By Ryan Velez
Even coming off his recent Grammy win, Newsone reports that Chance The Rapper is still hard at work trying to help people, especially, children, in his native Chicago. His latest act of philanthropy is creating the New Chance Arts and Literature Fund in conjunction with the Children First Fund for Chicago public schools. The initial announcement of the fund was live streamed via Periscope.
Since his stardom began to rise, Chance The Rapper has used his fame as a platform to try and draw attention to the many issues facing his native city. This latest project will be a partnership with Ingenuity, a local arts education advocacy group. According to the announcement, the program’s main focus will be providing supplies and equipment for reading and arts programs in schools, in particular, those schools that have seen a decrease in five-year graduation rates. The funding is scheduled to begin during the 2017-2018 school year.
“As an artist and an after-school teacher, I know that the arts are essential. They teach kids invaluable lessons,” Chance told reporters during the live stream. Chicago public schools have been a personal focus for Chance since the beginning. He made headlines in March by following through on his promise to make a $1 million personal donation to the public school system of Chicago. The donation was announced following a meeting with Gov. Bruce Rauner. In an interview, he described the meeting as disappointing, but wouldn’t elaborate further when asked during the press conference.
“This is, you know, a philanthropic effort and a charitable effort,” Chance said on Periscope. “The legal stuff, the election process, government…that’s all you guys’ choice individually. I’d like to think by constantly discussing it and you guys reporting on it, and us all becoming involved, the other sides besides philanthropic will get dealt with.” During the conference, representatives of the Chicago Bulls NBA team said that they would make a $1 million donation as well to support Chance’s efforts.
This marks a major milestone in Chance’s efforts to try and get other artists and entities involved in his works supporting Chicago’s youth. People who access his website, ChanceRaps.com, are taken straight to a page calling on visitors to support Chicago Public Schools.