US & World

Former Disney exec's foundation establishes a prize for intergenerational bridge builders

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There’s the Nobel Prize for peace, literature and the sciences, the MacArthur grant for creative excellence and the Pritzker Prize in architecture. But few if any awards honor people who bring generations together for the common good. Until now.

This new award is called the Eisner Prize for Intergenerational Excellence — that’s Eisner as in former Walt Disney Company chief Michael Eisner. His family foundation has concentrated its grantmaking on the problems of young people and elders.

At some point along the way, the organization’s officers recognized that intergenerational projects can foster powerful results and that almost nobody encouraged innovative ways to connect the generations. So the Los Angeles-based foundation launched a year-long search for nominees throughout the United States.

The first Eisner Prize will go to the Intergenerational Center at Temple University in Philadelphia. It’s $100,000 with no strings attached. Foundation officials will present that prize later this month at a conference in Virginia and they’ll solicit nominations for the second annual prize starting next month.