Event Celebrates Partnership with Bita Daryabari,
Newly Appointed International Arts Ambassador
Live Auction and Performances by
Christina Perri, America & Surprise Guests
Actress Jane Lynch (“Glee”) is hosting the “Save the Arts” Fundraiser for Adopt the Arts (adoptthearts.org), a Los Angeles-based charity co-founded by musician Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and activist Abby Berman to preserve arts programs in U.S. public schools. The Cocktail Party and Live Auction celebrates the organization’s partnership with renowned philanthropist Bita Daryabari (founder and executive director, Pars Equality Center) as the newly appointed International Arts Ambassador to Adopt the Arts, and also features special performances by Christina Perri (“Jar of Hearts”), America (“Horse with No Name”) and other surprise guests. The event will take place on Thursday, November 8, 2012, at The Peninsula Hotel (9882 South Santa Monica Boulevard) in Beverly Hills at 7:00 p.m.
According to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 50% of the children in the district are not receiving arts education. As in many school districts around the country, LAUSD has been slowly eroding its commitment to arts education, reducing the budget incrementally. The district also estimates that 80% of its student body is living at or below the poverty line, which means the vast majority of these elementary school children will not have access to the arts outside of school either.
Due to our state budget crisis, there are less and less arts classes (ie. visual art, instrumental or vocal music, dance, and theater) being offered throughout the district’s 535 elementary schools. All scientific studies show that an education rich in the arts enhances academic performance, improves school culture, mitigates truancy and tardiness, and is instrumental in fully developing the young mind.
Adopt the Arts co-founder Abby Berman says, “Adopt the Arts was born out of the frustration for my own children losing education in the arts. When the system is failing, we have to take action. With influential people like my co-founder Matt Sorum adopting schools, we can preserve this valuable component to childhood development, which is also known to boost test scores. Because Federal and State funding is falling short, the responsibility is upon us as concerned parents and citizens to ensure that we are raising a new generation of healthy and fully developed individuals.”
Funds raised from this event will buy art units for LAUSD schools. Just $12,000.00 will purchase a semester of art (one day per week) for an entire school.
Adopt the Arts Chair and Co-founder Matt Sorum adds, “We intend to start in our own backyard here in LA, and we will continue to adopt schools across the nation. We believe that art is a universal language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds. For this reason, we are appointing arts advocate Bita Daryabari as our International Arts Ambassador. We will be working closely with her to develop programs that bring a multicultural and world view to these invaluable arts programs.”
Newly appointed International Arts Ambassador Bita Daryabari says, "Arts are the ultimate source of educating our minds and healing our souls—bringing cultures together and showing our children the shared heritage of our humanity. In my philanthropy work, the arts, children, and dispelling stereotypes are closest to my heart, and in my role as International Arts Ambassador for Adopt the Arts, I hope to help further the urgent cause of maintaining and improving art education for our children, and thus, help create a more tolerant world."
The Host Committee for the event includes: Matt Sorum (Chair), Abby Berman, Adrianne Zarnegin, Deborah Anderson, Wendy Thorlakson, Samantha Nugent, Maurice Pilosof and Johnathon Schaech.
The Advisory Board includes: Slash, John Stamos, Billy Bob Thornton, Steve Stevens, Juliette Lewis, Danny Masterson, Shepard Fairey, Adrian Young and Gina Gershon.
Partners for the event include The Peninsula Hotel and Bolthouse Productions.
The event is benefitting the funding for arts programs in LAUSD elementary schools. Adopt the Arts aims to raise $1,000,000.00 in 2013.
Tickets for the event are $250.00 and can be purchased at http://adoptthearts.org/peninsula.
About Adopt the Arts
Founded in 2010, Adopt the Arts Foundation brings together well-known artists, public figures, and the general public to save the arts in America’s public schools. Co-founders Abby Berman and Matt Sorum believe that it is morally and ethically incumbent upon the public-at-large to foster the creativity, dreams, hopes, and imaginations of our children. Adopt the Arts is dedicated to improving the academic performance of every child through the gift of making art and music available to public school students. In 2011, Adopt the Arts chose Rosewood Avenue Elementary (West Hollywood, CA) as its pilot school, working directly with the principal and the booster club to ensure that the students receive exposure to all the arts disciplines, including music, dance, theater, and visual arts. Adopt the Arts is supplementing the salary of the music teacher and has outfitted a music room with donated keyboards, guitars, and drums. With the help of the arts education branch of LAUSD, Adopt the Arts is identifying the most underserved schools in the district as it prepares for it’s next series of adoptions. In September 2012, Adopt the Arts donated 1,000 musical instruments (ie. drum kits, keyboards, guitars, bass guitars) to LAUSD elementary schools. Each school site is available to be “adopted” by anyone that wants to help—whether a business, a working artist, celebrity or public figure—to underscore the importance of community involvement. (adoptthearts.org)
About Bita Daryabari
In less than a decade, arts advocate and philanthropist Bita Daryabari has emerged as one of the most beloved and cherished leaders of the Iranian-American community. From the beginning of her professional life, her work has been accompanied by her avid interest in the world of literature, poetry, paintings and sculpture. She created the Bita Daryabari Endowment in Persian Letters at Stanford University, where The Annual Bita Prize in Literature has become the most coveted prize in the realm of Persian letters. In 2010, she founded Pars Equality Center—the only non-profit providing social and legal services to Iranian emigrants, refugees and asylum seekers—in the Bay Area where she is also the Executive Director. Her Unique Zan Foundation is dedicated to supporting the education of women all over Asia—from building orphanages for Afghan children to schools in the Middle East. Honors include Golden Gate University’s Alumni of the Year Award (2008); PAAIA Philanthropist of the Year Award (2010); United Nations Appreciation Award for Outstanding Leadership, Commitment and Support of the UN and Achieving the UN Millennium Development Goals(2011);and Ellis Island Medal of Honor (2012). Bita Daryabari’s multi-faceted philanthropy is founded on her simple idea that creativity is the only way to alleviate suffering and ennoble our minds and better comprehend the human condition. http://parsequalitycenter.org/about/board_of_directors/.