One of Phil Stern’s iconic Marilyn Monroe portraits is among the works up for auction this year to benefit City Hearts: Kids Say Yes to the Arts, an organization that gives children in underprivileged areas of Los Angeles the chance to find outlets for self-expression via theater, dance, music and photography.
City Hearts will be hosting its third annual Fresh Focus fundraising event, thanks to donations from photogs like Stern and James Chressanthis, a cinematographer who works on “American Horror Story.”
Chressanthis got involved with City Hearts after meeting one of the org’s teachers, and seeing the merit in the work. “I went to the program and watched kids reading Shakespeare and understanding it, and performing it with boldness,” he told Variety.
Other works up for auction this year are a rare portrait of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney, five never-before-seen Beatles photos and a 1938 work by famed photographer Walter Rosenblum.
Chressanthis noted that those who donate their work understand the need for expanding arts programs. “If you have encouragement as a young person in the arts, it helps you follow your dreams,” he said. “The proof is when you see a photography exhibition from these young kids, and they’re creating beauty or looking critically at a tough environment. I think that’s why we’ve had such success.”
To buy tickets to the Oct. 19 event at the Old Stagecoach Ranch in Topanga, Calif., click here.