Senator Montgomery Names Local Artist Danny Simmons to the NYS Council on the Arts Nomination is Approved by the Governor and NYS Senate

Velmanette Montgomery

January 21, 2009

Albany, NY (January 21, 2009): State Senator Velmanette Montgomery (D-Brooklyn) announced the Senate’s confirmation of Brooklyn artist Danny Simmons as a member of the NYS Council on the Arts. Senator Montgomery recommended Mr. Simmons for this post.   

Danny Simmons is the Vice-Chairman and Co-founder of Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation, a New York based foundation dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as providing exhibition opportunities to under-represented artists and artists of color.    
“Danny and his Foundation staff have helped to expose youth from my Senate District to the visual and cultural arts,” said Senator Montgomery in expressing her appreciation to Mr. Simmons for his many philanthropic contributions. Among the local organizations that Simmons has supported and worked with on behalf of youth include the Brooklyn Museum, Pratt Institute and the Brooklyn Academy of Music.

The NYS Council on the Arts, which is comprised of 20 members, is responsible for promoting all fields of the arts as a State cultural resource and administering grants-in-aid to nonprofit cultural organizations.
Senator Montgomery noted that Simmons’ oversight of funding support for arts and education programs is needed now more than ever in the wake of Governor Paterson’s plans to cuts spending for the arts by $8.3 million in the 2009-10 State Budget. According to the NYS Alliance for Arts Education, the proposed budget cuts will impact 55 cultural institutions Brooklyn-wide.”

In acknowledging the Senator’s support of the arts, Simmons said, “As you know the arts are a vital and integral part of Brooklyn’s development. Brooklyn is fast becoming the ‘go to’ place in New York State for cutting edge arts and culture and your support of the arts has paved the way for this to happen.”                                                                                                                       

Mr. Simmons is also the President of the Rush Galleries in Brooklyn; Executive Producer of Def Poetry Jam, the owner of the Corridor Gallery, and member of the executive boards of the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Brooklyn Museum, the Brooklyn Public Library, and the Brooklyn Academy of Music. He is also an accomplished painter and curator whose work has been shown across the country. Mr. Simmons holds an M.A. in Public Finance from Long Island University and studied social work as undergraduate at New York University.