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Higgins Youth Courage Awards
Questions and Answers
Who was Colin Higgins?
Higgins was one of Hollywood's most beloved directors and screenwriters.
Born in the South Pacific island of New Caledonia to an Australian
mother and American father, Higgins moved with his family to Redwood,
CA from Sydney in the fifties. After attending Stanford University
for a year, he dropped out to hitchhike across the country. His
travels took him first to the Actors Studio in New York and then
to Europe where he volunteered for the Army as a sports reporter
for The Stars and Stripes. He eventually returned to Stanford
to receive his degree in English and later attended film school
at UCLA. During his final year, he wrote the screenplay for Harold
today it is considered to be one of the great Hollywood movies,
Harold and Maude was a huge flop when it opened during the
Christmas season of 1971 with little fanfare and advertising. The
unusual romance between a young man and a much older woman, starring
Bud Cort and Ruth Gordon, struck a chord with audiences and soon
became a cult favorite around the world. His stage version ran in
Paris for seven years.
the success of Harold and Maude, Higgins went on to write
and direct some of the most successful films of the 70's and 80's,
working with some of the biggest names in Hollywood, including Jane
Fonda, Goldie Hawn, Richard Pryor and Burt Reynolds. His critically
acclaimed films include Silver Streak, Foul Play, Nine to Five
and The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas.
1986, Higgins established a foundation in his name to further his
humanitarian concerns. That year, he also completed a television
mini-series based on Shirley MacLaine's book Out on a Limb,
which turned out to be his last film project. Higgins died of AIDS
is the mission of the Colin Higgins Foundation?
Colin Higgins Foundation supports a wide variety of causes furthering
HIV/AIDS prevention, education care and harm reduction, and fostering lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender empowerment. It emphasizes reaching geographically and demographically underserved communities including rural and reservation communities, communities of color, transgender communities, and low-income communities. The foundation is part
of Tides, a larger parent foundation which partners with donors to increase and organize resources for social change.
did the foundation create the Youth Courage Awards?
foundation established the Youth Courage Awards in 2000 to further the
spirit and lifework of Colin Higgins. All of Colin Higgins's films
celebrate honesty and integrity in the face of adversity: Harold
and Maude find love despite the objections of family and society,
the heroes of Nine to Five find fulfillment and save the
company by learning to appreciate their individual talents and differences,
and the despised madam of The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas
transforms the lives of many through her kindness. The individuals
chosen to receive the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards have endured
overwhelming hostility and hate, yet have handled themselves with
the utmost grace.
do the Colin Higgins Youth Courage Awards fit within the larger civil
everyone in our society is free from bigotry, harassment and fear,
none of us are free. There are a handful of foundations that support
civil rights groups and gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender groups
in particular. While this support is critical to the movement, the
Colin Higgins Foundation wanted to create a way to honor ordinary
but remarkable individuals whose courage helped to educate and enlighten
others about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender experience.
does someone get nominated for an award?
foundation is committed to making the awards an annual tradition
and is excited to be in a position to recognize and honor the courage
of the unsung heroes in the struggle for gay, lesbian, bisexual
and transgender equality. The foundation encourages others to recommend
potential award recipients. Please submit names and relevant information
though our nomination process...
is the Colin Higgins Foundation's relationship to Tides?
Colin Higgins is administered by Tides – a progressive public foundation with offices In New York City, San Francisco, CA and Washington, DC. Tides has granted over $1 Billion since its founding in 1976, Tides has partnered with donors and institutions by offering donor-advised funds, philanthropic advice and management services for progressive social change philanthropy. Tides is committed to strengthening community-based nonprofit organizations and the progressive movement through national and global philanthropy -- creating a positive impact on people's lives in ways that honor and promote human rights, economic justice and a healthy, sustainable environment.