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 corridorgallerybrooklyn.org or rushartsgallery.org.


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.

Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation Kicks Off Fall Season On Sat. Sept. 20th @ Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery

(Brooklyn, New York) September 18th, 2008- Danny Simmons and Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation will kick off their Fall 2008 Education Programming this Saturday, September 20th with a “Hoop Making & Twirling Workshops” led by veteran Rush Teaching Artist and Certified Hoop Dance Instructor Jocelyn Gordon. The festivities will take place at Corridor Gallery from 10AM to 12PM and the day will conclude with a special presentation of a donation from Johnson & Johnson subsidiary, Neutrogena. Youth from Rush Philanthropic’s Rush Kids and Rush Teens programs will be onsite alongside their parents and Rush Teaching Artists celebrating the start of the new season and the Fall Education Program theme “New York Archipelago”, a series inspired by contemporary nautical art and marine life.

In honor of Rush Philanthropic’s commitment to the New York City’s youth and the arts, Neutrogena will be making a $10,000 to the foundation helping to further their mission of encouraging creative expression. The donation is made possible by the recent “Ambrosia” installation done by artist Danielle Julian-Norton, who has utilized 20,000 Neutrogena Facial Cleansing Bars, the “Amber Bar”, to create 7-foot high wall that runs 40 feet long and 12 feet wide. With a wave-like shape, amber glow and the natural aromatic and clean scent, the wall, a work of art in and of itself, “Ambrosia” is indeed a site to be seen. The installation is open to the public at Reeves Contemporary from now until through Saturday, October 4th.

Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery, which has been a pioneering cultural outlet serving their audiences with a unique vision and voice since 1996, is also home to numerous Rush Education programs for the affiliated Rush Kids and Rush Teens. Through the programs youth from throughout the five boroughs have the opportunity to participate in free year-around art classes. Rush’s ongoing mission is to immerse children and teens in the study and practice of contemporary art. Students learn about contemporary visual art by creating actual work, looking at works on display at the Rush galleries, through visits with guest teaching artists and on field trips to artists’ studios and other arts institutions.

Additional Rush Educational Programs Include:

The D-Stress Program, which provides visual arts along with literacy, yoga and meditation for young people who are currently incarcerated. The program helps these incarcerated youths find ways to express themselves peacefully, productively, and build self-esteem. Classes take place weekly at Passages Academy at Crossroads Juvenile Detention Center, and at Rush Galleries and in the field.

Rush Gallery in the School, which are in school residencies in which teams of Rush Teaching Artists -trained art educators and full-time visual artists – work with students to create on-site art galleries in participating schools.

About Neutrogena:
Neutrogena, a worldwide leader in premium, dermatologist recommended skin, hair and cosmetics products, has been providing consumers with health and beauty improvements for over 40 years. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the company is a subsidiary of Johnson & Johnson, the world’s most comprehensive and broadly based health care products company.

About Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation
Founded in 1995 by brothers Russell, Danny and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons, Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color. A 501(C)3 organization, Rush Philanthropic fulfills its mission through three core programs: grants, exhibitions and mentoring. The Rush Community Grants Program annually provides direct funding to over 50 nonprofit organizations that offer education programming in all disciplines of the arts to New York City and South Florida youth. Rush also runs two arts exhibition and education facilities: Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center in Manhattan’s Chelsea arts district and the Corridor Gallery in Brooklyn’s Clinton Hill neighborhood. The organization is currently in a fundraising campaign for Rush East New York, an 11,000 square-foot arts education and resource center opening this fall in East New York, Brooklyn. The building was a gift from United Homes. The Rush Gallery in the School and Rush Kids Visual Arts Mentorship Programs (a.k.a. Rush Kids/Teens) use arts education to create a spark that lights the imagination and creativity of the urban youth we serve. Rush Blueprint, formerly known as Rush Impact Mentorship Initiative, will launch this fall and will allow youth the opportunity to learn about and explore careers within the arts.

Danny Simmons’ Corridor Gallery is located at 334 Grand Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11238 (Btw Gates and Green)

Directions by Train: G or C to Clinton & Washington.

Rebornhome Interview With Michael Paul Britto On The “N” Word

Noelle Lorraine Williams |The word nigger is a fantastical – mainly because unlike many other words it has various coexisting story keepers, existing in multiple temporal states. These various emotional memories imagine our deepest human emotions and needs: an expression of kinship and abject isolation and dehumanization.

These socio- cultural emotions are what comprise our stories, realities. I attended a workshop called the “Writer’s Responsibility” in Newark, NJ Dr. Akil Khalfani quoted Morrison in stating that a cultural belief or myth is not one unless “hordes of anonymous people believe in that myth.”

Your piece straddles these anonymous hordes of people into one mix. What did you feel was at risk if you did not do the project? What was your sense of urgency in creating the piece?

Michael Paul Britto |The only risk I felt was for my life, because I was going to be using the “N” word so many times in one place! No, but seriously, I felt that something like “This Little Word Of Mine” had to be done. The issue of this word is everywhere, everyday and I believe we (BlackFolk) are responsible for its overuse. My sense of urgency came from all the latest incidents in the media regarding the so called “Misuse” of the word by several high profile people in the media, and the public reaction to it. I wanted to point out how common the use of the word is in mainstream media ( Music, Movies, etc.), and get people to think about what they see and hear everyday.
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