Crooner Tony Bennett and his wife Susan Benedetto are to be honored with the ASCAP Foundation Champion Award at the 15th annual prizegiving in New York on December 8. The couple has been selected for the accolade as a token of recognition for its "significant efforts" in arts education.
The singer and his wife founded nonprofit organization Exploring the Arts a decade ago with with the mission of strengthening the role of the arts in public education. Exploring the Arts has grown from serving one New York public high school to serving seven in 2010. Exploring the Arts also supports the New York City Department of Education's Summer Arts Institute and produces an educational video series, helping bring master artists into classrooms all over the country.
In 2001, in partnership with the New York City Department of Education, Susan Benedetto and Tony Bennett also founded a new public high school, the Frank Sinatra School of the Arts, in Astoria, Queens.