russell_simmons3.jpgRussell Simmons, his brother Danny Simmons and their Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation are currently raising money for an 11,000 square-foot Arts Education and Resource Center in East New York, Brooklyn. East New York is currently one of the poorest neighborhoods in NYC. The unemployment rate is more than twice NYC’s average and the high school graduation rate is less than 45 percent. Rush Philanthropic, which is dedicated to helping disadvantaged urban youth, is looking to change that. The foundation will open their new Arts Education and Resource Center this fall. The building will feature two classroom spaces to hold arts education programs, a 1,200 square feet gallery for paintings, four studios for upcoming artists and a rooftop garden. “We’re thrilled to help launch the Rush Arts Center,” says Lisa Quiroz, Time Warner Senior Vice President for Corporate Responsibility. “The new center will help broaden access to the arts, engage youth and nurture new and diverse voices which is at the heart of our arts giving.” To raise awareness and funding for the new building, Rush Philanthropic will hold a cocktail party benefit at the Time Warner Center in NYC tonight (April 11). The event will be hosted by Russell Simmons and will feature a performance by the Brooklyn Steppers Marching Band.