NEW YORK —Prince is continuing his mission to pay forward the knowledge and pave the way for the next generation to attain its greatness. The seven-time Grammy award winner bestowed a $1 million line of credit upon the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ) and made special gifts to the Uptown Dance Academy and the American Ballet Theatre during a press conference featuring HCZ’s President and CEO Geoffrey Canada and students from the community-based educational organization. The event was held at MadisonSquareGarden at the conclusion of the first leg of Prince’s phenomenally successful “Welcome 2 America” tour, one of the highest grossing recent tours in the country.
Robin Williams, Executive Artistic Director of the UptownDanceAcademy, and Rachel Moore, Executive Director of ABT—whose ballerina, Misty Copeland, performed with Prince during the tour—each accepted $250,000 lines of credit from the music icon. The three groups can tap into the funds for the resources they need to grow and develop their programs. The lines of credit were issued so that Prince can remain informed of the needs of and help foster the three organizations.
“A function of our love for the next generation is instilling in them our own hard-fought knowledge,” said Prince. “We can't wait and see—or only hope for—the future of those coming after us. We must actively take responsibility for ensuring their success.”
At the press conference, the 30 students of the Harlem Children’s Zone—chosen for their musical aspirations—got to stand on the stage of the world’s most famous arena. After the press opportunity, the seven-time Grammy winner met the youth.
“We are honored that Prince is teaching our kids how to dream big and to work hard to make those dreams a reality,” said Canada. “His efforts should inspire others to recognize that these kids belong to all of us, and that we all need to step forward to help them succeed.”
As Prince works with Live Nation to bring the tour to new cities across the country, he plans to make similar donations to other exemplary educational and cultural institutions.
The six New York area dates included an eclectic mix of established artists like Mint Condition, Cassandra Wilson, Sinbad, Maceo Parker, Larry Graham and Sheila E, who have paved the way for others. Emerging and established artists like Janelle Monáe, Esperanza Spalding, Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings, Cee Lo Green and Lalah Hathaway have also performed.