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Rock met philanthropy on Sunday, Sept. 15, as drummer Matt Sorum hosted a gala at Wolfgang Puck’s Ray Dolby Ballroom inside the Loews Hollywood Hotel. Billed as an evening of live music, the Peace Through Music event benefits Sorum’s own foundation, Adopt the Arts, which, with Zindagi Trust, benefits arts and music programs in the L.A. Unified School District (LAUSD) and aids in the improvement of education for underprivileged children in Pakistan.
Sorum, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and drummer for bands such as Guns N’ Roses, The Cult and Velvet Revolver), partnered with philanthropist and South Asian rock star Shehzad Roy to bring attention to the cause on an international level. The two joined Macy Gray, Gilby Clarke, Lili Haydn and Slash onstage, raising more than $275,000. Danny Masterson (That ‘70s Show) and Johnathan Schaech (Ray Donovan) also appeared.
Adopt the Arts co-founder Abby Berman and activist-writer Sadia Ashraf collaborated on the Gala.
Said Glee star Jane Lynch, who serves on the board of Adopt the Arts: “Music is a universal language that unites us all, regardless of our backgrounds. Arts help kids think critically and perform better in school making them adults who contribute more to society.”
According to the LAUSD, 50 percent of the 535 elementary schools in the district are deprived of arts education due to budget cuts. Some 80 percent of its students live at or below the poverty line, so they do not have access to the arts outside of school. As Sorum pointed out, “Kids learn four times better with music and arts; without this, their education suffers.”
“We founded Zindagi Trust to help the 10 million children in Pakistan employed in child labor,” added Shehzad Roy, “I soon realized over 85 percent of school-going children only have access to government schools plagued with low teacher attendance, dilapidated facilities, and a curriculum that encourages rote learning. Only through government school reform can all children get quality education.”
All proceeds will benefit both organizations. Proceeds will be disbursed towards girls’ education in Pakistan through Zindagi Trust schools, and a school in Compton along with the only school in the district that serves blind children in Los Angeles via Adopt the Arts.
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