Written by Tim Saunders
President Bill Clinton – founder of the William J. Clinton Foundation and 42nd President of the United States – actor and director Ben Stiller, and gallerist and art dealer David Zwirner have announced that they will co-chair an exclusive fundraising event on Friday, September 23rd in New York to benefit The Stiller Foundation.
The Stiller Foundation, founded by Ben Stiller in 2010, has been focusing efforts on building schools in Haiti where, according to a report from the United Nations, the January 2010 earthquake damaged or destroyed 8,000 schools that served 1.8 million children in and around the capital of Port-au-Prince alone. All of the schools on the western side of the city were totally destroyed, while 40% in the south were severely damaged.
President Clinton launched the Clinton Foundation Haiti Fund in 2010 and joined President George W. Bush in creating the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. He serves as the United Nations Special Envoy and co-chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission.
“Haiti has held a special place in my heart for more than three decades,” he says. “I have been impressed by The Stiller Foundation’s commitment to permanent, sustainable school development in Haiti and I am proud to join Ben Stiller and David Zwirner as co-host for the Gala celebrating Artists for Haiti. True recovery is about more than just moving people in and out of tents; it means setting up the institutions and systems that will empower citizens to build a bright future for themselves and their children.”
“Right now is a pivotal moment in Haiti’s future. And there is an opportunity for real change there. I’m honored that President Clinton has agreed to co-chair and attend our event,” said Ben Stiller. "I first became involved in Haiti through the Clinton Global Initiative, and his commitment and connection with the Haitian people is unparalleled. I’m also deeply grateful to my friend and partner David Zwirner, who has mobilized the art community in an unprecedented way. Through the generosity of these amazing artists, we have a chance to make a significant contribution to the rebuilding effort."
The event, to be held in New York at Skylight Soho, will celebrate the previous evening’s Artists for Haiti art auction. This partnership between Ben Stiller and David Zwirner will feature today’s most prominent artists, including Adel Abdessemed, Francis Al�s, Mamma Andersson, Louise Bourgeois, Cecily Brown, Chuck Close, John Currin, Marlene Dumas, Urs Fischer, Dan Flavin, Jasper Johns, Martin Kippenberger, Jeff Koons, Glenn Ligon, Paul McCarthy, Chris Ofili, Raymond Pettibon, Neo Rauch, James Rosenquist, Ed Ruscha, Cindy Sherman, Rudolf Stingel, Luc Tuymans, Kelley Walker, and Zhang Huan, who have donated major works to Artists for Haiti. 100% of this charity auction sale will go to support nonprofit organizations that are already performing important work on the ground in Haiti, including Architecture for Humanity; Artists for Peace and Justice; Cin� Institute; Grameen Lab; J/P HRO; and Partners in Health; among others.
“Ben’s intensity and passion as a philanthropist is exemplary. I am incredibly thankful to him for showing me firsthand what The Stiller Foundation has already accomplished in Haiti,” said David Zwirner. “Yet there is so much more to be done. The art world is an extraordinarily generous place and I am humbled by the support of the artists who have given so willingly. Through their donations and with everybody’s help, I believe we will be able to make a significant difference.”
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