Rosie O'Donnell to receive honorary Tony Award for dedication to arts education

By Daniel S Levine,

Rosie O’Donnell has been picked as this year’s recipient of the Isabelle Stevenson Award during the 2014 Tony Awards ceremony, held by the Broadway League and the American Theatre Wing.

The award is in recognition of the TV personality’s dedication to arts education, especially among New York City’s public school students, through Rosie’s Theater Kids. Since 2003, RTKids has been serving children in public schools to give them access to the arts in ways that they may not have had otherwise. The non-profit’s goal is to inspire children, building confidence and help them appreciate the arts.

“We are excited to announce Rosie as this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient,” said Charlotte St. Martin, Executive Director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, Executive Director of the American Theatre Wing, said in a joint statement. “Rosie exemplifies the spirit and the generosity of the Broadway community through her ‘pay it forward’ mentality within the arts community and beyond. Rosie constantly works to make our world a better place, and unconditional generosity like hers deserves great recognition.”

O’Donnell follows in the footsteps of several Broadway legends who have received the Isabelle Stevenson Award. It was presented to Larry Kramer last year and Bernadette Peters the year before. Other recipients include Eve Ensler, Phyllis Newman and David Hyde Pierce.

The 68th annual Tony Awards, which will honor the best of Broadway’s current season, will be hosted by Hugh Jackman. It will air live from Radio City Music Hall on CBS June 8. Nominees are announced on April 29.

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