Gift to Benefit Carnegie Hall’s Education and Artistic Programs
Carnegie Hall’s New American Roots Program for NYC Middle-School Students to Be Launched and Named in Honor of Mr. Perelman
New York, New York – March 3, 2006 – Carnegie Hall today announced that in recognition of generous support of $20 million from its trustee Ronald O. Perelman, the stage of Isaac Stern Auditorium will be named the Ronald O. Perelman Family Stage. This gift benefits both education and artistic programs at Carnegie Hall, with the establishment of the Ronald O. Perelman Family Music Endowment for elementary and secondary music education for students.
Mr. Perelman’s gift has made possible the launch of Carnegie Hall’s new program for New York City middle-school students—American Roots—which highlights the role of the blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass,and Native American music in American history and cultural geography.
Committed to furthering both scholastic and artistic knowledge, American Roots employs an enriched classroom curriculum, where students can interact with artists-in-residence and attend jazz/blues concerts at Carnegie Hall. Currently in its pilot season, the program reaches two New York City public schools—Middle School 254 in the Bronx and Louis Armstrong Middle School in Queens. Mr. Perelman’s gift will enable the program to grow next season into 10 under served schools, reaching many more students. In honor of Mr. Perelman, it will be named the Perelman American Roots program.In addition to his major endowment gift, Mr. Perelman will produce an annual benefit event at Carnegie Hall featuring many of today’s leading artists. A portion of the proceeds from this event will go towards further developing the Perelman American Roots program and its growth. Mr. Perelman will also donate concert tickets to middle-school students in the American Roots program to further enhance their educational experience and enjoyment of music as well as to link the beneficiaries of the program to the benefit concert. The first of these yearly concerts is Grammy Jam this fall, presented in conjunction with Entertainment Industry Foundation and National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, featuring artists from top record labels.
Mr. Perelman commented: “It is essential that we provide our young people access to compelling educational opportunities as well as great music and artistic possibilities. This gift was important to me because it does just that: students learn about American history along with the rich tradition of our musical roots–jazz, blues and gospel music. This program provides the tools for kids to learn about different types of music while connecting it with their own history and identity. In its first year, American Roots focuses on the blues – the grounding for jazz, rock n’ roll, and rap – which immediately hooks the kids and helps their minds and imaginations to grow exponentially.”
Sanford I. Weill, Chairman of the Carnegie Hall Board of Trustees, said, “Ron Perelman has been a board member since 1988 and a fabulous friend to Carnegie Hall. We are immensely grateful for this gift, which will help us assure that Carnegie Hall’s educational and artistic programs can continue at the highest level. Ron has given generously over the years to support Carnegie Hall, and this strong commitment to the Hall’s artistic vitality and educational excellence is impressive and most appreciated.”Mr. Perelman, commented further, “The Carnegie Hall stage has a legacy unparalleled in American history and in world performance, and it is an honor to have my family’s name associated with this great institution. We are delighted to ensure that a future generation of great artists will aspire to perform at Carnegie Hall.”
Ronald O. Perelman is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, a diversified holding company with interests which include consumer products, entertainment, financial services, biotechnology, security, defense contracting and gaming. Among the principal interests of MacAndrews & Forbes are: Allied Barton Security; AM General; Clarke American; Deluxe Film; Mafco Worldwide; Panavision; Revlon; Scientific Games; and TransTech Pharma. An active philanthropist, Mr.Perelman is the founder of the Revlon/UCLA Women’s Cancer Research Program and has established the Department of Dermatology in his name at NYU Medical Center. Committed to women’s health, the arts and education, Mr. Perelman was President of the Guggenheim Museum and serves on the Boards of Carnegie Hall, The University of Pennsylvania and the NYU Medical Center, among others. He is alsoa member of the French Legion of Honor. Mr. Perelman holds undergraduate and graduate degrees from the Wharton School.
Carnegie Hall, called “the concert hall of the century” by Musical America, presents the world’s greatest soloists, ensembles, and orchestras on its three great stages—the renowned Isaac Stern Auditorium and its newly dedicated Ronald O. Perelman Family Stage, intimate Weill Recital Hall, and innovative new Zankel Hall. The establishment of the Weill Music Institute at Carnegie Hall paves the way for expanded opportunities as Carnegie Hall moves forward as an international cultural center representing the very best in musical performance and arts education.
The Perelman American Roots Program is a program for middle school students that is being launched this season and explores the role of the blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, and Native American music in American history. The initial curriculum of American Roots focuses on the blues, as a lens through which to examine a major event in American history: the “Great Migration” of African-American from the rural South to cities in the North and West. Approximately 60 students from two New York City public schools —Middle School 254 in the Bronx and Louis Armstrong Middle School in Queens—participate in the program’s first season. The Perelman American Roots Program is one of Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute education programs, which uses the institutions world-renowned resources to produce in a wide variety of acclaimed music education programs. These programs, designed specifically by Carnegie Hall’s education department to reach students from preschool through the 12th grades, are developed in conjunction with the New York public schools and feature Carnegie Hall curricula that are interactive,sequentially linked, and standards-based.
Senior Vice President of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings Inc.