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Philanthropists and supporters of the arts gathered in Watermill, NY last Saturday, July 26 for the 15th annual Art for Life Gala hosted by Russell and Danny Simmons and the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. The event kicked off the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series’fifth edition with more than 750 guests gathered in support of the foundation and its aim to expose the arts to inner-city youth.
Guests, including Rick Ross, Michael Bloomberg, Soledad O’Brien, Angela Simmons, Vita Sidorkina, and Gayle King, convened under a tent to sip Bombay Sapphire cocktails before enjoying a private dinner. O’Brien, emcee for the evening, led the event, recognizing the philanthropic achievements of the honorary chairs, including featured artist Carrie Mae Weems. Russell Simmons also announced a scholarship of $1 million for the Rush teens program, and Doug E. Fresh and Kurtis Blow performed.
An online auction through Charitybuzz preceded the event, and a second auction featuring works from Weems and artists Rashid Johnson, Shepard Fairey, and Kehinde Wiley, as well as pieces from Yoko Ono and Sante D’Orazio will take place August 27 through September 17. All proceeds will benefit the foundation’s gallery and education programs.
As the Rush Philanthropic Art Foundation’s primary fundraiser for 15 years, Art for Life provides under-represented with exhibition opportunities. The event celebrated the achievements of students who have been raised through Rush programs. In collaboration with the Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series, Rush will help provide exposure for undiscovered artists by offering a few the opportunity to showcase their work at Art Basel Miami Beach.