Thank you to our underwriters and guests for making the

11th Annual Encore Luncheon a huge success!

Check out photos from the event!

HSPVA Friends’ 11th Annual Encore Luncheon, Laughing Matters, brought together more than 300 guests to raise funds for The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts and to celebrate the life of HSPVA’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus, Harris Wittels, who passed away in 2015. Forty HSPVA students entertained guests with comedy and big band music, plus a performance of “A Musical” from Something Rotten. Guests also admired one-of-a-kind artworks from the school’s Visual Arts students.

Harris Wittels (HSPVA Theatre ‘02) is best known as a comedy writer and Emmy-nominated executive producer for the NBC comedy Parks and Recreation, a writer for The Sarah Silverman Program, and a featured guest on the podcast Comedy Bang! Bang! He was also a writer for Secret Girlfriend, Eastbound and Down, and Master of None. Harris coined the term “humblebrag,” and his book, Humblebrag: The Art of False Modesty, was published in 2012.

To honor the late Harris Wittels, his friends and colleagues Scott Aukerman, Adam Scott, and Jeff Ullrich spoke on his behalf. Parks and Recreation star Amy Poehler and HSPVA alumna and Grey’s Anatomy star Chandra Wilson made remarks via video. Guests had the opportunity to bid on a visit to the Grey’s Anatomy set, including lunch with Chandra Wilson. The winning bid was $20,000.



HSPVA’s 2017 Distinguished Alumnus,

writer, musician, comedian, and producer Harris Wittels (1984-2015)

HSPVA’s Distinguished Alumni

Chandra Wilson

Emmy Award-winning actor, director, and producer best known as Dr. Bailey on Grey’s Anatomy

Jason Moran

Jazz musician and MacArthur fellow

Camille Zamora

Internationally-acclaimed soprano

Bianna Golodryga

Yahoo news and finance anchor and former co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend Edition

Sara Hickman

Folk singer/songwriter and 2010 State Musician of Texas

Matt Mullenweg

Social media entrepreneur and founder of WordPress

Mireille Enos

Tony and Emmy Award-nominated actor best known for her work on The Killing and The Catch

Mark Seliger

Former lead Rolling Stone photographer best known for his iconic portraiture

Bryan-Michael Cox

Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer