We have been fortunate to attract an energetic board of distinguished individuals who loved and admired David, and are committed to the same goals of encouraging innovative and entertaining art. They are:
Patrick Fugit: Pat has known David since they acted together at the University of Utah’s Theatre School for Youth, and practiced falling convincingly on their elementary school playground.
Patrick Fugit appeared in his first major film role, Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous” in 2000, and has appeared in many films since, including 2014’s “Gone Girl,” with Ben Affleck, “White Oleander,” with Michelle Pfeiffer, and “Wristcutters,” with Tom Waits. He currently stars in the Cinemax hit show “Outcast.” David and Patrick are the founders and mainstays of the indie band “Mushman.”
Cara Despain, Vice-President: Cara Despain is an an artist and a writer who has exhibited nationally and has been published in numerous periodicals. She is also is currently Foundation Education Manager at the Rubell Family Collection in Miami, Florida. She was born in Salt Lake City, Utah where she attended the University of Utah, and has lived in Boston, Berlin and currently Miami. She was co-founder and co-curator of GARFO Art Center at the Visual Art Institute in Salt Lake, and additionally has guest curated exhibitions and sat on juries for art residencies and awards. She has also assisted in the productions of the films of David Fetzer and Kenny Riches and was art director for the feature film The Strongest Man.
Kenny Riches, President: I am just part Kenny. The other parts of me are comprised of all the people I’ve let into my little life, and I must say, David is a huge part of who I am, who I was, and who I will continue be. His beauty, friendship and genius being completely infectious, when David and I started making short films with our friends, it was a turning point in my life. Even though we were just dumb kids making silly short films, David took it all so seriously, and in turn, we all did. Now, mostly grown up, I’m a filmmaker and an artist — I am so for the part that is Kenny, and even more so because of the part of me that is David.
Kenny Riches is an artist and filmmaker born in Toyota City, Japan, who currently lives in Miami, Florida. He has exhibited his artwork nationally, most recently at the Utah Museum of Contemporary Art, Jancar Gallery Los Angeles, and the Torrance Art Museum. His first feature film, Must Come Down, starring David Fetzer and Ashly Burch was screened to audiences at Cinequest San Jose, Newport Beach Film Festival, St. Paul/Minneapolis International Film Festival, among many others. His second feature film, The Strongest Man, was screened to audiences at Sundance Film Festival, Phoenix Film Festival, Miami International Film Festival, and will be coming to a theatre near you in the not-so-distant future. Stay tuned for news about his third feature film, A Name Without A Place, with Patrick Fugit and Elizabeth McGovern.
Rick Anderson: Since my early adult years, I have had the privilege in life of knowing and watching young artists strive to develop their talent and work. It is not an easy undertaking. Often personal economics suffers due to the time commitment necessarily involved. Focus can be fleeting as new ideas and new inspirations constantly present themselves. Yet, those of talent and patience can and do prevail. These young artists offer all of us hope and perhaps a more sane future. It is for that reason alone, that ensuring support for such individuals is critically important.
I had a most fortunate gift given to me a decade and a half ago. I was introduced to David Fetzer, someone who would become not only my step-son, but who would offer some of life’s most important lessons to me. I watched, I observed closely as David matured as an artist in an array of venues, be it writing, acting, or performing music. He, like so many of his peers, struggled to corral his artistic talents toward a more defined, perhaps refined, work product. Maturation was evident in his work. And the lessons David taught me were really, in the end, simple. Be principled, be dedicated, be willing to work hard, and perhaps most importantly, being willing to take risk. It is my hope that David’s legacy will endure in this Foundation, and by so doing, other young and emerging artists will also experience the success they so deserve.
Dr. Rick Anderson was a principal with the energy consulting firm Energy Strategies, LLC before retiring in 2015, and has a PhD from the University of Utah in Economics.
Dustin Guy Defa: I met David when he played Pinocchio at City Rep Theater in Salt Lake City. I think he was twelve. He was brilliant. Even though I was older than him we were almost friends already. We became closer when he was older and as we both tried to figure out how to make movies. He starred in and produced my short film Jitterbug, and later he co-produced and acted as assistant director on my feature Bad Fever. David was always the first person to read my screenplays. I could trust him to help me out and to be honest. There will always be a missing place there where David won’t be there to guide me a little. We did good with Bad Fever; the film premiered at SXSW and got good reviews from places like The New Yorker, Village Voice and Variety when it opened theatrically. After that my short film Family Nightmare played at Sundance and dozens of other festivals. I’m preparing my next feature, which David was also going to participate in. Hopefully this Foundation will help to nurture talent like his and keep his creative spirit alive.
Dustin is a filmmaker living in New York. His feature film Person to Person, starring Michael Cera, Abbi Jacobson, & Tavi Gevinson, screened at Sundance in 2017, following upon his short of the same name, which had its US premiere at 2014 Sundance Film Festival, and its international premiere at 2014 Berlinale.
Jenny Mackenzie: Although I never met David, as soon as I met his mother, Betsy, I felt as though I knew him, and I wanted to be on this board. As a filmmaker, I share David’s love of film and theatre. As a mother of a daughter who abused prescription opiates (and is thankfully alive and healthy), I am committed to prevention, education, and advocacy work around opiate abuse.
Jenny Mackenzie, Ph.D. is an award winning documentary filmmaker whose mission is to produce films that create and promote social change. Her films include KICK LIKE A GIRL, WHERE’S HERBIE? SUGAR BABIES, LEAD WITH LOVE and DYING IN VEIN. Her films have aired on top broadcast channels such as HBO, screen at international film festivals, and are currently being used by the US State Department to discuss public health and social justice issues around the globe. As clinician, researcher, former non-profit administrator, and mother of three, Dr. Mackenzie also uses her professional experience, humor, and real life passion to address the power of social impact film making as well known motivational speaker.