The Hamptons was all abuzz this past weekend, as hundreds of key figures in entertainment, business, philanthropy and even government came to Russell Simmon’s Art for Life Living in Color gala on Saturday.
The annual benefit, which took place at Simmons’ East Hampton estate, raised nearly $2 million for youth art programs in New York City. At the event, various art pieces were showcased that had been made by students in the program.
“Tonight we celebrate this vibrant event that grows each year with your support,” Simmons said. “Our galleries continue to flourish, and this year we celebrate Rush Arts Gallery’s 16th anniversary.” This year, Rush Education’s theme was “Let’s Go.”
The gala honored Mariah Carey, Nick Cannon, Betsey Z. Cohen, Tamia and Grant Hill and Marc J. Leder. CNN’s Soledad O’Brien served as host for the event, and there were performances by Anita Baker, Salt-N-Pepa and Diggy Simmons.
In an effort to raise even more money, Star Jones led an auction that brought in nearly $200,000 in extra funds. More money was also brought in by a silent auction that included items up for bid like lunch with Sarah Jessica Parker, a one-on-one meet and greet with Will Smith and a chance to throw the first pitch at a Yankees game.
Guests who made appearances at the gala included Sybrina Fulton, mother of Trayvon Martin, former Gov. David Paterson, Bevy Smith, Kevin Lyles and Rep. Gregory Meeks.