ADOPT THE ARTS (adoptthearts.org)–the Los Angeles-based non-profit that preserves and creates arts programs in U.S. public schools–will launch a school adoption for Westminster Elementary in Venice, CA on Thursday, February 5 at 12:45pm on the Westminster Elementary Playground (1010 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, CA 90291). Media are invited to attend, photograph and conduct interviews onsite the event:
ADOPT THE ARTS: Adoption Ceremony
Thursday, February 5– Westminster Elementary Playground (1010 Abbot Kinney, Venice, 90291)
|12:30 PM||Media Check In & Set up.|
|12:45 PM||Ribbon cutting w/ADOPT THE ARTS Advisory Board & Westminster Principal.|
|1:00 PM||ADOPT THE ARTS Elite Choir performs one song.|
|1:10 PM||Media Tour of new music room at Westminster Elementary.|
(Parking for media is available off the Westminster Elementary playground on Main St.)
ADOPT THE ARTS was founded by musician Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) and activist Abby Berman and works to preserve arts programs in U.S. public schools. Actors Jane Lynch and Johnathon Schaech are on the ADOPT THE ARTS Board of Directors; the advisory board includes: Shepard Fairey (Artist), John Stamos (Actor and musician), Slash (Musician), Gina Gershon (Actor), Juliette Lewis (Actor), Danny Masterson (Actor), Steve Stevens (Musician), Billy Bob Thornton (Actor), Michael Wincott (Actor) and Adrian Young (Musician). To raise awareness, ADOPT THE ARTS honors individuals who’ve had a long-lasting impact on music culture and who inspire young musicians to follow in their footsteps. Last month, ADOPT THE ARTS gathered their industry friends for an epic night of music and a live auction. The event–which honored music legends BILLY GIBBONS (ZZ Top) and BUTCH TRUCKS (Allman Brothers Band)–was a smashing success, raising over $106,000 in one night for ADOPT THE ARTS music programs in LAUSD elementary schools.
ADOPT THE ARTS recently garnered a generous five-year donation commitment to Westminster Elementary from the Carter Lay Charitable Fund. ADOPT THE ARTS would also like to thank the following instrument sponsors for their support of Westminster Elementary: Fender Foundation, Casio Keyboards, Yamaha, Gretsch drums, Rode Microphones, Ultimate Support, JBL Audio, Zildjian Cymbals, Latin Percussion, Planet Waves and Gibraltar Hardware.
According to Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), 50% of elementary school children in the district are not receiving arts education of any kind. As in many school districts around the country, LAUSD has been slowly eroding its commitment to arts education, reducing the budget incrementally. The LAUSD 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.
“Adopt the Arts was born out of the frustration for my own children losing education in the arts,” explains ADOPT THE ARTS Co-Founder Abby Berman. “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 we’re raising a new generation of healthy and well-rounded individuals.” ADOPT THE ARTS Co-Executive Director and Co-Founder Matt Sorum adds, “We’re starting in our own backyard here in Los Angeles with Westminster Elementary school in Venice, CA and we’ll continue to adopt schools across the nation. We believe that art is a universal and necessary language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds.”
About Adopt the Arts
Founded in 2010, Adopt the Arts–a 501(c)(3) non-profit funding arts programs in public elementary schools– 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 paying 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 its next series of adoptions. In September 2012, Adopt the Arts donated 1,000 musical instruments (i.e. 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. As of December 2014, Adopt the Arts has now adopted Westminster Elementary School in Venice, CA and their music program will begin at the school in January 2015. (adoptthearts.org)
About Matt Sorum
Matt Sorum is an American drummer and percussionist. He is best known as both a former member of the hard rock band Guns N’ Roses, with whom he recorded three studio albums, and as a member of the supergroup Velvet Revolver. Sorum is currently a member of the touring project, Kings of Chaos, and is a former member of both The Cult and Y Kant Tori Read. Sorum was also a member of Guns N’ Roses side-projects, Slash’s Snakepit and Neurotic Outsiders, and released a solo album, Hollywood Zen, in 2004. In 2012, Sorum was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a member of Guns N’ Roses.
Watch ADOPT THE ARTS founder Matt Sorum (Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver) discuss ADOPT THE ARTS on FOX 11 TV’s “Studio 11A” interview: http://tinyurl.com/lvlplsj