The prediction of torrential rain, the fact that it was a Sunday night, not even the South By Southwest convention in Austin, Texas, could keep the hundreds of attendees away from the launch event for Adopt The Arts.
Hosted by Jane Lynch ("Glee"), Matt Sorum (GUNS N' ROSES, THE CULT, VELVET REVOLVER, CAMP FREDDY) and co-chairperson Abby Berman's foundation to keep the arts in public school was a huge success. Celebrities such as John Stamos, Mark McGrath, Johnathon Schaech, Adrian Young (NO DOUBT), music legend Glenn Hughes (DEEP PURPLE, BLACK SABBATH), Gilby Clarke (GUNS N' ROSES), Billy Duffy (THE CULT), Christina Perri and many others came to support the cause. THE MAGNIFICENT 7 (Sorum, Donovan Leitch, Steve Stevens and Billy Morrison from Billy Idol's band, bassist Grant Fitzpatrick and Franky Perez) were joined by John Stamos playing drums and bongos, Glenn Hughes, whose performance brought the roof down, and Mark McGrath, who always brings it, treated everybody to an amazing, top-notch musical show.
Sorum says, "I can't thank everyone enough for the amazing turnout and support for Adopt The Arts. Thanks to superintendent John Deasy and his entire music department, as well as to Jane Lynch, John Stamos, Johnathon Schaech, Mark McGrath, Gilby Clarke… everyone… all of you made the night extremely special and helped to raise a lot of money for the kids. Thanks also to THE MAGNIFICENT 7 band, and especially to Glenn Hughes for his jaw-dropping solo performance. Thank you to chef Kerry Simon for an incredible dinner, to Sofitel Los Angeles/Stone Rose Lounge, as well as to Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf for their amazing efforts. We also want to thank all the artists, photographers and fashion groups, as well as the Peninsula Hotel and the deluxe Mexican luxury vacation donations to our silent auction. This is just the beginning… much more work still needs to be done, and this event was a great start!"
As previously reported, Sorum spoke at the February 14 Los Angeles Unified School District board meeting where the board debated a $557 million budget cut to close a funding deficit in the district's $6 billion budget. He told the board that music helped keep him in school because he was not good at academics. He also said that cutting arts would be a travesty, explaining, "My mother is a music teacher and I grew up with music. I've gotta say — I wasn't the greatest with academics. I gravitated towards the creative aspect, which I had at public school. I had choir, [where] I learned how to sing, and I also took orchestra and learned how to play the drums, I became a world-renowned rock and roll musician."
He added, "I'm really concerned with cutting the arts and music for a very scientific reason, and the scientific reason is that kids learn four times better with music and arts in the program. Without a creative outlet, the academic programs are gonna suffer, and then there's gonna be children that don't gravitate towards the academics that have a creative mind that we're gonna lose nurturing them and may possibly be losing a very creative force in the future."
The drummer's speech apparently convinced the LAUSD board to hold off on a $6 billion budget plan that would result in eliminating the district's adult education, preschool and most elementary arts programs.
Sorum pleading his case to the Los Angeles Unified School District board: