For the second consecutive year, luxury Italian fashion house Versace is set to sponsor the Whitney’s Gala and Studio party. On October 19th, the event will take place in the presence of over 1,000 prolific figures from the arts, fashion, media, business and corporate world, as humanitarianism merges with high glamour. Co-chairs of the evening will include actress Penelope Cruz, Liz Swig and Donatella Versace herself, who has collaborated with Whitney’s New York Education Department to create the special initiative, Arts Unites.
The initiative sees a worldwide push to aid children in need throughout the US and China, with a view to providing underprivileged children with a creative link to the cathartic properties of the visual arts. Arts Unites works in conjunction with the Starlight Children’s Foundation in the United States, that is dedicated to brining light to the lives of seriously ill children, and the One Foundation in China that is concerned with the long term recovery of earthquake devastated regions of the Sichuan province. Versace’s Arts Unites will assist these groups by providing counseling through the relieving, soothing methods of creative visual arts.
By providing canvas and art supplies to over 1,000 children under both foundations, Versace will encourage children to create art works based on the theme of friendship. Each child’s artwork will then in turn be produced as an exclusive, one-off Versace tote which will be retailed worldwide in Versace stores (and online for members of Versace’s special Gilt Groupe only), with all proceeds going directly to both charities. In celebration of the launch of the event, Whitney’s hosted a day of creation with terminally ill children from New York made art under the guidance of Donatella Versace and contemporary artist Ellen Harvey.