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11th Annual Art For Life East Hampton Benefit

Originally Posted: July 14, 2010

East Hampton - Russell Simmons and Danny Simmons, founders of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, will celebrate their 11th annual Art For Life East Hampton benefit gala on Saturday, July 24 at Russell Simmons East Hampton estate. The star-studded fundraising event will honor entrepreneur Richie Akiva, philanthropists Allison and Chip Brady, renowned author and lecturer Deepak Chopra and record producer Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean.

This year's Event Chairs include Mark Birnbaum of EMM Group Inc., Jamison Ernest of Yellow Fever, Robin Thicke and Paula Patton. The evening with be hosted by actor Anthony Anderson. Bonhams CEO Malcolm Barber will serve as the evening's Auctioneer with music by DJ M.O.S.

Art For Life East Hampton is Rush Philanthropic's primary annual fundraising effort that helps support thousands of underserved New York children. Close to 800 industry 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 just over $1.3 million. Proceeds from the annual gala benefit the Foundation's own visual arts education and gallery programs.

Russell Simmons has always held a firm belief that art saves lives. He says, "Time and again we see the transformative power of the arts when young people are given the opportunity of creative expression but each year budgets are cut, the arts often take the hardest hit. Arts education isn't a luxury, it's a necessity, and it's imperative that we all continue to make it our priority to support programs like Rush Philanthropic's that propel arts education into the lives of our youth." Individual tickets start at $1,500 with tables of ten starting at $15,000.

The annual gala takes on a life of its own with its featured theme and color scheme. Summer white with a splash of color will serve as the color scheme for the evening evoking a whimsical and enchanting atmosphere for A Night of Wonder! Creative Director and Founder of Sutka Productions, Bruce Sutka, says about this year's theme "Working within the theme of 'wonder' - this year Sutka Productions will create an atmosphere that exemplifies the marvelous feeling of childhood - when everything had a sense of wonderment. We will also be playing with a fun range of colors this year and incorporating words throughout the décor that embody Rush Philanthropic's mission of supporting the arts. The words include inspire, amaze, create, imagine and wonder."

Bounty, this year's Platinum Sponsor, continues its partnership with Rush Philanthropic and the brand's paper towels will be featured in a paper mache sculpture garden at the Art For Life benefit. The garden will feature animal sculptures created by the youth in Rush's arts education program using Bounty paper towels. Sculptures will also be incorporated into the centerpieces of VIP tables at the event. "Bounty is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor of the 11th Annual Art For Life benefit. Together, Bounty and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation are continuing its partnership with the 'Make a Clean Difference' program," said Dave Lee, Bounty brand manager.

"The Art For Life benefit is the perfect time to announce Bounty's national back-to-school contest, which will provide children with clean learning environments where creativity and learning can flourish. Parents, teachers and community members are encouraged to take part in the contest and nominate a school's art room to receive a 'Bounty' transformation."

For the third consecutive year, Rush Philanthropic will team up with online auction experts Charity Buzz to further the event's charitable outreach. Charity Buzz works with top causes and their charities to raise funds and awareness through innovative auctions on a global basis. The Art For Life online auction will be live from July 14 through August 4. Packages to be auctioned off this year include a one week stay at actress Patricia Velasquez's Private Villa on the scenic Margarita Island, dinner for 10 catered by acclaimed Chef Todd English at Forbes Townhouse, a four day/three night stay at the luxurious Vanderbilt Hall in Newport, Rhode Island which includes spa treatments and a year-long membership to Vanderbilt Hall Club. Bidders can click http://www.charitybuzz.com/auctions/artforlifehamptons for a chance to take home an array of hot items and celebrity experiences.

The Art For Life East Hampton benefit receives a great amount support from the entertainment, art and financial communities. Past participants, attendees and supporters have included CNN's Soledad O'Brien, New York Governor David Paterson, Vanessa Williams, Kyle MacLachlan, Adrienne Bailon, Star Jones, Donna Karan, Aretha Franklin, Sean "Diddy" Combs, Dr. Mehmet Oz, Gayle King, Forest and Keisha Whitaker, Susan Sarandon, Alicia Keys, Usher, Mary J. Blige, Tim Robbins, Petra Nemcova, Kimora Lee Simmons, Padma Lakshmi, Christy Turlington Burns and Ed Burns, Lorraine Bracco, Al Roker and Deborah Roberts, Sante D'Orazio, Grant and Tamia Hill, Lyor Cohen, Alan and Susan Patricof, Kevin Liles, Tracey Edmonds, Angela, Diggy, Russy and Justine Simmons, Antonio "L.A." Reid, as well as The Real Housewives of NYC's Jill and Bobby Zarin, Ramona and Mark Singer, The Countess LuAnn de Lesseps and Kelly Bensimon.

About Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph "Rev. Run" Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization, is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, and to offering exhibition opportunities for underrepresented artists and artists of color. Over the past 15 years, Rush has developed a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters dedicated to supporting its mission. In addition to the 2,000 students served in its education programs, each year Rush exhibits the work of 40 to 50 emerging and community-based artists in its galleries; welcomes over 10,000 gallery visitors; and provides unique opportunities for young galleries and arts education programs in Chelsea, Manhattan (Rush Arts Gallery) and Clinton Hill, Brooklyn (Corridor Gallery). Rush Education Programs are designed to inspire students, provide positive alternatives to high-risk behaviors, and support increased academic performance.

For more information go to www.rushphilanthropic.org.

For ticketing information contact 212-810-4490, or ARTFORLIFE@HAVENLLC.COM .

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