Donald Rothman, noted trial attorney and longtime supporter of the Baltimore School for the Arts was known as “one in a million.” Along with his wife, Bette, he demonstrated unwavering perseverance and leadership of the school’s first endowment campaign in the 1980s, raising the first $1 million. Now, the Rothmans’ children are continuing the legacy of their parents. Julie is currently vice chair of the BSA Board of Trustees and has been a dynamic community supporter for years; Tom and his wife, Jessica, donated $250,000 to the Charles C. Baum Film and Visual Storytelling Department to establish the Rothman Endowed Fund in Visual Storytelling.
“BSA is an inspiring institution of defiant determination and belief,” said Tom. “It’s also really cool. My father and mother supported it back in the day, and my sister does so now. My wife, Jessica, and I are honored to continue that tradition of support, and hope others will join us.”
The fund, in honor of his late parents, will support important interdisciplinary collaborative initiatives such as artists-in-residence, master classes, special student projects, and film productions. This gift, given during the celebration of the 40th anniversary of the high school, is a tribute to the Rothman family’s long and rich history with the BSA.
Chairman of the Sony Pictures Motion Group, Tom also played a critical role in the establishment of BSA’s film department. As the 2016 Charles C. Baum Symposium for Business and the Arts keynote, Tom spoke about the evolving business side of the movie industry. He also led a panel discussion with industry experts to help determine the focus of the new film department curriculum.
“The Rothman family has played an incredibly important role both in the life of the Baltimore School for the Arts and in the city at large,” said Chris Ford, director of the BSA. “This gift will help us provide an excellent education to Baltimore’s young storytellers for generations to come. It also celebrates what’s possible when we all come together to build a brighter future for the city and its children.”
The Charles C. Baum Film and Visual Storytelling Department was launched Fall 2017, thanks to a generous gift from Patricia and Mark Joseph, BSA’s lead donors and founders. The Josephs’ gift included a challenge grant, and the Rothmans’ gift will be matched 1:1, doubling the impact of Tom’s and Jessica’s generosity.
A newly constructed film space will be dedicated in honor of the Rothman family during the 2019-20 school year.
You can learn more in this article from the Baltimore Sun.