Santa Monica High School’s (SAMOHI) Barnum Hall is going to really rock this Saturday night with the sounds of Jackson Browne, Venice (the band) and a special classic rock mystery guest in a benefit concert for the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District’s music programs.
The concert, now in its fifth year, raised $150,000 last year and is expected to raise about the same amount this year from tickets that range in price from $50 to a $1,000 and a live auction. This year’s major corporate sponsors are City National Bank and the Loews Santa Monica Beach Hotel. Their sponsorship, along with For the Arts (a campaign of the Santa Monica-Malibu Education Foundation (SMMEF) to ensure all District students receive an arts education), the Artists for the Arts Foundation (a nonprofit foundation dedicated to producing fundraising concerts) and the local community will make it possible for 100 percent of the concert’s revenues to go towards funding music programs in the District.
Last year’s concert proceeds helped ensure that the guitar class at Olympic High School, the Dream Winds program at the District’s four Title I elementary schools (McKinley, John Muir, Edison and Will Rogers) and the Dream Winds program at Lincoln Middle School (LMS) and John Adams Middle School (JAMS) continued. Funding also went to a Dream Strings program at LMS and JAMS.
“As in years past a key element will be including performances by student performing artists,” noted Jody Brooks, the President of the SMMEFF. This year students from the Olympic and the SAMOHI guitar classes along with the SAMOHI chamber singers and madrigal ensembles and members of the SAMOHI symphony and jazz band will all be performing with the concert’s headliners.
Kipp Lennon, who is a vocalist for the band Venice told the Mirror the concerts have been “a win-win” for everybody involved. He also mentioned that participating in the arts helps “kids get better grades and stay out of trouble.” That’s why the Artists for the Arts Foundation have committed to funding the arts in public schools nationwide in this fashion. He stressed, “[we’ve] got the formula together,” but we “need a large artist involvement to have the show.”
Mark Steines, the co-host of Entertainment Tonight, will once again emcee this year’s concert. The live auction will feature donations from DW Drums – a signed Drum Kit, West L.A. Music – three signed guitars, and from The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences – two Gold Tickets for the Grammy Awards and post–party.Please call (310) 396-4557 for ticket availability. More information about the Artists for the Arts Foundation can be found at www.AFTAF.org.