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Devin D. Thorpe

Devin Thorpe

American Express and Pharrell Williams Partner to Back Arts and Music Education in Schools

American Express to Gift $1 Million to Benefit Young Audiences Arts for Learning and Co-host Yellow Ball Fundraiser with Pharrell

Missy Elliott to Headline Yellow Ball, with Featured Performances by A$AP Ferg and DJ Stretch Armstrong

Press Release – NEW YORK, August 8, 2018 – Today, American Express and Pharrell Williams announced an expanded partnership and joint commitment to raise awareness and support to bring more arts education to schools nationwide. As part of the collaboration, American Express Platinum and Pharrell will host a fundraising event, called the Yellow Ball, with an all-star lineup of collaborators on September 10, at the Brooklyn Museum to benefit Young Audiences Arts for Learning. American Express will also gift $1 Million to Young Audiences, the nation’s largest arts-in-education network whose work strives to inspire young people and expand their learning through the arts.

According to research commissioned by the National Endowment for the Arts, students’ involvement in the arts is linked to higher academic performance, increased standardized test scores, more community service, and lower dropout rates. Despite this positive impact, there is still a critical need to increase support and funding for arts education in schools nationwide.

Pharrell has been the Creative Director of the Platinum Card since 2016 helping to influence, inspire and inform the access, experiences and services offered to Platinum Card Members. In addition to co-hosting the Yellow Ball, Pharrell designed a limited edition yellow Platinum Card to thank U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Members who support arts education through the Yellow Ball. Eligible Card Members may request a limited edition yellow Platinum Card, which will replace their existing Card, when they purchase a ticket to the Yellow Ball.

“Music and the arts have been part of my life since birth, but it was my teachers, Mr. Warren, Mrs. Warren and Mr. Sharps, who exposed me to so many different kinds of music, that it expanded my mind and my imagination. I would not be where I am today without music and arts education in my school as a youth,” said Pharrell Williams. “This is why I am so grateful that American Express is working with me to make sure we keep arts and music in our schools, accessible to all, where it belongs.”

Through his expanded role as an American Express global ambassador, Pharrell will also be featured in American Express’ new global brand campaign in a commercial that highlights how the company backs him as he travels the world to find inspiration for his music.

“As an artist, creator and business owner, Pharrell is the perfect person to bring to life our new global brand platform, which reflects the blended lives that our customers lead today. We are so excited to feature him in our new campaign and to partner with him to support the arts,” said Elizabeth Rutledge, Chief Marketing Officer, American Express. “We encourage our Card Members to join us in celebrating and backing this important cause at the Yellow Ball later this year.”

The Yellow Ball was named and inspired by Pharrell, who views the color as representing hope and optimism and is meant to help to shine a light on the need for arts education and its ability to pave the way for a brighter future. The event will offer guests various experiences that celebrate and raise awareness for the arts in collaboration with partners of Pharrell and American Express Platinum, including:

  • American Express Platinum Collective member, and renowned artist, Daniel Arsham will create a multi-room immersive art installation that takes guests through three unique experiences that celebrate and demonstrate the importance of arts education for design and creativity
  • American Express Global Dining Collection Chef Dominique Crenn will curate a multi-course dinner experience designed to be a creative and artistic expression of the cuisine
  • Musical Performances by headliner Missy Elliott, as well as A$AP Ferg and DJ Stretch Armstrong

To purchase tickets and learn more about the Yellow Ball and the limited-edition yellow Platinum Card, please visit: amex.co/yellow. Ticket supplies are limited.

1Only Primary U.S. Consumer Platinum Card Members who purchase a ticket to the Yellow Ball are eligible to receive the limited edition yellow Platinum Card. The limited edition yellow Platinum Card will replace Card Member’s existing Platinum Card. The limited edition Yellow Platinum Card comes with all of the same great benefits and services currently offered on the U.S. Consumer Platinum Card.

About American Express

American Express is a global services company, providing customers with access to products, insights and experiences that enrich lives and build business success. Learn more at americanexpress.com and connect with us on facebook.com/americanexpress, instagram.com/americanexpress, linkedin.com/company/american-express, twitter.com/americanexpress, and youtube.com/americanexpress.


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