Tag: Skylar Diggins

Russell Simmons Raises 1.5 Million Dollars for the Arts at Annual Art For Life Benefit

Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit
Russell Simmons raises 1.5 million dollars for the arts at annual Art For Life Benefit. Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, among others, were in attendance (photo by Nia Hamm)

Celebrities, activists, artists and media descended upon Bridgehampton, New York last Saturday July 28 to help raise more than $1.5 million — and counting — for Danny and Russell Simmons’ fourteenth annual Art For Life Benefit.  The event, held at Russell Simmons’ Fairview Farms East Hampton estate, helped to raise money for the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, which provides arts education opportunities for inner-city youth.

“It’s very important that kids get a chance to practice and appreciate art,” Russell Simmons said of his inspiration for the benefit and organization, because, “it informs everything that we do. Nothing happens without creativity.”  Guests included Michael Strahan, Nicole Murphy, Anthony Anderson, Rev. Al Sharpton, Star Jones, Angela Simmons and more. Youthful new faces such as Skylar Diggins, Olivia Culpo, Nana Meriwether, Melanie Fiona and Tahira Jose were also seen on the scene to bring attention to the importance of promoting culture among our youth.

Soledad O’Brien hosted the gala, while special performances included Estelle, Rick Ross and Maxwell. There was even a surprise performance by Doug E. Fresh.  This year’s theme, ‘A Field of Dreams,’ highlighted the creativity of New York City youth and honored individuals in the community for their contributions, career achievements and philanthropic work.

Honorees included Samuel Englebardt and William D. Johnson of Demarest Films, writer Walter Mosley, Ann Pasternak of Creative Time and filmmaker Tyler Perry.  Attendees agreed that the arts are an integral part of any child’s upbringing. “As a parent I want them to be able to read. I want them to be able to write and do mathematics. That’s all really important. But they also, to be human beings, have to understand how to express themselves,” Soledad O’Brien said.  The final amount raised by the Art For Life Benefit the will be announced when the online auction, hosted by Charitybuzz, closes on August 7.

article by Nia Hamm via thegrio.com

NBA Star Kevin Durant to Join Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports Agency

kevin durantKevin Durant is the latest superstar athlete to join Jay-Z’s new Roc Nation sports agency, according to reports.

Since selling his shares of ownership of the Brooklyn Nets in order to become a sports agent, the hip-hop mogul has already signed a handful of young superstars.

Durant, one of the three most popular players in the NBA, will join the likes of Robinson Cano, Victor Cruz, Geno Smith and Skylar Diggins as clients of Roc Nation.

While Jay-Z might not be the most seasoned sports agent, his brand development skills are undeniable. In the new age of brand marketing and social media, teaming up with a pop culture icon is one of the best ways for an athlete to increase his or her public image.

“KD doesn’t want a traditional NBA agent anymore,” a league source told Yahoo! Sports. “He wants Jay-Z to handle his branding. …He had a chance to be with his idol and couldn’t say no.” It also helps that Roc Nation is backed by Creative Artists Agency, one of the most powerful sports agencies in the country.

This is the second time in two years that Durant has changed agencies. He was most recently with Rob Pelinka of Landmark Sports, which represents both Kobe Bryant and James Harden. Pelinka had been Durant’s most recent agent. In a year with Pelinka, Durant was the most marketed player in the league, with national TV spots for Nike, Sprint and Degree, to name a few.

But very few agencies can offer what Roc Nation offers. Jay-Z has influence and connections in sports and entertainment that very few people can match. If Durant wants to be surpass LeBron James and Kobe Bryant as the most popular figures in basketball, teaming up with Jay-Z was the right move.

article via sportingnews.com

Jay-Z Adds WNBA’s Skylar Diggins To Roc Nation Sports

skylar

Jay-Z’s Roc Nation Sports announced Thursday that Skylar Diggins, the third overall pick in the 2013 WNBA Draft, is the newest professional athlete to sign with the burgeoning sports agency.  “It’s the ROC in here!” Diggins tweeted after the news broke on Jay’s Life+Times site.“ShockNation meets RocNation.”

The former University of Notre Dame standout was recently selected by the Tulsa Shock in Connecticut last week. The 22-year old Associated Press First-Team All-American point guard will join New York Yankee Robinson Cano at Jay’s new company, which is a joint venture with the fabled Creative Artists Agency, boasting clients such as New York Knicks star Carmelo Anthony and Buster Posey, who recently inked a $167 million deal with the San Francisco Giants.

The Blueprint III MC recently divested his minority ownership stake in the Brooklyn Nets in order to be eligible to pursue NBA athletes. With the NBA Draft coming up in June, look for more breakout basketball stars to be throwing up the Roc in the coming months.

article by Maurice Bobb via rapfix.mtv.com