By Fago Franklin
The 20th Anniversary of RUSH Philanthropic Art Foundation Celebration at the 16th Annual ART FOR LIFE benefit presented by BOMBAY SAPPHIRE Gin at Fairview Farms in Bridgehampton, on July 18, 2015 in Water Mill, New York.
Event was hosted by Russell Simmons, Danny Simmons and Joseph “Rev Run” Simmons, was emceed by Soledad O’Brien. Angela Simmons and JoJo Simmons joined their uncles for the evening that honored Dave Chappelle, Michaela and Simon de Pury, Ava DuVernay and featured artist Wangechi Mutu. The roaring 20’s themed event featured music by DJ M.O.S. and special performances by Bell Biv Devoe and Elle Varner.
Additional guests included James Lipton, Elle Varner, Gayle King, Ava DuVernay, Jason Binn Bevy Smith, Sherry Bronfman, Bleona, DJ Kiss, Meredith Ostrom, LuAnn de Lesseps, Stan Lathan, Jaslene Gonzalez and Kevin Liles.
During the event Russell Simmons had touched on the importance of helping and supporting the younger generation with their creative ways and the outlook on education, which is very vital for people to become successful in their own respective occupations.
Kimora Lee Simmons could not attend the event, but her daughters Ming Lee Simmons and Aoki Lee Simmons accepted the honors of their mother’s behalf and welcomed the inaugural class of scholarship recipients. Kimora had donated $150K for RUSH teens.
After delivering inspiring words of encouragement, guest enjoyed performances by Elle Varner, Bell Biv DeVoe and DJ M.O.S to finish off the night. The event had raised more than $1.19 million in support of RUSH’s work to bring arts programming to inner city youth.
Launched in 2000, ART FOR LIFE has been RUSH Philanthropic Art Foundation’s official kick-off and primary fundraising event for the last 16 years. Russell and Danny Simmons’ organization continues to provide inner-city youth with exposure and access to the arts, as well as exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color. This year’s benefit will celebrate the RUSH Philanthropic Art Foundation’s milestone, highlighting youth that have grown up through the RUSH programs, and honoring individuals who have supported the Foundation’s mission throughout the years.
Photo Credit: Getty Images