The 2nd ‘Stay In School’ Benefit Concert feat. Kanye West | June 11th, 2009

The Kanye West Foundation, Chicago Public Schools and S.H.O.W Partner for the 2nd ‘Stay in School’ Benefit Concert Presented by Fuse TV


Marking An Unprecedented Collaborative Effort to Roll Back the Nation’s Staggering Dropout Rate

CHICAGO, May 18 /PRNewswire/ — The Kanye West Foundation (KWF), founded in 2007 by the late Dr. Donda West, was established to help combat the severe dropout problem plaguing America’s communities. It is through the collaboration of community and corporate partnerships that the 2nd “Stay in School” Benefit Concert, taking place at the historic Chicago Theatre on Thursday, June 11th, was born. This is the first major event for the Kanye West Foundation since the 2007 passing of its founder Dr. Donda West, the mother of Kanye West. It is also the first concert Kanye has performed in the city of Chicago in over a year. The concert will be taped by Fuse, the national music network, and will air later this summer.

Benefit concert tickets go on sale Thursday, May 21st. Tickets start at $49.50 to $500 for the VIP Reception and can be purchased at

Highland Park High School sophomore, David Abrams, conceived the event concept as he listened to a story on NPR about a Chicago Public School (CPS) student who was failing out of school. As an incentive to stay in school, the student’s mother offered two tickets to a Lil Wayne concert. David then turned to his mom and said “We should do that – let’s get kids to SHOW up to school, get their grades up and put on a free concert for them.” David formed S.H.O.W (Students Helping Our World), which is run by a group of Highland Park teens and supported by parents like Wendy Abrams, an environmental activist and founder of Cool Globes. S.H.O.W formed partnerships with CPS, the City of Chicago, former quarterback of the Chicago Bears Kyle Orton, and ultimately the Kanye West Foundation.

“I have always had the desire to help people and make the world a better place. I believe that youth are the music for creating a world filled with harmony. To create such a world, however, we must all do our part,” says Mr. West who waived his fees for the events on June 11th. Joseph Collins, CEO of the Kanye West Foundation states, “This cause is directly in line with the mission of the KWF. We see this event as a launching pad and long-term effort to help students in school.” He continues, “Immediately upon learning about David Abrams and S.H.O.W, we knew this was a good match. The fact that a young person chose to lead this effort and challenge his peers to do better in school is amazing and exactly what Dr. West envisioned when she and Kanye created this foundation. I believe these efforts directly support the vision Dr. West had for the organization and for America’s children. I see this concert as the seed that will allow us to ‘fulfill a mother’s dream.'”

“I want to thank the Kanye West Foundation for supporting the Chicago Public Schools and encouraging our students to stay in school and graduate,” said Mayor Richard M. Daley. “Education is the key to our children’s future and by working together we can continue the progress we’ve made by producing graduates who are prepared for jobs and the global economy.”

S.H.O.W will offer free tickets to students who demonstrate marked improvements in attendance and/or grades in the last quarter of the current school year. Approximately 3,000 inner city and Chicago area students will have the opportunity to meet Kanye West and experience an intimate behind-the-scenes snapshot of how he prepares for a concert.

Airing the concert later this summer, “Fuse is thrilled to provide a national television platform to help raise awareness of the important work The Kanye West Foundation and S.H.O.W are doing to keep students in school,” said Dave Weier, VP of music programming and talent relations. “To capture an event that is the culmination of the power of music and the hard work and dedication of students is really exciting for us.”

The June 11th event consists of (4) parts:

10:00am (TBC)
Formal announcement of the goals associated with the event, the ongoing
collaboration with S.H.O.W and CPS the future plans for the Kanye West
Foundation. Representatives from each respective organization will be

S.H.O.W – Students Helping Our World
Prior to the evening’s event, a very special pre-show captured by Fuse
will occur. Most youth do not have the opportunity to attend a concert
until age 18. However, as part of the day’s festivities, over 3,000 youth
from Chicago Public Schools accompanied by adults will have an exclusive
opportunity to attend a special pre-show sound check as Kanye prepares for
the evening’s performance. Youth will be entertained with positive
messaging encouraging them to not only to stay in school but also to

5:30pm – 7:30pm
Red Carpet/Step & Repeat (ongoing throughout the reception)
Later that evening VIP guests will be invited to join Kanye and celebrity
guests for an exclusive meet and greet in the lobby of the historic
Chicago Theatre. Immediately following the reception, guests will be
escorted into the theatre for the concert with Kanye and his celebrity

“Fuse Presents: Kanye West Live From The Chicago Theatre”
Doors open at 7:30pm, concert at 8:30pm
Performing tracks off his latest album, 808’s and Heartbreak, corporate
sponsors and their guests will be hosted by Kanye West, Fuse and his
foundation for an intimate performance at the historic Chicago Theatre.
The concert airing on Fuse later this summer (premiere date to be
announced) will benefit the Kanye West Foundation’s 2nd annual “Stay In
School” initiative and S.H.O.W.

About the Kanye West Foundation…Fulfilling a Mother’s Dream

The Kanye West Foundation is an extension of Dr. West’s legacy, commitment to education. The mission of the foundation is to help combat the severe dropout problem in schools across the United States by partnering with community organizations to provide underserved youth access to music production programs that will enable them to unleash their creative ability and reach their full potential. Kanye’s vision, and thus the vision of the Kanye West Foundation, is its inaugural program, “Loop Dreams”, a music production program designed to motivate students to stay in school and graduate. Kanye West Foundation is committed to providing high quality programs in partnership with community organizations such as Challengers Boys & Girls Club in South Central Los Angeles, California where Loop Dreams is currently implemented.

About Fuse

Fuse brings viewers closer to their favorite artists and bands by featuring original series and specials, exclusive interviews, live concerts and video blocks – all rooted in the music experience. Celebrating the hit makers of today, familiar favorites and edgy newcomers, Fuse accommodates the wide ranging tastes and attitudes of its 12-34 year-old audience with compelling music programming on-air, on-line, on-demand and via mobile technologies. Fuse is a part of MSG Media, which includes television networks MSG and MSG Plus and MSG Interactive, which oversees all company wireless and online initiatives. MSG Media is a division of Madison Square Garden, L.P., which is owned by Cablevision Systems Corporation, and includes the New York Knicks (NBA); the New York Rangers (NHL); the New York Liberty (WNBA); the Hartford Wolf Pack (American Hockey League); MSG Entertainment, which includes concerts and events at Radio City Music Hall, Madison Square Garden, the Wang Center, the Beacon Theatre, as well as the legendary Chicago Theatre, and which manages wholly-owned live entertainment properties including the Radio City Rockettes and the Radio City Christmas Spectacular. Additional information about Fuse can be found at

Kanye West Foundation

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