- Russell Simmons
and Danny Simmons
, founders of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, will celebrate the 10th Anniversary of their Art For Life
East Hampton benefit gala on Saturday, July 18 in East Hampton. The annual star-studded fundraising event will honor actress Vanessa Williams
, BET Co-Founder Sheila C. Johnson
and Target. This year's Event Chairs include John Bartlett
and Chip Brady
, Tim Gunn
, StephEn Hill
, Donna Karan
, Susan Taylor
and David Tisch
. Simon de Pury
, of Phillips de Pury & Co., will serve as the evening's Auctioneer with music by DJ M.O.S.
Russell Simmons to host 10th anniversary Art For Life. Images courtesy of Google Images
Art For Life East Hampton is Rush Philanthropic's primary annual fundraising effort to help support thousands of underserved New York children. Close to 800 leaders from the entertainment, arts, business and philanthropic communities attend the event each year. Art For Life is one of the most anticipated events of the Hamptons summer season and sells out annually. Last year's event raised a record breaking $1.5 million dollars. Proceeds from the annual gala benefits New York City non-profit organizations, which offer education programming in all disciplines of the arts, as well as the Foundation's own visual arts education programs. Individual tickets start at $1,500 with tables of 10 starting at $15,000.
"A great yogi once said 'the imagination is God.' The cultivation of creativity should be the most important thing in the education process and schools can be like prisons if we don't recognize this fact", says Rush Co-founder Russell Simmons. "After 10 years, I am still hosting this Art For Life event at my home because the need is greater than ever, and through the generosity of our friends who return year after year the Rush Foundation is fortunate to still be here nurturing our youth, inspiring creativity, changing lives."
The annual gala takes on a life of its own with its featured theme and color scheme each year. This year, Art For Life East Hampton will evoke the romance and glamour of Old Hollywood. Classic black and white films are the romantic inspiration for the décor. Visions of Old Hollywood glamour whipped up with a dash of modern design elements will give guests a magical evening that exudes a chic, cool style from a glamorous by-gone era.
Danny Simmons is co-host with his brother Russell.
Staying true to the Foundation's platform to celebrate the arts, each year Rush Philanthropic selects an individual in the art community to be the event's Featured Artist. This year Rush Philanthropic will feature contemporary artist, graphic designer, and illustrator, Shepard Fairey
, who emerged from the skateboarding scene in 1989 while attending the Rhode Island School of Design. He first became known for his "André the Giant Has a Posse" sticker campaign, in which Fairey appropriated images from the comedic supermarket tabloid Weekly World News
. His work became more widely known during the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign, specifically with his Barack Obama
HOPE poster. The Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston calls him, "one of today's best known and most influential street artists". As a special bonus, 2009 Art For Life Platinum Easel Table patrons will receive "Close-Knit", a signed limited edition Shepard Fairey print of two girls knitting [in Rush's Arts Education program], which according to Fairey, "captures the idea that learning art in schools is about more than crayon drawings, it's about creativity, something that transcends all class and race boundaries. The joy of making something is universal, and it's an opportunity that every kid should have." The print will also be auctioned off at the event.
Additionally, three youth groups are also selected as the event's Featured Youth Beneficiaries. This year's beneficiaries include City Year New York & Servicenation, Figure Skating in Harlem and Multicultural Music Group, Inc., who will perform during the cocktail hour.
Following the success of last year's first-ever on-line auction, Rush Philanthropic will team up again with online auction experts Charity Buzz to further the event's charitable outreach and bring the auction to the web. Charity Buzz works with top celebrities and their charities to raise funds and awareness through innovative auctions on a global basis. The Art For Life on-line auction will go live on June 23 and will last through July 28. Bidders can click http://artforlife.charitybuzz.com/view for a chance to take home an array of hot items and celebrity experiences.
The Art For Life East Hampton benefit receives a great support from the entertainment, art and financial communities. Past attendees and supporters have included New York Governor David Paterson
, Aretha Franklin
, Sean "Diddy" Combs
, Gayle King
and Keisha Whitaker
, Susan Sarandon
and Tim Robbins
, Alicia Keys
, Mary J. Blige
, Petra Nemcova
, Kimora Lee Simmons
, Padma Lakshmi
, Christy Turlington Burns
and Ed Burns
, Lorraine Bracco
, Al Roker
and Deborah Roberts
, Sante D'Orazio
and Tamia Hill
, Lyor Cohen
, Alan Patricof
, Kevin Liles
, Tracey Edmonds
, Antonio "L.A." Reid
as well as "The Real Housewives of New York City's" Jill
and Bobby Zarin
and Mark Singer
, Countess LuAnn de Lesseps
and Kelly Bensimon
About Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
Co-Founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation co-founder Rev. Run Simmons.
Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing underserved urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, and to offering exhibition opportunities for underrepresented artists and artists of color. Rush was founded in 1995 by three brothers: Danny Simmons, visual artist and community builder; media mogul Russell Simmons; and Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons
of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. Their goal was to fill the gap that poor and minorities face in both accessing the arts and exhibition opportunities.
Over the past 14 years, Rush has developed a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters dedicated to addressing these issues. In addition to the 2,000 students served each year in its education programs, Rush exhibits the work of 40 to 50 emerging and community-based artists in its galleries; welcomes over 10,000 gallery visitors; distributes grants to non-profit arts organizations in NYC and South Florida; and provides unique opportunities for young people interested in careers in the arts. Rush currently operates galleries and arts education programs in Chelsea (Manhattan) on West 26th Street and Clinton Hill (Brooklyn) on Grand Avenue. Rush Education Programs are designed to inspire students, provide positive alternatives to high-risk behaviors, and support increased academic performance. Your support of Art For Life East Hampton makes this programming possible.
For ticketing information contact Tracey Doolin at Inez Weinstein Special Events at 212-254-6677 or 212-614-0400, Fax: 212-477-4501, or firstname.lastname@example.org.