New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park presentations of Much Ado About Nothing and Twelfth Night, just to name a few. He is a 12 time Emmy Award nominee - with six nominations for his role as Victor Sifuentes on L.A. Law (winning in 1990); five for his role as Bobby Simone on NYPD Blue and one for his role on Dexter. He holds a Golden Globe for his role on The West Wing.  Mr. Smits has been seen in many films and recently starred in and served as Executive Producer of the NBC drama Outlaw, and co-starred in Mother and Child.


MATTHEW GOLDSTEIN has served as chancellor of The City University of New York (CUNY) since September 1999.  He is the first CUNY graduate (City College, Class of 1963) to lead the nation’s most prominent urban public university, which comprises 23 colleges and professional schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. Dr. Goldstein has served in senior academic and administrative positions for more than 30 years, including president of Baruch College, president of the Research Foundation, and acting vice chancellor for academic affairs of CUNY.  Prior to being named chancellor, he was president of Adelphi University. He is the co-author of three books: Discrete Discriminant Analysis, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1978; Intermediate Statistical Methods and Applications, published by Prentice Hall in 1983; and Multivariate Analysis, published by John Wiley & Sons in 1984.  In addition, he has written many articles for leading scholarly publications in mathematics and statistics. Among his honors are the 2011 Association for a Better New York “Spirit of ABNY” Award, the 2010 New York Building Congress Leadership Award, and the 2009 Manhattan Chamber of Commerce New Yorker of the Year Award, among others.


CUNY, the nation’s leading urban public university, and TDF, the country’s largest not-for-profit performing arts service organization, share unique roles at the heart of New York City.   Both represent deep traditions of service to education and the arts, enriching millions each year – CUNY, through its role in educating over half a million students in academic, adult, continuing and professional education programs at its 24 institutions citywide, and TDF by serving over one million New Yorkers and visitors each year through its TKTS Booths, membership, education and access programs.


THE CITY UNIVERSITY OF NEW is the nation’s leading urban public university.  Founded in New York City in 1847 as The Free Academy, the University has 24 institutions: 11 senior colleges, six community colleges, the William E. Macaulay Honors College at CUNY, the Graduate School and University Center, the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, the CUNY School of Law, the CUNY School of Professional Studies and the CUNY School of Public Health. The University serves 270,952 academic credit students and 269,808 adult, continuing and professional education students. College Now, the University’s academic enrichment program for 32,500 high school students, is offered at CUNY campuses and more than 300 high schools throughout the five boroughs of New York City. The University offers online baccalaureate degrees through the School of Professional Studies and an individualized baccalaureate through the CUNY Baccalaureate Degree. More than 1 million visitors and 2 million page views are served each month by, the University’s website.

THEATRE DEVELOPMENT FUND, which just received a 2011 Mayor’s Award for Arts and Culture, is the largest nonprofit performing arts service organization in the United States, returning over $130 million to hundreds of productions annually through a variety of programs. It is dedicated to developing diverse audiences for live theatre and dance, and strengthening the performing arts community in New York City. Created in 1968, TDF’s programs have provided over 80 million people with access to performances at affordable prices.  Best known for its TKTS Discount Booths, TDF’s membership, outreach, access and education programs – as well as its Costume Collection – help to make the unique experience of theatre available to everyone.


TDF’s education programs introduce theatre to over 6,000 New York City high school students each year through a variety of curriculum based programs, and their “New Audiences for New York” program is in its third year of building sustainable audiences for Broadway among diverse and underrepresented New Yorkers. Outreach efforts for theatregoers with disabilities include special discounts and seating accommodations as well as open captioned and American Sign Language interpreted performances for theatregoers with mild to severe hearing loss, and audio described performances for theatregoers who are blind or have low vision.  In addition, their recent Autism Theatre Initiative offered the first autism-friendly performance of a Broadway show, presenting The Lion King to an entire audience of families with children on the autism spectrum.