Simmons's All-Star Bash for the Arts
A weekend benefit dinner and action at the Southampton home of rap mogul Russell Simmons raised $800,000 for the Russell Simmons Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, begun six years ago by Simmons and his artist-brother Danny, reports PEOPLE. The foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged children with access to the arts and to offering exhibition opportunities to emerging artists of color. Hosted by Queen Latifah, the event attracted Martha Stewart and Jerry Seinfeld's ex, Shoshanna Lonstein, who told PEOPLE that she was particularly moved by the performance of IMPACT, an organization that benefits from the Rush Foundation. The group of about 12 boys and girls from ages 10 to 18 danced, sang and rapped about everyday life and gun violence. "I almost started crying after hearing them sing," said Lonstein, 26. "It was really powerful and made such an impact on me that I now want to get involved." Latifah, 31, said that she knows how important the role of an arts education plays in a child's life. "If it wasn't for music I wouldn't be here," she said, "and if it wasn't for art I wouldn't have a place to go when I get stressed out."
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