And we also kicked-off Grammy Month, which is a month-long celebration that will culminate on February 26th, when the Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden.
Grammy Month will feature concerts and performances throughout New York City, and it will highlight the rich diversity of our city's many cultures and communities.
"Sisters With Voices," Art Garfunkle and Michael Bolton were among the performers who helped to make our Grammy Month kick-off celebration a truly memorable event. But amid the recording stars and the excitement, another very important occurrence took place.
The New York City Host Committee for the Grammy Awards, under the leadership of co-chairs Rand Araskog and Richard Palmese, donated $100,000 to the public school system of New York City for a program called "Music in the Schools" that will help bring music education classes to our public school students.
Schools Chancellor Rudy Crew and Board of Education President Bill Thompson joined with me to accept this $100,000 donation. And under their leadership, I believe we will begin to see real positive improvements in the education of our children.
In my State of the City address and in my preliminary fiscal year '98 budget and financial plan, I proposed a public/private partnership between city government, the private sector and the Annenberg Foundation to restore permanently a comprehensive arts education curriculum for our students.
I also made substantial financial commitments to provide all of our students with current textbooks, to improve reading skills through "Project Read," to furnish our schools with computers through "Project Smart Schools," to make our schools safer by establishing "Second Opportunity Schools," and to create more seating capacity through construction and expansion.
In his annual State of the Union Address, President Clinton touched on many of these same themes. And it appears quite possible that we will receive additional federal funding for the programs that have already begun.
We welcome the assistance of the federal government, and the state government, and the non-profit sector and the private sector. It's time to set issues of politics aside. It's time for all of us to come together to meet the important needs of our children, to educate them better so that they can compete and succeed in the next century.
Together, I know that we can achieve this goal and restore New York City public schools as the very best public schools in the nation.
From Gracie Mansion, this Mayor Rudy Giuliani