Russell Simmons’ Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Eighth Annual “Art For Life” Adds Forest Whitaker, Kerry Washington, Rev Run and Family and Many More Plus Designer Yellow Wardrobe for Auction

June 29, 2007 at 3:25 pm | Posted in Hip Hop News/Press Releases | Leave a comment

Russell Simmons and Kimora Lee Simmons and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation are pleased to announce Oscar®-winner Forest Whitaker, Tracy V. Maitland of Advent Capital Management, LLC and David G. Rosenberg of Unifund as honorees, and actress Kerry Washington as an Event Chair at this year’s ART FOR LIFE East Hampton 2007. Washington will join Damon Dash and Rachel Roy who were announced earlier as Event Chairs; Ivanka Trump and Antonio “L.A.” Reid are the Honorary Chairs. In addition Rush Philanthropic co-founder, iconic Hip-Hop artist and star of MTV’s “Run’s House”, Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, along with his wife Justine and children, Vanessa, Angela, JoJo, Russy (Russell) and Diggy (Daniel) will also be in attendance at this year’s event.

ART FOR LIFE East Hampton, which takes place on Saturday, July 28th 2007 at the Simmons’ East Hampton estate, is Rush Philanthropic’s primary annual fundraising effort to help thousands of underserved New York City children. Previously announced honorees include BAM (Brooklyn Academy of Music, Inc.) and Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. Close to 900 leaders from the entertainment, arts, business, and philanthropic communities attend the event each year, which is highlighted by live and silent auctions. The event is one of the hottest tickets of the summer and sells out annually; last year’s gala raised almost $1.4 million to provide disadvantaged New York City youth with invaluable arts experiences.

“Giving every child the opportunity to develop into the most they can be is one of the greatest gifts you can give,” emphasized Kimora Lee Simmons. “Art For Life is an event that enables Rush Philanthropic to do its work, granting funds to much needed and very worthwhile programs for children who may have little else in their lives to look forward to. I am so proud to be a part of this event and a part of the great work Rush Philanthropic does every day.”

For the first time, this year’s theme “Not So Mellow Yellow,” will introduce the fabulous “Yellow Wardrobe” for the luxury auction. Clothing designer Rachel Roy, jewelry designer Lorraine Schwartz and shoe designer Guiseppe Zanotti, among other top fashion designers to the stars, have all signed on, each donating a special yellow item for the auction’s “Yellow Wardrobe”.

“As a designer creativity is important to me, and Rush Philanthropic embraces and supports the artistic inclinations of young minds. I am so happy to be able to lend support to this group by donating a dress. The Stacey Twist dress is a reflection of how a confident woman
dresses in the summer – colorful and effortlessly elegant,” shares designer Rachel Roy.

Iconic artist Francesco Clemente, is the 2007 ART FOR Life “Featured Artist”. Born in Naples, Italy, the self-taught expressionist and surrealist painter, who has worked on collaborative projects with Jean-Michel Basquiat and Andy Warhol, will create an original piece of art, to be auctioned off at the event. A limited edition of the work will be produced and $30,000 Platinum Easel table patrons will each receive a signed and numbered print.

Platinum sponsor Land Rover is pulling out all the stops on one of the hottest, top of the line items in ART FOR LIFE auction history. Land Rover’s 20th Anniversary Range Rover, valued at $125,000 and one of only 40 vehicles of its kind built for North America will be offered in the Live Auction. This limited edition Range Rover features a 400HP Supercharged Engine, Brembo high-performance brakes, a custom exterior of white pearl paint, two-tone ivory/ebony leather and suede seats, custom engraved name plates, a custom matching instrument panel clock and an entertainment center that boasts a rear-seat 6-DVD changer. World-renowned Simon de Pury of Phillips de Pury & Company is sure to add excitement as the gala’s Auctioneer.

The ART FOR LIFE weekend will be preceded by two main events. Platinum Sponsor Land Rover, along with Russell Simmons and Rush Philanthropic will host a pre-party for VIP, celebrity and platinum level patrons on Tuesday, July 10th at Land Rover’s New York City show room. Attendees will enjoy passed hors d’oeuvres, cocktails sponsored by Silver Sponsor Ciroc Vodka and get to preview the 20th Anniversary Range Rover. Rush Arts Gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district will also host a VIP Art Auction Preview on Wednesday, July 20th. The Gallery will showcase 30-50 contemporary pieces that will be available for auction during the ART FOR LIFE event.

Funds raised through ART FOR LIFE will provide support for many projects throughout the year dedicated to reaching out to New York City youth through the arts. Each year three youth groups are selected as the event’s featured beneficiaries. This year’s groups are Friends of Island Academy, The POINT and Working Playground. These are just three of the over 50 programs to which Rush Philanthropic provides grants throughout the year. Proceeds from ART FOR LIFE will also support Rush Philanthropic’s own signature education programs; as well as provide support for Rush Arts Gallery exhibitions featuring the works of emerging artists of color; and help launch Rush East New York, an arts oasis the foundation will open in Brooklyn this fall.

Since its inception, Rush has provided grants to dozens of non-profit organizations, including Donors Choose, Impact Repertory Theatre, Urban Word NYC, Free Arts for Abused Children, Art Start, Studio in a School, Arts Connection, P.E.N.C.I.L., Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band, Brotherhood/Sister Sol, The Ghetto Film School, and the Northside Center for Child Development, and has served countless visual artists through the exhibitions and activities of Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center.

Tickets to ART FOR LIFE start at $1,500 per person. For ticket/table purchases, please contact Haven LLC at 212.810.4490 or email For further information about Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, please contact Marc Eastwood, Development Associate at 917.229.7207, or via email at


Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color. While its primary emphasis is the arts, Rush Philanthropic is committed to the general well being of young people by considering a wide range of concerns. A 501(C) 3 organization, Rush Philanthropic fulfills its mission through three core programs: grants, exhibitions and mentoring. The Rush Community Grants Program annually provides direct funding to over 50 nonprofit organizations that offer education programming in all disciplines of the arts to New York City youth. Rush also runs two arts exhibition and education facilities: Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district and the Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. Our Rush Kids Visual Arts Mentorship Programs use arts education to create a spark that fires the imagination and creativity of the urban youth we serve. The Rush Impact Mentorship Initiative allows the foundation’s leadership to reach out to young people by taking them behind the scenes at Rush Communications’ headquarters for in-depth Q&A sessions with Russell Simmons and executives in music, fashion, and creative-related professions.

The organization is currently in a fundraising campaign for Rush East New York, an 11,000 square-foot arts education and resource center in the East New York section of Brooklyn. The building was a gift from United Homes. Rush Philanthropic believes in the vital importance of lifelong exposure to the arts, nurtured in early childhood, and anchored in sustained, creative experiences throughout one’s life.


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