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Franco Zeffirelli Scholarship Fund for the Arts

Mr. Zeffirelli as Grand Marshal of the Columbus Citizens Parade

The Columbus Citizens Foundation established the Franco Zeffirelli Scholarship Fund for the Arts in honor of Mr. Zeffirelli’s contributions to the world of film and stage. The Fund was established in 2002, the year Mr. Zeffirelli was Grand Marshal of the Columbus Day Parade. The Fund was established through a directive by past Foundation President Lawrence Auriana. An initial and substantial contribution to the Fund was made by Mr. Zeffirelli himself. During the 2002 Columbus Celebration, Mr. Zeffirelli held a benefit premiere of his movie Callas Forever at the Ziegfield Theater in New York City and donated the evening’s proceeds to help establish the Fund.

The Franco Zeffirelli Scholarship Fund for the Arts continues a long-standing tradition of cultural exchange between Italy and the United States that dates back to the founding of America. The Fund has awarded scholarships to Italian students from the Istituto Statale d’Arte of Florence, Mr. Zeffirelli’s alma mater, to allow them to study in New York under programs developed by Greg Wyatt, Sculptor-in-Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine. Other scholarships have been awarded to students of the performing and fine arts, and of art history.

Scholarships are awarded to students recommended by Directors and distinguished faculty members of important Academies of Fine Art throughout many regions of Italy, Including Franco Zeffirelli’s alma mater in Florence, Istituto Statale d’Arte.