Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation's


In 2017, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will celebrate our 18th Annual ART FOR LIFE Hamptons Benefit Gala– our primary fundraising initiative for our friends and supporters.  The evening is held in celebration of the creative energy of our inner-city youth, honored exemplary individuals for success in their respective fields and good works to better our communities.

Past ART FOR LIFE honorees have included Ava DuVernay, Wangechi Mutu, Dave Chappelle, Simon and Michael de Pury, Michael R. Bloomberg, Kimora Lee Simmons, Tyler Perry, Mariah Carey & Nick Cannon, Valentino CarlottiTamia & Grant HillMary J. BligeDeepak ChopraVanessa Williams, Sheila C. JohnsonChristy Turlington BurnsAntonio “L.A.” ReidAlicia Keys, Susan Sarandon, Sean “Diddy” Combs, Tommy Hilfiger, Judith Jamison, Donna Karan, Raymond McGuire, Jamie Foxx, Denise Rich and many more.   CNN’sSoledad O’Brien has been our evening’s staple host for the past 8 years. Additional supporters and participants have included Star Jones, Tamara Mellon, Gwyneth Paltrow, La La Anthony, Senator Chuck Schumer, Padma Lakshmi, Ken Chenault of American Express, Naomi Campbell, Kelly Ripa, Heather Graham, Holly Robinson Peete, Gayle King, Martha Stewart, Usher, Jon Bon Jovi, Ron Perelman, Ellen Barkin, Betsey Johnson, Patricia Field, Al Roker & Debra Roberts, Ruby Dee, Jay-Z, Katie Couric, Richard Parsons, Rev. Al Sharpton, Kerry Washington and more!

Key to the success of ART FOR LIFE is the generous giving of our organizations friends, supporters and corporate sponsors.  Past ART FOR LIFE sponsors have included Bombay SapphireMerrill Lynch, TargetBountyMaybach-Mercedes BenzSmartwaterHSBC Bank USACiroc VodkaLand Rover, General Motors, Anheuser-Busch, Inc., Hennessy, Wal-Mart, Motorola, Courvoisier, Volvo and many more.


Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (RPAF) is dedicated to providing inner city youth with significant exposure to the arts, as well as to supporting emerging artists with exhibition opportunities.

Rush was founded in 1995 by three brothers: Danny Simmons, visual artist and community builder; media mogul Russell Simmons; and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC. Their goal was to fill the gap that the disenfranchised and people of color faced in both accessing the arts and exhibition opportunities.

Over the past 20+ years with the help of a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters, Rush have been able to develop our main two program areas – Rush Education art programs for our youth and Rush Arts Galleries supporting and featuring emerging artists nationwide – working together in a seamless way to open up the arts to populations facing hurdles to the joy and benefits of these experiences. Designed to inspire students, provide positive alternatives to high-risk behaviors and support increased academic performance, Rush Education programs- Rush Little Kids, Rush Kids, Rush Teens and Rush Galleries in Schools– directly serve over 3,000 students annually. In addition, each year through our Rush Arts Galleries- Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan and Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn- exhibit the work of over 100 emerging and community-based artists; welcomes over 10,000 gallery visitors; and provides unique opportunities for young people interested in careers in the arts.

Art saves lives, it is that simple. Rush Philanthropic believes that if you give young people the opportunity to practice and appreciate art — whether poetry, music, dance, or the visual arts — then you will see lives transformed as young people learn to value their own unique voices and visions. It is this type of impact we aspire to see happen and that your support will make possible.

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