Stars Shine at Whitney Museum Gala Benefit for the Arts

Whitney Museum Gala, Donatella Versace, Jennifer Hudson
The stars were shining on Monday night at the 2009 Whitney Museum Gala in New York. The annual museum event raises funds to support museum exhibitions and educational programming. Sponsored by Versace, the museum's black-tie benefit was attended by the likes of actresses Lindsey Lohan and Mischa Barton, actors Gerard Butler and Patrick Dempsey, designer Charlotte Ronson, singers Shakira and Jennifer Hudson, and the list goes on.

“I draw, but only cartoon figures, so I would never make it into a museum like this,” said singer Jennifer Hudson, whose special musical performance elicited a standing ovation from the crowd. Other celebrities also discussed their artistic abilities (or lack thereof). “I have ‘paint parties.' I put up blank canvases on the wall and everyone comes over and paints on them," Mischa Barton said. “I make sculpture, I used to paint fried eggs—I was in a phase,” added Shakira.
NEW YORK / In addition to sponsoring the Gala, Donatella Versace collaborated with the Whitney’s Education Department to create Art Unites, a global initiative aimed at providing needy children in the United States  and China with the incomparable spirit, creativity, inspiration and solace that visual arts bestow. The program, officially launched on July 1st, benefits the Starlight Children’s Foundation, an organization dedicated to brightening the lives of seriously ill children and their families in the US, and the Versace One Foundation (founded by Jet Li)  in China, an organization committed to the long-term recovery of the areas devastated by last year’s earthquakes in the Sichuan province, funding and operating two Versace One Foundation children’s centers with schooling, psychological therapy, and post  trauma counseling for over 1200, through creative visual arts, an essential form of relief.
As part of the Art Unites program Versace provided canvas and art supplies to 500 children from Starlight and 900 children from the Versace One Foundation to create original drawings using the theme of “friendship”.  Each child’s work of art has been fashioned into a one-of-a-kind Versace canvas tote bag which are being sold worldwide now at Versace boutiques and the Gilt Groupe, a member’s only ecommerce site.  The bags retail for about 200 euro, and 100% percent of the proceeds from the sale of the bags will be donated equally to Starlight and to the Versace One Foundation.

[Read more - Versace Sponsors 2009 Gala |]

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