Find Out All About The 38th Annual Caucus Awards Gala

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The Caucus for Producers, Writers & Directors will present the 38th Annual Caucus Awards Gala hosted by actor James Pickens Jr. (Grey’s Anatomy) in a virtual ceremony on Thursday, March 4, 2021, celebrating individuals who represent the best of today’s entertainment industry.

The 2021 honorees include: Academy Award®-winning writer, producer, and director Aaron Sorkin will be presented with the Writers Award by Caucus Co-Chair Robert Papazian; Danish director Susanne Bier (The Undoing, Birdbox) will receive the Directors Award, presented by Academy Award®, Golden Globe, SAG and Emmy winner Nicole Kidman; Black-ish actress and executive producer/star of Little, Marsai Martin will receive the Rising Star Award; long-time Caucus member, executive producer Vin Di Bona will be presented with the prestigious Caucus Legend Award presented by America’s Funniest Home Videos host Alfonso Ribeiro.

Community leaders and philanthropists Jeanne and Tom Townsend will be awarded with the Caucus’ Humanitarian Award. Jeanne Townsend will accept for herself and posthumously for her husband, Tom. The Townsends founded the St. Louis-based non-profit Pianos For People which was created to inspire successful futures by providing free access to the transformational power of the piano. Tom and their son Alex, who was killed in a car accident, were avid piano players and firm believers in the healing power of music. Jeanne was determined to carry on Tom’s legacy upon his passing last year. By breaking down these financial barriers for families and individuals with limited resources, Pianos for People is a gateway to empowerment, community, and self-esteem. One such student discovered by Pianos for People is a young prodigy, Royce Martin who was recently tapped to score the “Fresh Prince of Bel Air” reunion show. He will perform for the program.

The Caucus Foundation, which was created to give production grants to worthy students to promote diversity, presented scholarships to six students in December 2020. The grant recipients are Myra Aquino of University of Los Angeles, Kathryn Boyd-Batstone of University of Southern California, Christine Cho of Chapman University, Tessa Germaine, of Chapman University, Damon Laguna of University of Southern California and Mel Orpen of University of Southern California.

The success of the Annual Awards Dinner has enabled The Caucus to award nearly $2 million to date in finishing funds and in-kind services to students at accredited colleges and universities across the country for completion of their thesis projects. The Foundation’s commitment to help young talent has never been more important than it is right now as they work towards discovering and mentoring the next big talent.

The awards gala will also pay memorial tribute to Dorothea Petrie and Bill Blinn who were longtime Caucus members whose contributions over the decades were invaluable. Dorothea was the first woman to join the Caucus and Bill has been awarded with the Distinguished Service in 1994; Writer in 2008 and awarded with the Lifetime Member in 2010.

The event will take place at 6:30 p.m. P.S.T. on Thursday, March 4.

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Allison Jackson



The Caucus is leading the evolution of television by providing a creative forum for Producers, Writers and Directors to explore the issues of the ever-changing landscape of content and exhibition. The Caucus is proud of its rich history and esteemed membership of television innovators. For over 40 years The Caucus has provided an opportunity for the best and the brightest talent to network and voice the ‘creative conscience’ of the Television Industry. Today, we continue to stand for better andmeaningful content across all platforms. As Producers, Writers and Directors we support a working environment that fosters, through our various programs, the best content that we can create for our audiences.


The Caucus Foundation is the non-profit work of The Caucus, dedicated to scholarship support, financial grants and mentoring of a diverse group of talented students, to help them build their futures in all forms of content creation. Established in 2000 The Foundation provides completion grants to student thesis productions from accredited universities and colleges. To date The Caucus Foundation Grant Program has given almost $2 million dollars in cash and in-kind awards. The Foundation receives support from The Annenberg Foundation, Angell Foundation, Panavision and illuminate Hollywood.

Current members of The Caucus include: JJ Abrams, Kevin Bright, James Burrows, Vin Di Bona, Dennis Doty, Chuck Fries, Tom Hanks, Tanya Hart, Charles Floyd Johnson, James Hirsch, Bob Papazian, Norman Powell, Herman Rush and other leading producers, writers and directors.

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