July 14, 2024 The Best Source of News, Culture, Lifestyle for Culver City, Mar Vista, Del Rey, Palms and West Los Angeles

Glorya Kaufman: Using Art As a Vessel

Glorya Kaufman. Credit: Jeff Hall

BY Lauren Clark

Former Brentwood resident, benefactor of the Brentwood Kaufman Branch Library, dancer, and philanthropist Glorya Kaufman talks about how art helped her overcome her grief.

Glorya Kaufman sits on the edge of a long, plush couch in her sitting room in Beverly Hills and smiles unapologetically. “I never cared who watched [me dance],” she says.

The prolific philanthropist and founder of the USC Kaufman School of Dance says the art form has been one of the most prominent sources of healing in her own life, especially following the heartbreak of her husband’s untimely death.

Kaufman focuses on her and her husband’s journey in her memoir, “Gloryous Dance Affair,” which illustrates how art helped breathe life back into her world after he died. In it, she writes of how she was able to find the power within herself to commit the rest of her life to helping others during this period of heartbreak.

 Her belief in the ability of art to change lives has played a large role in propelling her through various philanthropic endeavors such as Julliard, Saint John’s Health Center, Inner City Arts, The Los Angeles Music Center, the American Jewish University and many others.

Her eyes fill with tears as she speaks about the students and families that have thanked her for efforts. She says she loves that the students at USC call her “Mom.”

Yet while her memoir delves into the past, Kaufman herself is firmly focused on the future, and is brimming with new projects.

She’s currently working on her next endeavor at the non-pro t organization, Vista Del Mar, helping children and families with challenging situations.

When she isn’t helping others, Kaufman loves to attend performances. She recently went to see a ballet at The Music Center, which combined three different dance companies and principal ballerina Tiler Peck.

Grateful for the life she has led, Kaufman says she stays firmly committed to her philanthropic projects and always “gets more than she gives,” by doing so.

 

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