NEW YORK, Dec. 8, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- In his most intimate performances in years, Shawn "JAY Z" Carter will headline at Carnegie Hall, in the Stern Auditorium, raising millions for the United Way of New York City and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation on February 6, 2012 at 8:00pm and February 7, 2012 at 9:30pm. Concert goers will get a once in a lifetime experience as JAY Z takes the stage at the New York landmark to raise dollars that will help boost on-time graduation rates in underserved New York City schools and put college within reach for low-income students across the five boroughs.
"It's every artist's dream to play a venue as legendary as Carnegie Hall," commented Shawn "JAY Z" Carter. "The fact that I can use the arts and my talent to benefit the education of the next generation of artists, entrepreneurs, and great thinkers makes for a legendary night. I'm proud to be a part of the continuing work of United Way of New York City and expanding the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation."
Poverty has the strongest correlation to dropout rates. New York City has the largest income gap in the U.S., and thirty percent of children in New York City live in poverty. Because of statistics like these, coupled with the fact that thirty-nine percent of New York City students who enter high school will not graduate on time, United Way of New York City, The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation and Shawn "JAY Z" Carter are engaging activists and philanthropists to provide resources and opportunities for students.
"United Way is dedicated to helping low-income New Yorkers build better lives, and we know that the greatest antidote to poverty is education," said Gordon J. Campbell, CEO, United Way of New York City. "For more than 20 years, we have been active in early childhood centers and public schools, working with educators, families and students to address barriers to success inside and outside the classroom. We are so pleased to partner with JAY Z and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation, who share our belief that every child deserves a great education."
"It will be a thrill to welcome JAY Z to Carnegie Hall as he joins an illustrious list of top popular artists who have appeared at the Hall throughout its history," said Clive Gillinson, Carnegie Hall's Executive and Artistic Director. "It's wonderful that he and the United Way of New York City have come together with the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation for these performances, putting a spotlight on an important cause, creating greater access to higher education."
In addition, a limited number of single tickets will be offered to the public on Monday, January 30th, 2012 at 11:00 AM (EST). For more information on limited single tickets, please visit www.carnegiehall.org as of January 30.
ABOUT SHAWN "JAY Z" CARTER
Since 1996, 13-time Grammy award winner, Shawn "JAY Z" Carter has dominated the evolution of hip-hop. Between multiple businesses and accolades spanning the recording industry to global investment leaders such as Warren Buffet, Jay personifies the "American Dream." Indeed, as the Founder and Chairman of Rocawear, he is a co-owner of the NJ Nets, the majority owner of the 40/40 sports clubs. He also has a major interest in Translation Advertising and Carol's Daughter skin line, as well being involved in a partnership with the Iconix Brand Group.
JAY Z served as President and CEO of Def Jam Recordings, where he fostered the careers of international stars Rihanna, Ne-Yo and Kanye West before entering into a partnership with Live Nation to form Roc Nation. With his collaborative effort with Kanye West, WATCH THE THRONE, his 12th #1 album, he has secured the record for most #1 albums by any solo artist. JAY Z continues his philanthropic work through his Water For Life initiative and the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF NEW YORK CITY
United Way of New York City fights poverty across the five boroughs. We design and invest in evidence-based programs that help low-income New Yorkers achieve educational success, income stability and good health. We rigorously evaluate our work and use lessons learned to advance citywide policies and practices that support New Yorkers in overcoming poverty and achieving their potential.
We believe that poverty's greatest antidote is education. We partner with educators and families to ensure that children from low-income neighborhoods are reading proficiently by the time they complete third grade – a vital foundation for success in middle school, high school and beyond. We also work to improve on-time graduation rates and college readiness in 60 underserved public schools through intensive academic, social, and emotional support for students at high risk of dropping out.
ABOUT SHAWN CARTER SCHOLARSHIP FOUNDATION
The Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation was conceived of in 2002 and officially established as a 501(c)3 public charity in 2003 by Shawn & Gloria Carter. With an original vision and mission to help individuals facing socio-economic hardships further his or her education at institutions of higher learning, Shawn and Gloria Carter kicked off the Foundation's efforts by awarding one student with full college tuition in 2002. From 2003 to 2005, each year the Foundation provided 50 scholarships to students in 50 different states. In 2006, in addition to providing scholarship awards to a growing number of students in need, the Foundation launched the Shawn Carter Scholarship Foundation College Tours. Since Foundation's inception, over 750 students have received awards totaling over $1.3 million dollars. The Foundation is currently on the precipice of growth and is reviewing its current grant-making priorities as it plans for expansion as the Shawn Carter Foundation.
SOURCE United Way of New York City