Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto hosted the 11th annual Exploring the Arts (ETA) 2018 gala last night at the Ziegfeld Ballroom in NYC, honoring Richard Bressler, President, COO & CFO of iHeartMedia, Inc. and Ted Sarandos, Chief Content Officer of Netflix. Nineteen-time Grammy winner Tony Bennett closed the evening with a show-stopping performance, singing a medley of some of his timeless classics. The illustrious affair included welcome remarks by Ryan Seacrest and special guest performances from Broadway legend Brian Stokes Mitchell, a Tony Award winner for Kiss Me, Kate and Tony Award nominee for Ragtime and Man of LaMancha, and Wé McDonald of “The Voice.” Additional guests last evening included President and CEO of the Verve Label Group Danny Bennett, Showtime Networks Inc. Chairman Matthew C. Blank, and iHeart Media president of Entertainment Enterprises John Sykes and Ambassador Nicole Avant(Ret.).
This year alone, with the support of the gala fundraising, ETA has raised $1 million. Susan Benedetto, President of ETA noted in her speech last night, “This has been a very exciting school year for Exploring the Arts, as we have expanded to serve five additional Partner Schools. And more schools mean more students, so we are thrilled.” “I love visiting our Partner Schools and seeing the students’ enthusiasm and love for the arts,” said Tony Bennett. “I know they will carry that joy of learning and performing throughout their lives.”
Founded in 1999 by legendary American singer and painter, Tony Bennett, and his wife, Susan Benedetto, Exploring the Arts’ mission is to strengthen the role of the arts in public high school education. ETA’s unique programs provide greater equality of resources and opportunities to traditionally underserved high schools and their students. Tony Bennett and ETA’s initial endeavor, in partnership with the NYC Department of Education, was the founding of Frank Sinatra School of the Arts — a state of the art NYC public high school offering an extensive arts education curriculum located in Tony’s hometown of Astoria, Queens. Currently ETA supports 38 public high schools: 18 Partner Schools in New York City & Long Island and 10 Partner Schools in Los Angeles County. Since its inception, ETA has raised $20M to date in support of arts education for public high schools. For more information please visit: www.ExploringTheArts.org.