Last Night In NYC…MTV’s Sway,Talib Kweli, DJ Cassidy, Estelle And A Who’s Who Of The NYC Art Scent Came Out In Support Of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Gold Rush Awards



Credit: Emil Horowtiz, Photographer
Rush Arts Gallery Director Derrick Adams, MTV’S Sway, Director of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Tangie Murray, Artist/Co-Founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Danny Simmons; 2009 Gold Rush Award honorees Beverly Bond, founder of Black Girls Rock, Sonja Okun, Exalt Youth Program Founder and Writer/Curator Franklin Sirmans.

February 11, 2009 – New York, NY – Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s 2009 Gold Rush Awards, a multi-media fundraising event and cocktail party, honoring outstanding individuals in the arts for establishing groundbreaking community arts programs or projects that embody social awareness and engagement, brought out an eclectic crowd of art enthusiasts, VIP guests and celebs last night at Red Bull Space in Soho.

Host of the evening, MTV’s Sway, alongside artist and Rush Philanthropic Co-Founder, Danny Simmons and Rush Galleries Curatorial Director, Derrick Adams, presented the first ever Gold Rush honorees with custom designed award medallions created by designers, Kevin Merkel and Jerry Gant. Honorees included Beverly Bond, DJ and Founder of BLACK GIRLS ROCK! Inc., Sonja Okun, Founder of Exalt Youth Program and Writer/Curator Franklin Sirmans.

Alternative Hip-Hop group, AntiPop Consortium kicked off the night’s live music, mixing it up on stage with their innovative sound experience. Talib Kweli closed out the evening with a dynamic performance and introduced surprise guests, fellow recording artists Res and Graph who, with Kweli, form the group Idle Warship. DJ Cassidy kept the crowd grooving all night, only taking a break so he could record Kweli’s performance for his blog with his personal handheld camera. All performances were donated in support of the organization. The evening also included video installations, a special silent art and luxury auction and performance art by The Golden Girls. The evening’s cocktails were donated by Americana Vodka and Red Bull.


Guests included Grammy® Award winner Estelle, actor Jamie Hector, renown photographer Jamel Shabazz, and artists Mickalene Thomas, Shinique Smith, Wardell Milan, Giant Magazine Editor-In Chief Emil Wilbekin and designer Brian Wood who also created the custom made 2009 Gold Rush Awards hand bag.

Proceeds from this event will support exhibitions and programming at Rush Arts Gallery, Corridor Gallery and the Rush Teens Curatorial Project-core programs of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Rush Arts Gallery and Corridor Gallery are dedicated to providing urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts as well as providing exhibition opportunities to early and mid-career artists.

derrickswaydannygoldrush2009Rush Arts Gallery Director Derrick Adams, MTV’S Sway and Artist/Co-Founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation’s Danny Simmons

For additional information about Rush Arts Gallery and Corridor Gallery please visit or


Rush Arts Gallery (Chelsea, NY) and Corridor Gallery (Clinton Hill, Brooklyn) founded 1996 are core programs within the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation (non-profit) dedicated to providing urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to artists. All exhibition programs are headed by Derrick Adams, Curatorial Director, with inclusion of curatorial projects presented by Nico Wheadon, Associate Curator, Danny Simmons, Founder and President, Meridith McNeal, Director of Education, Nina Ziefvert, Manager of Exhibition Programs and invited Guest Curators. The exhibitions and education programs of the galleries are also sponsored in part by a grant from the New York State Council for the Arts and are free and open to the public.