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Anthony Russo, Joe Russo and Angela Russo-Otstot receive honorary doctorates from Cleveland Insitute of Art

Posted at 7:57 AM, Mar 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-12 07:55:10-05

CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Institute of Art will honor internationally renowned producers, writers and directors Joe and Anthony Russo and Angelo Russo-Otstot with Honorary Doctor of Art degrees for their contributions to film, television and their hometown of Cleveland.

For generations, the Russos have been a part of the Cleveland community. This recognition is particularly meaningful to the Russos who all grew up watching movies at the Cleveland Institute of Art Cinematheque.

Anthony, Joe and I feel a special kinship with the Cleveland Institute of Art. During my brief but impactful time spent teaching at CIA, I was constantly inspired by the students’ unwavering thirst for innovation, artistic collaboration, and bravery toward disruption,” says Angela Russo-Otstot, President of Creative at AGBO and former professor at CIA. “These are the guiding principles Anthony, Joe and I also try to live by as artists and they are the mission drivers at our studio AGBO. We are truly honored to be associated with this admirable institution and remarkable community of alumni.”

The Russos will join a group of 15 others who received honorary degrees from CIA in its 138-year history, including entertainment icons Brian Michael Bendis and Willem Dafoe.

“What makes all their work so extraordinary, be it "Arrested Development," "Community," "Welcome to Collinwood," "The Avengers" or now "Cherry," is that the impact is always character-driven behind the humor, the action or the spectacle. And that is why they get such extraordinary performances from their great company of actors. We connect with the people on that screen and that puts each work over the top,” says Grafton Nunes, CIA president and CEO. “Their pursuit of creative excellence epitomizes our mission at CIA and makes them eminently deserving of honorary degrees from our institution.”

"Cherry" is the latest movie from the Russos about a disenfranchised man from Ohio who meets the love of his life, only to risk losing her through a series of bad decisions and life circumstances.

RELATED: Cleveland's own Russo brothers and other productions crews help boost the city's economy with new Hollywood films