Montblanc recently announced its choice of Russell Simmons as the 2003 Montblanc Arts Patronage Award winner for North America. Credited with the “hip-hopification” of America via music, television, film, and publishing, Simmons was selected for his community support of the arts through his Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation. Simmons will receive $15,000 to be donated to the cultural project of his choice, along with a special version of the Limited Edition Patron of the Arts Writing Instrument, “Copernicus”—a solid white gold pen with a yellow diamond embedded in each ring that encircles the pen.
Founded in 1995 by Simmons and his brothers Danny and Joseph (“Rev. Run” of Run DMC), the Rush Philanthropic Arts Foundation is dedicated to providing disadvantaged urban youth with significant exposure and access to the arts, as well as offering exhibition opportunities to underrepresented artists and artists of color.
Montblanc created the award in 1992 to honor individuals who have significantly contributed their time and resources to enhance arts and culture. Ten outstanding arts patrons are named each year, one each from Spain, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, China, the United Kingdom, and North America.