ABC/Adam Rose Pharrell Williams is raising money for arts education with his first Yellow Gala Ball, to be held September 10 in New York City.
The eleven-time Grammy award winner says after education budget cuts, it was important to him to provide youth with exposure to the arts.
“I want all children to have access to that kind of creative growth, access and support. All kids, not just my own,” Williams tells Billboard. “We just want to do what we can to balance the odds so that as many kids as we can afford — or help and assist in whatever ways — get this access and support.”
The event at the Brooklyn Museum, benefiting the Young Audiences Arts for Learning organization, will feature entertainment by Missy Elliott.
Williams explained that the name “Yellow Ball Gala” has a significant meaning.
“Yellow is the color for creativity, yellow is the color for curiosity,” he says. “Art is largely diminishing throughout the curriculum throughout this country, and we need to protect the creative mind.”
After more than 25 years writing and producing hits for a who’s who of music including Beyonce, JAY-Z, Drake, Kendrick Lamar, John Legend, and Alicia Keys, Williams is very impressed with the new generation of music makers.
“I love what they do and how they express themselves. It’s like these amazing pockets of lyrics or melodies that feel good to them,” Williams says.
“The music just takes on a direction of its own, it’s not so formatted,” he adds. “I love that this generation is just grabbing the instruments and using them in whatever way feels good to them. That’s just like a sign of how the times have changed.”
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