Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto's Exploring the Arts Gala Raises $1 Million for Art Education in Public Schools

Non-profit Arts Organization Strengthens the Role of the Arts in New York City Public Schools by Expanding Programs to Seven Schools This Year

NEW YORK, Sept. 27 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Over 500 guests attended Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto's Exploring the Arts (ETA) gala tonight at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. The evening raised $1 million for Bennett's non-profit Exploring the Arts organization that supports arts education in public schools. Honored at the event were the Target Corporation and Joseph Laurita, CEO and President of Margaritaville Apparel Group. ABC World News' Bob Woodruff hosted the evening and the gala featured performances by Bennett and Natalie Cole. Alec Baldwin, James Gandolfini, Michael Imperioli, George Hamilton, Harvey Weinstein, Nancy Sinatra and her daughter A.J. Lambert, Samuel David Moore and Bob Woodruff joined in support of the non-profit arts organization founded by Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto.

This year ETA announced expansion to serve six additional schools throughout the city, reaching more than 3,000 students. Founded in 1999, ETA champions arts education programs that teach students to embrace true craft and that integrate arts with more standard academic subjects and encourage community service. In a time when arts programming competes with other educational programming, ETA provides a lifeline for students in high school, inspiring and supporting student achievement in preparation for college.

Not only have ETA programs grown to support a greater number of children, but ETA is now supporting a greater number of children from low-income communities, many of whom will be the first in their families to graduate high school and attend college. ETA's seven partner schools include the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (Queens), which Tony Bennett Founded in 2001 in partnership with the Department of Education. ETA'S umbrella of support will now encompass six additional schools: Talent Unlimited High School (Manhattan), Urban Assembly (UA) School for the Performing Arts (Manhattan), UA Media High School (Manhattan), UA School for Design & Construction (Manhattan), UA Bronx Studio School for Writers & Artists (Bronx) and the UA School of Music & Art (Brooklyn). ETA continues to support Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), founded in 1999 by Tony Bennett in partnership with the NYC Department of Education.

ABOUT EXPLORING THE ARTS:

Tony Bennett and Susan Benedetto founded Exploring the Arts (ETA), a non-profit organization to strengthen the role of arts education in public schools. They have raised millions of dollars to date and have fostered a unique partnership between the public and private sectors. Tony and Susan founded the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts (FSSA), a public NYC arts high school in Queens, which is supported by ETA. FSSA opened in 2001 in temporary quarters and since its inception has consistently been an exemplary NYC high school with one of the highest graduation rates in the city. A permanent site for the school, designed by Susan T. Rodriguez, design partner in award winning Ennead Architects, opened to students in September 2009, at the Kaufman Astoria Studios complex in Astoria, Queens (Tony Bennett's hometown). For more information on ETA and FSSA please visit www.exploringthearts.org.

SOURCE Exploring the Arts



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