Ryan Kavanaugh got involved in his favorite charity through a former girlfriend. An actress, she dragged him to the Art of the Elysium events.
And Kavanaugh, a former guitar player, found himself performing for the sick children the org entertains. A few years later, and he is chairman of its board.
The charity, founded by Jennifer Howell in 1997 after a childhood friend with leukemia told her about a young boy receiving treatment alone, conducts artistic workshops in children’s hospitals and treatment facilities. It depends on actors, musicians and comedians to donate their time and services.
But the Art of the Elysium also helps support struggling artists — with the expectation that they will give back to the charity once they succeed.
“It’s the first charity I would call a circle,” Kavanaugh says. “It’s really great.”
Kavanaugh, and by extension his company Relativity, also support a series of other charities. Among them: Best Buddies, an organization devoted to people with intellectual disabilities, founded by Anthony Shriver; First Star, a charity dedicated to improving the lives of abused children; Jewish Big Brothers Big Sisters; and Sheriff’s Youth Foundation.