The fourth annual fundraiser for the Bronx Charter School for the Arts, hosted by Swizz Beatz at the Marquee club in New York City Wednesday night, featured a silent auction of original student artwork. La La Anthony and her NBA hubby, Carmelo; 106 & Park co-host Rocsi Diaz; and musicians Alicia Keys, Big Sean and Melanie Fiona were among the supporters. The Root caught up with a few celebs who discussed their interest in art.
The Root: How committed are you to supporting arts education as a parent?
Swizz Beatz: It's very important to me as a parent, especially wanting my kids to know about Basquiat, Miro, Dali. Egypt, who is 18 months, he's got Marukamis in his room, Keith Harings, Warhols. He can point them out. He knows who's who and what's what. So that's made me the proudest parent.
Alicia Keys showed her support for her husband's arts-education fundraising efforts.
The Root: What does this night mean to you?
La La Anthony: I'm here to support Swizz. We actually went to high school together, so I just know how important the arts were then. It's an outlet to express your creativity, to express how you feel.
New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony also made an appearance at the event.
The Root: Are you an art collector like Swizz?
Melanie Fiona: I am not particularly a collector, but I am a fan of Warhol and Basquiat. I'm a fan of artists who put graffiti on the streets. The arts are a good, positive distraction from the media and Internet — the things that are keeping kids away from cultivating their natural talents.
The Root: What can parents do to ensure that their children are exposed to art?
Rosci Diaz: What parents should do is talk to the school board and insist, insist, insist the arts are implemented into these schools. If they're not in the school curriculum, make an after-school program. It doesn't always have to go through the schools. If it can't, we can take matters into our own hands.
Rapper Big Sean helped Swizz Beatz hype up the crowd.