The Disneyland Alumni Club helps out Ryman Arts

By Mark Eades, Disneyland Alumni Club, Ryman Arts Supporter

It was a beautiful Sunday at Walt’s Barn in Los Angeles, a perfect day and place for a special moment.

The moment was when Diane Brigham, executive director of Ryman Arts, stopped by to receive a donation of $500 to the Ryman-Carroll Foundation from representatives of the Disneyland Alumni Club.

Mark Keiser, president of the Disneyland Alumni Club, along with Richard Ferrin, its vice-president, presented her with the check.

“This check will help fund art supplies for a number of students accepted into our program,” Brigham said.

The donation came about thanks to the generosity of club members, and a disciplined approach to spending by the club.

“The legacy of Ryman Arts is part of the very foundation of Disneyland, Walt Disney and the man who helped Walt develop the first concepts for our Magic Kingdom,” Keiser said.

Keiser added that Ryman Arts commitment to providing solid training for young artists fits in with the Club’s mission to promote the spirit of Disneyland.

Vice-president Ferrin echoed those remarks saying, “The magical qualities that make Disneyland special are the magical qualities programs like those of Ryman Arts instills in budding artists.”

Ferrin, an artist and designer, also said Ryman Arts will be a part of the Club’s plans for its big Disneyland 65th anniversary reunion in 2020, and in 2019.

Ryman Arts was founded by friends and family of Disney artist and Legend Herbie Ryman after his passing in 1989. It was established to carry on his philosophy of teaching the foundational skills of drawing and painting to young artist to help them reach their full potential.

It primarily achieves this goal through a series of art classes taught by professional artists on weekends at Otis College of Art & Design and California State University, Fullerton. None of the students (mostly high school age) have to pay for the classes or the cost of their art supplies, thanks to the donations the foundation receives.

Founders included the late Marty Sklar, and Harrison “Buzz” Price - both Disney Legends, along with Sharon Disney Lund, Walt Disney’s daughter.

The Disneyland Alumni Club was started by Disney Legend Van France who, along with Dick Nunis, wanted to create a group that would help current and former cast members stay in touch after leaving their positions at the Disneyland Resort. Additionally, it works to improve the community through its actions and donations to other organizations.

The Club’s motto is, “Always part of the Magic!”

Both organizations, along with Walt’s Barn through the Carolwood Foundation, are 501 (c) (3) non-profit organizations.


Photo Caption: (l-r) Mark Keiser, President of the Disneyland Alumni Club, Diane Brigham, Executive Director of Ryman Arts, and Richard Ferrin of the Disneyland Alumni Club.

Photo Credit: Mark Eades