The Spirit of the MACY Awards, founded in 1969,
is dedicated to encouraging, recognizing and rewarding
achievement and excellence in high school musical theatre.
The MACY Story
In 1969, John Childress, then a Los Angeles High-School principal and coach and his wife Lee saw that talented performing arts students did not receive the recognition for hard work and accomplishments that athletes did. With a love of musical theatre and help from Mayor Sam Yorty, Lee and John founded the MACY.
Since inception, Lee and John have always cared more about the students than anything else. For 35 years Lee and John funded the MACY. In 2005, John left the MACY in Lee’s capable hands.
Students who participate in the MACY Awards report that receiving a MACY Award is a “life-changing” experience.
The MACY Awards have been changing lives for 40 years.
The annual MACY Awards show is a celebration of the talent, hard work, dedication, energy and boundless enthusiasm of everyone who has participated in the wonderful musical theater productions of our schools.
Over 100 MACY alumni have continued in professional theater and all say that High School Theater was extremely important in shaping their careers. The encouragement and recognition provided by the MACY Awards helped gifted students become successful professionals. Those that don’t continue may get the biggest boost of all. Coming soon will be letters to show just a few of the accolades and love shown to Lee and John.
Lee and the MACY directors and judges will view 30 to 35 shows and award some 300 trophies and 10 scholarships at the annual awards ceremony. Selected schools will present a shortened version of their productions to the rousing applause of 1300-1500 of their peers and parents.
In addition to the individual benefits, these presentations have raised the quality of the MACY Awards each ensuing year. As Lee says each year, “These actors and actresses are beyond the beyond”.
Lee and the MACY organization have been recognized for their contributions by the Walt Disney Company, the City of Los Angeles, the County of Orange, The LA Times and the Orange County Register.
The MACY, “Music and Arts Commendation for Youth” is a California 501(c)3 Non-Profit Public Benefit Corporation with Mrs. Lee Childress as its Chairman.