Tim Disney lends sponsorship support to 2021 Zócalo Book and Poetry Prize

LA philanthropist will present prizes at May 2021 event


Zócalo Public Square has a new sponsor for its 2021 Zócalo book and poetry prize award ceremony to be held as a virtual event on May 20. 

Screenwriter and Los Angeles philanthropist Tim Disney has gifted $20,000 to support this year’s prize event, which recognizes a nonfiction book that best enhances understanding of community and social cohesion, and the poem that best describes human connectedness to place. 

“We received more than 200 entries for our book prize and over 500 poetry submissions,” said Moira Shourie, executive director of Zócalo. “Mr. Disney’s generous support allows us to reach a wider audience and bring people together to celebrate the work of scholars and poets that we will recognize at the 2021 Zócalo prize event.”

The contribution is the largest individual sponsorship for these prizes in the 11-year history of this signature Zócalo event and for Disney, a longtime supporter of the creative arts, literature and philanthropic organizations, the time couldn’t be more right to shine a light on the cornerstone of Zócalo’s public mission.

“To be a conscious human in our modern world is to be adrift on a flood tide of information — some of it true and relevant; much of it false and toxic,” Disney said. “Artists and writers help us make sense and meaning of it all. The Zócalo book and poetry prize celebrates this most essential of human acts. I am happy and proud to support this year's event and congratulate the winners.”

Disney will present the winners of this year’s book and poetry prizes during a virtual event that will be livestreamed on several digital platforms on May 20. Over the last year, Zócalo’s online events have attracted national and international audiences from cities as close by as Santa Monica, California, and Phoenix to countries as far away as Australia and India. 

Tim Disney is the son of Roy E. Disney, former executive of the world-renowned Walt Disney Company co-founded by Tim’s grandfather Roy O. Disney and granduncle Walt Disney. Tim has served on the CalArts Board of Trustees since 1993 and was named chairman of the board in 2014. He is also a board member at the Southern California Institute of Architecture. 

Founded in Los Angeles in 2003, Zócalo Public Square is an ASU Knowledge Enterprise. Zócalo connects people to ideas and to one another by examining essential questions in an accessible, broad-minded and democratic spirit. It pursues its mission by convening events and by publishing ideas journalism syndicated to 290 media outlets worldwide.

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