Friday, August 17, 2012

Big Kidz Foundation Salutes 2012 “Champions of the Arts”

Antwan “Big Boi” Patton with honorees George Clinton, Hinton Battle, the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra’s Mark Kent and Big Kidz’ Executive Director Jennifer Lester

Foundation honors an eclectic mix of “Champions” representing theatre, classical art, and the Godfather of Funk

By Lisa Brathwaite
BlackGivesBack Contributor

Atlanta, GA – Global music and pop culture icon Antwan “Big Boi” Patton (1/2 of multi-Grammy winning group OutKast) and his Big Kidz Foundation honored the Godfather of Funk George Clinton (leader of legendary groups Parliament and Funkadelic); three time Tony Award winner Hinton Battle, and the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. The “Champions of the Arts” Reception was held on Thursday, August 2, 2012 at the Metro Atlanta Chamber-J.B. Fuqua Rooftop Pavilion with hundreds of attendees and supporters.

The event was attended by some of Atlanta’s most influential art supporters representing the entertainment, civic and business industries including: V103’s Frank Ski; Olympic Gold Medalist & 2011 World Long Jump Champion Dwight Phillips; David Garfinkle, producer of “Spiderman” and “Ghost the Musical” on Broadway; and fashion designers Rob V and Mychael Knight. Guests enjoyed a panoramic view of the city as they listened to the acoustic sounds of BET Music Matters artist Clinton Babers and a performance from LaTocha Scott of Xscape while dining on creations from Chef Sammy Davis, Jr. of the Food Network’s Chopped. Guests enjoyed signature cocktails from event sponsor Grey Goose. A silent auction aimed to raise funds for the foundation’s year-round programs included items from Atlanta Hawks/Phillips Arena, Southwest Airlines, Loews Hotel, a photo shoot by photographer-to-the-stars Derek Blanks and even an original piece of art from George Clinton. This year’s sponsors included Atlanta-based Concordia Anesthesiology, RBM of Atlanta, the Artmore Hotel, and BMI to mention a few.

“The arts have saved my life. I had a dream and I wanted to give back to kids,” said Big Boi shortly before helping George Clinton lead the crowd in a rousing chorus of “We want the funk, gotta have that funk!”

“It’s very warming to my heart that the work that I do is being recognized, that people have respect for it and enjoy it…I wouldn’t be standing here today if it weren’t for the arts,” explained 2012 Honoree Hinton Battle.

Subsequently, host Egypt Sharrod of HGTV’s Property Virgins and Atlanta’s V-103 encouraged guests to raise their paddles to support the Foundation’s 2012 “Saving Lives Through the Arts” Campaign. Funds raised will be used to impact youth in Atlanta and Big Boi’s hometown of Savannah, GA by sponsoring summer camps, in-school programs and other quality youth development programs.

“What distinguishes the Big Kidz Foundation from other organizations is that Big Boi is hands on and we are touching the lives of youth on a daily basis,” said Big Kidz’ Executive Director Jennifer Lester.

View highlights from the event in this exclusive video created exclusively for BlackGivesBack by Joshua Peltier of Brightcomm Entertainment here.

About Big Kidz Foundation:
The Big Kidz Foundation, the philanthropic vision Antwan "Big Boi" Patton, was established in an effort to enhance education and knowledge by nourishing artistic endeavors. Established in 2006, Big Kidz has a firm belief that cultural exposure, musical and literary expressions, and the invaluable experiences of travel make for a well-rounded person. Big Boi is 1/2 of the Grammy Award winning duo Outkast, which has had a global impact on the music business and is recognized for their originality and non-traditional creativity. The Big Kidz Foundation offers several programs that are provided in schools throughout metropolitan Atlanta. For more information, please visit

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