- THE ART
- Ol Skool’
Daniel “Danny” Simmons, Jr. is an abstract-expressionist painter. Older brother of hip-hop impressario Russell Simmons and rapper Joseph Simmons (“Rev. Run” of Run DMC), he is the founder and Vice Chairman of the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation and Rush Arts Gallery. In addition, Simmons converted part of his loft in Brooklyn into the Corridor Gallery. Along with his brother Russell, Simmons established Def Poetry Jam, which has enjoyed long- running success on HBO. In 2004, Simmons published Three Days As The Crow Flies, a fictional account of the 1980’s New York art scene. He has also written a book of artwork and poetry called I Dreamed My People Were Calling But I Couldn’t Find My Way Home.
Simmons is the son of Daniel Simmons, Sr., a truant officer and black history professor who also wrote poetry, and Evelyn Simmons, a teacher who painted as a hobby. He earned a degree in social work from New York University and a master’s in public finance from Long Island University. He began painting after he realized how much he hated his job with the Bureau of Child Support.
Simmons, an abstract-expressionist painter, has had his work shown nationally. Chase Manhattan Bank, the United Nations, and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture all show his work as part of their collections. He is also an avid collector of African art and comic books.
Rush was founded in 1995 by three brothers: Danny Simmons, visual artist and community builder; media mogul Russell Simmons; and Joseph “Rev. Run” Simmons of the legendary hip-hop group Run-DMC.Their goal was to fill the gap that the disenfranchised and people of color faced in both accessing the arts and exhibition opportunities.
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Over the past 20 years with the help of a broad base of friends, collaborators and supporters, Rush have been able to develop our main two program areas – Rush Education art programs for our youth and Rush Arts Galleries supporting and featuring emerging artists nationwide – working together in a seamless way to open up the arts to populations facing hurdles to the joy and benefits of these experiences.
Designed to inspire students, provide positive alternatives to high risk behaviors and support increased academic performance, Rush Education programs- Rush Little Kids, Rush Kids, Rush Teens and Rush Galleries in Schools– directly serve over 3,000 students annually. In addition, each year through our Rush Arts Galleries- Rush Arts Gallery in Chelsea, Manhattan and Corridor Gallery in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn- exhibit the work of over 100 emerging and community-based artists; welcomes over 10,000 gallery visitors; and provides unique opportunities for young people interested in careers in the arts.
15th Annual Art for Life Gala Pix
First photo below: WATER MILL, NY – JULY 26: (L-R) Soledad O’Brien, Russell Simmons, Danny Simmons, Michael Bloomberg, Carrie Mae Weems, Valentino D. Carlotti, Jason Flom and Tangie Murray pose on stage at the 15th annual Art for Life Gala hosted by Russell and Danny Simmons at Fairview Farms on July 26, 2014 in Water Mill, New York. (Photo by Johnny Nunez/Getty Images for Art For Life Gala)
* AM would like to give a special thanks to Taneshia Nash Laird for her contribution as well