Madonna said she was incredibly inspired by her recent Detroit visit. Today she’s backing it up with her wallet.
In what her spokeswoman calls “the first phase of a long-term commitment” to the city, the Michigan-born pop star is announcing funding for three Detroit community groups.
Benefiting will be the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, Detroit Achievement Academy and the Empowerment Plan — described in a press release as “three extraordinary organizations that have already begun to bring hope and change to the city.”
They were among the Detroit outfits visited by Madonna during a visit here in early June, when rep Liz Rosenberg said the star was aiming to connect with her hometown.
In a statement to be released today, Madonna says: “I was deeply inspired by the efforts of so many people who I met who have dedicated themselves to helping the kids and adults in Detroit elevate themselves from the cycle of poverty. I have seen the results their commitment and hard work have already accomplished.”
Dollar amounts were not disclosed, but the contributions will entail:
• A “significant donation” toward a new facility for the Downtown Youth Boxing Gym, which serves 65 young people with after-school boxing and mentoring.
• Equipment, art supplies and music gear for the Detroit Achievement Academy, a progressive charter school on the city’s northwest side, including iPods, iPads and Smart Boards for classrooms.
• Funding to train three seamstresses at the Empowerment Plan, which tutors homeless women in job skills while creating coats that serve as sleeping bags for the homeless.
“From meeting the kids at Downtown Youth Boxing Gym who have a 100% high school graduation rate, to seeing how eager the students at the Detroit Achievement Academy are to learn about the arts, to understanding the value of giving homeless women the opportunity to become self-sufficient through The Empowerment Plan, it was obvious to me that I had to get involved and be part of the solution to help Detroit recover,” Madonna says in today’s statement. “A piece of my heart will always be in Detroit and I’m humbled to be able to give back to my community.”
Madonna, who left Michigan for New York in her late teens to pursue an entertainment career, has been a regular visitor in recent months as her daughter, Lourdes Leon, becomes a University of Michigan freshman.
Madonna’s Instagram photos of her Detroit visit
When Madonna visited Detroit in early June, she sent out Instagram photos from stops at the three groups she today announced funding for. From top to bottom: Detroit Achievement Academy, the Empowerment Plan, Downtown Youth Boxing Gym.
(@Detroit Free Press)
I met Madonna because of her kids and then she invited me to a party.
We ended up writing seven songs together.
I do not usually feel pressured to write hits, but when it’s an artist of this cailber, it’s obvious that I want to push the bounderies a little bit further and surpass myself.
One of the songs we wrote is very cool and is called “Bitch, I’m Madonna”.- Diplo
PEOPLE GOT SO EXCITED WHEN THEY KNEW YOU WERE INVOLVED IN MADONNA’S MDNA. HOW DIFFERENT WAS IT TO COLLABORATE WITH HER ON THESE TWO DIFFERENT PROJECTS?
I knew people were excited, they ask me about a new Ray Of Light every minute of the day. Think of it this way: it came about very spontaneously. We were in this studio in a rather unfashionable part of LA where nobody came. I do remember M telling to a guy from the record company “This is art. This is how we are doing it.” It was a very pure experience; it was all about making that record and nothing else. She’s an amazing person, producer and it was a true collaboration. It’s important to get this across; I don’t like it when people assume that I was the clever one doing the whole job. I’d feel mortified if I was her because she didn’t put her name on the production out of vanity, she was fucking in there with me. We didn’t have a plan and though she’s good at driving things along, I didn’t expect to see her nervous during the first listening party for people at Warner. She never shows it and I mean, that woman has never lost money even on a bad year but still, we were biting our nails! As for MDNA it’s important to say that I jumped on the project later on. She also had lots of projects going on at the same time, I honestly don’t know how any human being could cope with everything that comes with just being her! She’s such an incredible time manager. I would have mixed it myself if I could, or only together with Madonna because she’s a great mixer. We have spirited debates about things but we both always end up in the same direction. I would have also dropped three of the six tracks produced by the other guys, they were not good enough in my opinion; too puerile. As for the remaining three I would have suggested to put more depth and make them more special. I had the best team and other brilliant songs, this is why I am still a bit puzzled to these days but what’s done is done so I don’t ever give it a second thought.
Read full interview HERE
Invalid Displayed Gallery