Adopt the Arts is Fighting to Keep Art in School

Published on March 1, 2020

Artistic expression is a fundamental aspect of the human experience. Since the dawn of consciousness, there has been art. There are myriad reasons why art is important in addition to the satisfying aesthetics that are par for the course. Abby Berman from Adopt the Arts knows this well.

Countless artists have raised a mirror to society through their work, prompting major social development. Art is also an indispensable facet of business with its role in advertising and marketing. Andy Warhol famously found the beauty in branding and repurposed corporate art in his legendary ‘Campbell’s Soup Cans’.

With art being present in every facet of life, it was very alarming to most when arts programs started being taken out of public schools. While budget cuts on the state and federal level forced many schools to nearly cut their arts programs entirely, there was push back from those who think that art education is worth the cost.

One of those individuals decided to do something about it. Entrepreneur Abby Berman came together with Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum and actor Jane Lynch to create the Adopt The Arts Foundation. The three activists came together to create a charity that focused on keeping the arts in schools and after school programs in response to sweeping budget cuts by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD).

adopt the arts
Photo via Adopt the Arts
“Art Can Save Your Life”

Since being founded in 2010 and officially launching in 2012, Adopt the Arts has been providing music and art classes to elementary school students while they raise funds and awareness for their cause. They hit the ground running in 2012, adopting a Title One elementary school and donating 1,000 instruments to schools in the LAUSD.

Adopt the Arts has brought more activists and artists into the fold over the past few years. Graphic designer and visual artist, Shepard Fairey, famous for his Obey brand and Obama poster, has joined the charity as a member of the board. He stressed the importance of the foundation’s mission in a statement, “Art can save your life … art connects people to their universal humanity … To deny elementary school children access to art education is to deny them from developing critical problem solving skills, the ability to express themselves, the ability to collaborate and connect, and so much more.”

Raising Funds and Awareness in LA

As a part of their fund raising efforts, Adopt the Arts has been hosting an annual gala that celebrates those who have made an impact on the world through art. Their 2020 event will be celebrating the work of Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Geezer Butler of Black Sabbath at the Avalon Theater in Los Angeles on May 12th. Tickets will be available soon via the Adopt the Arts website.

Their event in 2019 was a great success, raising over $200,000 for arts programs in LA public schools. At that event, they honored electronic music icon and notable animal rights activist, Moby, with the sound and vision award.

Adopt the Arts has been very successful in achieving their goals. The funds they have raised and programs they have put in place have done an excellent job of counteracting the potentially destructive budget cuts in the LAUSD. We were very lucky to have Abby Berman speak at the Grit Daily Live! Miami Art Summit. Her artistic philosophies and thoughts on the struggle of keeping arts programs in school were salient and inspirational. Her cause is one that is worth fighting for.

Justin Shamlou is a Senior Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in Miami, he covers international news, consumer brands, tech, art/entertainment, and events. Justin started his career covering the electronic music industry, working as the Miami correspondent for Magnetic Mag and US Editor for Data Transmission.

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