O’Donnell is being honored for her commitment to arts education for New York City’s public school children. In 2003 Rosie’s For All Kids Foundation launched Rosie’s Broadway Kids, which is now known as Rosie’s Theater Kids (RTKids).
Rosie’s Theater Kids is a "non-profit arts education organization which continually provides training in dance, music and drama for students attending public school in New York City. RTKids serves students who otherwise would not have the opportunity to experience theater, positively changing the trajectory of their lives by providing comprehensive classes in music, dance and drama; thoughtful mentoring; and structured academic guidance. Dedicated to enriching the lives of children though the arts, their goal is to inspire excellence, motivate learning, uplift the human spirit, build confidence, and spark a lifelong appreciation for the arts."
“We are excited to announce Rosie as this year’s Isabelle Stevenson Award recipient. 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,” said Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League, and Heather Hitchens, executive director of the American Theatre Wing, in a joint statement.
For six years, O’Donnell served as host and executive producer of the critically acclaimed and Emmy Award-winning nationally syndicated talk/variety series "The Rosie O’Donnell Show." She has hosted the Tony Awards three times and won the Emmy for Outstanding Variety, Music Or Comedy Special for the 52nd Annual Tony Awards. Her theatre credits include Rizzo in the 1994 revival of Grease; Seussical; Fiddler on the Roof; Love, Loss and What I Wore; and the Encores! production of No, No, Nanette. In 2004 O'Donnell combined her love of Broadway with 80s pop musical sensation Boy George and produced the musical Taboo.
The Tony Awards, hosted by Hugh Jackman, will be broadcast in a live three-hour ceremony from Radio City Music Hall June 8 on CBS beginning at 8 PM ET. For more information on the Tony Awards, visit www.TonyAwards.com.