VH1 Save The Music Foundation celebrated its 20th anniversary in grand style Monday night by hosting its 20th Anniversary Gala in New York City. Queen Latifah was honored at the event for her contributions to the world of music and commitment to providing low-income students with opportunities to pursue an education.

Queen Latifah and the foundation had recently announced a five-year, $5 million project to rebuild music in 38 schools in the city. At the gala, the foundation also presented Steve Aoki with the Music Innovator Award for his impact on the music industry, his leadership as a philanthropist through the Steve Aoki Charitable Fund, and role as an outspoken advocate for music education. Also, Toyota, which served as an event sponsor, presented DJ Khaled with the #ToyotaGiving Award for his role as a champion for music programs in schools and involvement as national spokesperson for VH1 Save The Music sister organization Get Schooled.

“I am deeply humbled by the opportunity to be a part of the amazing work that VH1 Save The Music does,” said Queen Latifah. “This is bigger than just teaching kids how to play instruments. It’s about using music to bring communities together and giving all children a shot at a brighter future. This work can’t stop until every child can access music programs as part of their education.”

VH1 Save The Music unveiled a new grant program that will broaden the range of opportunities for students across the country and advance the foundation’s mission to make music available in every public school in America. Introduced by Aoki, the Music Tech Grant is planned as an investment in American public high schools to fund: the hardware, software, and musical instruments needed for audio engineering, recording, and production.

“Not all children in America are afforded the same chances to succeed, but we believe in the power of music to help students fulfill their potential. That’s why we are more committed than ever to bringing music education to students who need it most,” said Henry Donahue, executive director of the VH1 Save The Music Foundation. “Not only is music education proven to help students be more successful, but we believe it’s every child’s right to access music and art within their school and community. With the continued support of our partners in communities across the United States, we can help make music an essential piece of every child’s education in the next 20 years.”

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