Hot off his recent Grammy win and with a big North American tour coming up, Chance the Rapper announced Monday that he will be donating $1 million to Chicago Public Schools to help with its funding deficit — and has challenged major U.S. companies to follow suit.
Chance (real name Chancelor Bennett) said at the press conference that his donation comes from the ticket sales to his upcoming tour and that it was made possible by the combined efforts of Ticketmaster, Live Nation, and several independent venues and event promoters.
“I’m committed to help Chicago’s children have quality learning experiences that include the arts,” Chance said at a press conference at Westcott Elementary School, located just a few blocks from where he grew up. “As an artist and after-school teacher, I know the arts are invaluable. They teach kids lessons about how small efforts can have big effects and how collaboration can lead to creativity. This check is a call to action. I’m challenging major companies in Chicago and across the U.S. to donate and take action.”
Chance’s donation comes three days after his meeting with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner over plans to address CPS’ $215 million deficit. Rauner has come under fire for vetoing a bill in December that would have provided CPS with that amount, forcing the school district to make deep cuts and freeze school budgets. Chance, a former CPS student, told The Chicago Tribune he was not pleased with the governor’s “vague answers” during their closed-doors meeting.
“I thought that that went a little different than it should have. I’m here ’cause I just want people to do their jobs. And I did speak with the governor,” Chance said. “And you know, the kids are on the table right now. And we spoke for a second, it sounded like we were going to — sounded like we were going somewhere. But it sounds like it’s hinged on passing other bills.”
Rauner, meanwhile, remained positive about the meeting while speaking to reporters.
“I said, ‘It’s an incredible opportunity to change our system. If we stood together, Chance, I have some power. I have power in some ways, you have great power in other ways. If we stood together, worked together to figure this out, I think we could get big things done and I’d be excited to do that with you,” he said.
Chance’s website currently redirects to a banner page calling on the rapper’s fans to help support CPS. You can watch the press conference announcing the donation in the tweet below.
– Lil Chano From 79th (@chancetherapper) March 6, 2017