April 10th, 2012 12:38 EST
Adopt the Arts Benefit Dinner: Hosted By Jane Lynch
One women`s vision attracts many golden hearted entertainers. On March 18, 2012 in Los Angeles, California, at the Sofitel Hotel, Adopt the Arts Foundation put on their first annual event hosted by Jane Lynch. The efforts of Abby Berman, Matt Sorum and Jane Lynch, along with many other entertainers, raised $100, 000 dollars for the Arts Education Branch of Los Angeles Unified School District.
Abby Berman is an accomplished woman with two children who has involved herself in the booster club at her kids` school as treasurer and co-president. At one point she became extremely frustrated with the lack of funds to pay the music teacher and stated, "I wish I could get a celebrity to adopt the school."
The seed was planted, ideas began to flourish and the first person Abby contacted was her neighbor Matt Sorum of Guns N Roses and Velvet Revolver. After Abby and Matt joined forces they formed a board for Adopt the Arts Foundation, represented by McGuire Woods Law Firm in Los Angeles, Ca. Currently the board consists of: Jane Lynch, Naomi Despres, Richard Grant and Lanny Cordola. Other celebrities joining the cause are Johnathon Schaech (actor, producer, director and writer) and John Stamos (actor, producer and musician).
When Abby began thinking about who else she would like to be involved in the project she instantly thought of Jane Lynch, an actress and vocalist who is known for many roles but currently stars as Sue Sylvester in the television series Glee. Ironically, not long after Abby had this thought, Jane moved in next-door. While supporting her friend Matt Sorum at one of his gigs Abby ran into Jane Lynch and they began to talk about the Adopt the Arts project. The more Jane heard about the project and how the vision was to build a community not just about the money, she was aboard whole heartedly.
During interviews at the 2012 kickoff event of Adopt the Arts Jane expressed that, "The arts mean a lot to me, I came from a musical family. I remember we would always sing around the table; one of my favorite musicals was The Sound of Music." Jane further elaborated her point for adopting the arts when she stated, "It serves all kids and opens a part of the brain for development; we create better adults for the future and through creative imagination it makes them part of a team."
Johnathon Schaech is also one of the many entertainers involved with Adopt the Arts. Abby stated that, On his own initiative he wrote a great script for a short PSA we are going to put up on YouTube. Johnathon is going to adopt a school and go into the classroom with the kids. He is also going to Washington DC as the Adopt the Arts representative to meet with the "First Lady for National Arts Advocacy." Other entertainers supporting the project and who performed at the 2012 kickoff event were: Donovan Leitch (Nancy Boy/Camp Freddy), Grant Fitzpatrick (MINK/Cherie Curry), Steve Stevens (Billy Idol/Michael Jackson), Mark McGrath (Sugar Ray), Billy Morrison (Billy Idol/The Cult), Glenn Hughes, Adrian Young (No Doubt), Gilby Clarke (Guns N` Roses), Billy Duffy (The Cult), John Stamos who jumped on stage to play the bongos and Franky Perez (Scars on Broadway/Slash) who drove in from Vegas after a gig to sing the last two songs.
Not only was the night filled with enthusiastic, passionate people who truly care about raising money for underfunded schools as well as high energy performances from talented, gifted people; the guests were treated to a dinner by Celebrity Chef Kerry Simon. On the beverage list was Cascal Berry Cassis, Cascal Ripe Rouge, and Cascal Crisp White paired with delicious dishes such as braised prime beef shortribs, garden risotto, barramundi and truffle mac and cheese. For dessert there was cotton candy, chocolate cupcakes, peanut butter cookies and many more delicious, sugary pleasures.
Additionally, the silent auction consisted of many items such as celebrity signed guitars, photographic images, retreat packages and paintings from Tommy Hollenstein. Tommy, who at 24 years old survived a mountain biking accident that left him a quadriplegic, tapped into his passion for art and found the strength to walk the path of pain while creating beauty and brilliance by implanting his wheelchair as his brush, which is called action painting(www.tommyhollenstein.com).
Adopt the Arts is currently seeking entertainers to join their cause. Adopt the Arts Foundation aspires to have entertains adopt a school to support and inspire kids. Matt Sorum visited Rosewood school in Los Angeles to bring instruments and fix up the music room; for many days thereafter not only were Matt`s spirits lifted, but the mood of the school was happy as well. Abby shared her insight of Matt`s visit to Rosewood, "When the children see that famous, talented and serious artists` take an interest in them personally something happens - there is an incredible exchange between the artist and the students." Additionally, the foundation is looking to foster long-term relationships with corporations to secure dependable revenue streams.
The main message Abby would like to get out to the public is, "Art and music is the connective tissue of our culture. It is the one thing that makes us more alike one another than different from each other. Art and music conspire to fully develop our brains; it allows each one of us to express our true selves as individuals, as a community and as a culture. If we do not provide our children with an education in arts and music we will be losing an entire generation of kids."
It is confirmed that there will be a second Annual Adopt the Arts Fundraiser next year and you can get involved. For those who would like to host an event in their home town or have inquires, including entertainers who would like to join the project please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; for those who would like to make a donation online visit: www.adoptthearts.org; and to add Adopt the Arts they do have a Facebook and Twitter accounts: Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/adopt.the.arts and for Twitter: twitter: @adoptthearts
Judyth Piazza interviews Jane Lynch aka Sue Sylvester about Adopt The Arts