Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons Host Art For Life Charity Benefit

Russell and Kimora Lee Simmons will host their Eighth Annual Art for Life East Hampton Benefit next month in New York.

The event, which is set to take place July 28 at the East Hampton estate of the Simmons', will honor Judith Jamison of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

As the Rush Philanthropic Foundation's primary annual fundraising effort, Art for Life East Hampton helps thousands of under served New York children by providing them with arts access, education, and exposure.

"Art, poetry and music are powerful forms of expression and offer young people a way to access their inner voice," said Foundation cofounder Russell Simmons in a statement. "We are so happy to be at the forefront of something that supports and encourages young people to experience life through the arts."

Close to 900 leaders from the entertainment, arts, business, and philanthropic communities attend the event each year.

The benefit is highlighted by live and silent auctions.

Since it's inception in 1995, the Foundation has provided grants to dozens of nonprofit organizations and served countless visual artists through the exhibitions and activities of Rush Arts Gallery and Resource Center

This year's auction will highlight the artwork of Art for Life featured artist Francesco Clemente, a self-taught expressionist and surrealist painter.

The Naples, Italy born icon, who is also noted for doing the paintings featured in the film Great Expectations, will create an original piece of art that will be auctioned off at the event.

Damon Dash and his wife, fashion designer Rachel Roy serve as co-chairs, while honorary chairs include Ivanka Trump and Antonio "L.A." Reid.

Last year's gala raised almost $1.4 million to provide direct funding to more than 50 youth arts organizations throughout New York City and support the Foundation's ongoing visual arts programs.