Russell Simmons and his daughters Aoki Lee and Ming Lee
As the official kick off to the 6th Annual Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series program, Dave Chappelle helped celebrate this year’s benefit with a crowd of 900 supporters, 1920’s clad for the ‘Roaring 20s’-themed shindig. Raising nearly $1.2M and counting, proceeds from the evening will benefit the Foundation’s signature arts education and gallery programs, directly serving over 3,000 inner-city youth each year.
Guests of the ultra-exclusive, star-studded event enjoyed a mid-summer soiree to support the commendable efforts of Russell and Danny’s RUSH Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Always a scene to be seen, cameras flashed on the red carpet as A-list celebrities, music artists, models and high profile personalities including: American Grammy Nominated/Singer Songwriter Elle Varner, Gayle King, Director Ava DuVernay (Selma), Bevy Smith (Fashion Queens), Angela Simmons, Jojo Simmons, and a host of others. Check out more images inside…
As the cocktail hour transitioned to a luxe private dinner, Soledad O’Brien dazzled the crowd as the evening’s emcee where the event’s Honorary Chairs, Dave Chappelle, Michaela and Simon de Pury, Ava DuVernay and Featured Artist Wangechi Mutu were recognized for their career achievements and philanthropic work. During the program, Russell Simmons spoke about the importance of supporting young artists and creativity within their education and announced that Kimora Lee Simmons generously donated $150K for RUSH teens.
Her two daughters – Ming Lee Simmons and Aoki Lee Simmons – accepted the honor on their mother’s behalf and welcomed the inaugural class of scholarship recipients. After delivering poignant speeches speaking to their passion of art and the Foundation’s mission of engaging inner city youth through creativity, guests mingled and danced to the performances by Elle Varner, Bell Biv DeVoe and DJ M.O.S.to cap off the evening.
Aoki Simmons, Russell Simmons Jr., Ming Lee Simmons and Vlad Charles
JoJo Simmons and Russell Simmons Jr.
Angela and Russell Simmons
Elle Varner and Russell Simmons
Russell Simmons and Jaslene Gonzalez
Inside The Party….
Special performance by Elle Varner
Eugene Gologursky/Getty Images for Bombay Sapphire Gin