In this installment of 5 Celebrities Who Support the Arts – Part 4, we’re covering a president, an actress and three singers, which goes to show that performers aren’t the only people who care about the preservation of the arts.
Bill Clinton — Artists for a New South Africa
Bill Clinton needs to no introduction. The two-term president of the United States, Clinton has been a dedicated patron of the arts and charities. Aside from the involvement of multiple nonprofits (and an aptitude for the saxophone), former president Bill Clinton supports Artists for a New South Africa (ANSA), a collection of actors, performers and other creative personalities who donate millions of dollars to African nonprofits — including those that supply books to orphans and medical supplies to poverty-stricken communities.
Founded in 1989 by actors Alfre Woodard, Danny Glover, Mary Steenburgen, and others, ANSA has since raised and granted over nine million dollars to African charities that aid in the advancement of education, AIDS/HIV education and prevention and human rights.
Angelina Jolie — Cinema for Peace
Angelina Jolie, a stalwart philanthropist and former UN Refugee Agency Goodwill Ambassador, is no stranger to important philanthropic causes. Cinema for Peace promotes international understanding through film. Founded in 2002, Cinema for Peace events have been attended by high profile celebrities, some of whom are awarded for philanthropic works and charities. Those who go out of their way to promote the need for charity and giving throughout the world are honored for their efforts in raising the awareness of the needs of poor communities.
Annie Lennox — US Comic Relief
Former singer of the highly popular 1980s band Eurythmics, Annie Lennox changed the face of gender via MTV. Also successful in her solo career, Lennox gives back by bringing comedy and funds to those in need, specifically the homeless and those who experience social injustice around the world.
By raising public funds and distributing them effectively, Comic Relief is involved with events, projects that are fun, educational and raise awareness.
John Legend — Save the Music
John Legend’s name is appropriate as he has become a legendary performer, songwriter, producer and award-winning singer. Legend has garnered nine Grammy Awards, one Golden Globe and one Academy Award. In 2007, Legend received the special Starlight Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame. Most recently, his performance with Common at the 2015 Oscars performance of Glory from the Selma soundtrack left not a dry eye in the house.
The musician’s dedication to the nonprofit organization Save the Music helps improve the quality of America’s schools through the restoration of music programs. Raising public awareness about the importance of the arts to the mental and emotional advancement of our youth, Save the Music attempts to keep music programs within public schools.
Lady Gaga — Artists for Peace and Justice
This performer has shown her versatility by performing dance tracks to old standards (with Tony Bennett for Cheek to Cheek). Through her often avant-garde style of performing, many people are unaware that Gaga is a talented songstress, with one of the most powerful voices of our time. When not performing, Lady Gaga gives much of her time to nonprofit initiatives — including Artists for Peace and Justice (APJ)
APJ is a fundraising initiative that encourages peace and social justice throughout the world, addressing issues of poverty and education internationally. Recently, APJ has directed its efforts to raising funds for schools in Haiti to support disaster relief, education, and distribution of food and water. Following the devastating earthquake in Haiti, APJ has focused its efforts on raising much needed funds for emergency relief efforts in the ravaged country.
Globally known people are giving back on a global scale. Finding new ways to band together to create or support programs that give back to needy communities, celebrities are showing they are growing in numbers and contributing in worthwhile ways.