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Release Date: 10/13/2006

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

NEW YORK – October 12, 2006 – Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, VH1 General Manager Tom Calderone, and Howard Szarfarc, President, Time Warner Cable, today announced the donation of $1 million worth of new musical instruments to the New York City public school system from the VH1 Save The Music Foundation.  The donation was made as part of The Foundation’s commitment to restoring music education in schools throughout the country and brings the 10 year total donation to New York City Public Schools to more than $6.5 million worth of musical instruments to restore music education in 247 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 Event President and CEO Maureen J. Reidy, Hip Hop recording artist Ice-T, and a student band made up of musicians from IS 278 and PS 129 will perform at the announcement at PS 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 introducing music and culture in 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, as well as 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” 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.”

“This generous donation announced today by VH1 Save The Music and Time Warner Cable is the perfect way to kick off ‘VH1 Hip Hop Honors Week’ in NYC,” said Maureen J. Reidy, President and CEO, NYC Big Events.  “The week leading up to the show’s telecast is packed with opportunities for New Yorkers and tourists to learn about hip hop history and culture through a variety of events in all five boroughs.”

“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.  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,” stated Howard Szarfarc, President, Time Warner Cable of New York and New Jersey.

The VH1 Save The Music Foundation aims to emphasize the importance of instrumental music as an integral part of a child’s education.  Research 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 the VH1 Save The Music Foundation was created in 1997, $34 million worth of new musical instruments have been donated to 1,400 public schools in 80 cities, improving the lives of more than 800,000 children. 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.

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