The Education Foundation of Santa Monica-Malibu, an education endowment, is holding a performance festival to raise awareness and money to ensure that local students receive adequate art education in public schools.

Celebration For the Arts, a weekend-long festival that will feature performances by student dancers, bands, choirs and orchestras, teen celebrities and concerts by the band Venice, is scheduled Friday through Sunday, April 8th to 10th, at the Santa Monica Pier, (ocean end of Colorado Avenue), Santa Monica.

The festival includes an opening night reception at 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 8th, at the Santa Monica Pier Carousel. The reception is followed by a VIP benefit fundraiser concert featuring the band Venice, beginning at 8 p.m. at the Arcadia Nightclub on the Santa Monica Pier. Reception and VIP concert tickets are $150.

The next two days, a free arts festival featuring student performances, displays of student art work, arts-related workshops, art vendors and community nonprofit organizations, takes place from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, April 9th and 10th.

A community concert by the band Venice, is scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday, April 9th, at the Arcadia Nightclub. Tickets are $35.

The festival is intended to build community awareness and raise funds for the For the Arts endowment, a $15 million campaign by the Education Foundation of Santa Monica with the mission of making sure students in Santa Monica and Malibu receive a broad introduction to the arts as part of their education.

On two stages at the east end of the pier, about 800 students from John Adams Middle School, Malibu High School, Lincoln Middle School, Santa Monica High School and Santa Monica Alternative School House (SMASH) will present a range of vocal, instrumental, jazz, classical, choral, operetta, dramatic and other performances.

In addition to student performers, For the Arts has lined up teen celebrities for Saturday’s event from 1 to 5 p.m., including Jeremy Sumpter (Peter Pan), Lisa Foiles (All That), Steven Anthony Lawrence (Even Stevens), Cole Evan Weiss (Sandlot 2), and Rose Bloomfield.

The teen celebrities will appear between acts, explain how the arts have affected their lives, and introduce the performing acts. Lisa Foiles will sing at 4:30 p.m.

The chief fundraising highlights of the event are the two concert performances by the band Venice, of which proceeds will benefit For the Arts.

Venice is a band comprised of two sets of brothers — Michael and Mark Lennon and their cousins Pat and Kipp Lennon. They were all born and raised in Venice and have been regulars on the California club circuit for several years. They’ve toured and/or recorded with rock megastars Jackson Browne, David Crosby, Stevie Nicks, Warren Zevon, Phil Collins, Sting and Cher.

Venice’s latest album, Pacific Standard Time, was released in Europe in 2004, and was followed by a European tour.

The Education Foundation of Santa Monica-Malibu began 22 years ago to fund school programs that state money did not.

For the Arts is the arts affiliate of the foundation, which was formed four years ago and began fundraising by 2003.

Since then, $1.6 million has been raised to endow ongoing arts programs in the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District. Music, visual arts, drama and dance are the four major areas that are subsidized.

Information, (310) 450-8338 ext. 395.

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