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PR- 357-06
October 12, 2006


Announcement Kicks off 'VH1Hip Hop Honors Week,' October 12-17, in New York City with 'Education Day'

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, VH1 General Manager Tom Calderone, and Time Warner Cable President Howard Szarfarc today announced the donation of $1 million worth of new musical instruments to New York City public schools from the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. The donation brings The Foundation's ten year total contribution to New York City to more than $6.5 million worth of musical instruments to restore music education in 247 public schools. Today's announcement also kicked off 'VH1s Hip Hop Honors Week', a five-borough weeklong celebration of events, concerts, and restaurant and retail promotions leading up to the third annual VH1 Hip Hop Honors telecast hosted by Ice-T on October 17.  Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein, NYC Big Events  President and CEO Maureen J. Reidy, actor and Hip Hop recording artist Ice-T, and a student band made up of musicians from I.S. 278 and P.S. 129 joined the Mayor for the announcement at P.S. 129 in Harlem. 

"We have a responsibility to provide New York City students with a sound education and the tools to succeed inside and outside the classroom," said Mayor Bloomberg.  "Music education is crucial to the development of our children. Arts education programs can play a major role in improving attendance, retention and parental involvement in a child's education. Working with great partners like the VH1 Save the Music Foundation and Hip Hop Honors Week is just one of the innovative and creative ways of we're bringing music and culture into our classrooms."

"All students should have access to music education and all of its benefits," said Tom Calderone, General Manager and Executive Vice President, VH1.  "The VH1 Save The Music Foundation believes that music is a universal language and gives students lifelong tools to achieve success beyond music. This year's donation of $1 million to the New York City Public Schools brings the Foundation closer to its overall mission, to restore music education programs for one million public school students and give them the opportunity to learn, grow and achieve through music."

Hip Hop Honors Week includes themed days such as Education Day, Restaurant Day, Music and Culture Day, and Fashion and Shopping Day highlighting hip hop culture in its birthplace, New York City.  Among the other education related events occurring during the week are Master Classes which will be held in VH1 Save the Music Foundation grant recipient public schools throughout each of the five boroughs. 'Master Classes' will be led by legendary hip hop artists including MC Lyte, Miri Ben-Ari, Nuttin' But Stringz and hip hop producer Swizz Beats.

"Musical education is a powerful and enriching experience that can profoundly impact a child's life," said Schools Chancellor Joel Klein.  "The instruments that the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has donated to New York City schools have helped us enormously in our commitment to giving students the chance to experience the joy and the excitement of music."

"Along with Mayor Bloomberg, we invite all New Yorkers to join in the first-ever Hip Hop Honors Week celebrations as we take the party out of Hammerstein and into the streets of New York," said Maureen J. Reidy, President and CEO of NYC Big Events.  "Jam-packed with events, performances, exhibits and workshops throughout all five boroughs, we are sure there will be something for everyone."

"When VH1 Save The Music launched in 1997, Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey was the founding partner in building The Foundation," said Howard Szarfarc, President of Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey.  "Today, we continue to be committed to this important initiative, and we are happy to provide our resources to broadening awareness and prepare students for future success."

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation aims to emphasize the importance of instrumental music as an integral part of a child's education.  Schools data has shown that children involved with music education are more likely to graduate from high school and attend college, and are less likely to be involved with gangs and substance abuse.

Since its creation in 1997, the VH1 Save The Music Foundation has donated $34 million worth of new musical instruments to 1,400 public schools in 80 cities, improving the lives of more than 800,000 children throughout the country. In New York City, contributions to the VH1 Save The Music Foundation from The New York State Music Fund, The Imre and Vera Hecht Foundation, Independence Community Bank, Curve Fragrances by Liz Claiborne, Nikon and John Varvatos helped to make today's donation possible.  Manny's Music, Sam Ash Music and SoundTree, Korg's education division helped deliver instruments to this year's grant recipient schools.


Stu Loeser / Evelyn Erskine   (212) 788-2958

Lindsey Harr   (Department of Education)
(212) 374-5141

Kimberly Spell   (NYC Big Events)
(646) 587-5633

Maura Wozniak (VH1)   (646) 942-7638

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