Jada Pinkett Smith Donates $1 Mill In Honor of Tupac
Jada Pinkett Smith offered the funds from her Baltimore-based charity, the Will and Jada Smith Family Foundation. The couple had previously donated $112,500 to the Baltimore school.
Pinkett Smith's donation is the largest ever from a graduate of the BaltimoreSchool for the Arts. The school has announced plans to name their new theater after her, however Pinkett Smith has requested that the theater be dedicated to her late friend and former classmate Tupac Shakur.
"She knew how brilliant he was and just thought it was only fitting to dedicate it to him," Karen Banfield Evans, Pinkett Smith's aunt and executive director of the Smith Family Foundation told the Associated Press.
This latest donation will go towards a $30 million expansion that is expected to be complete by the fall of 2007. In addition to renovating a nearby brownstone mansion for classroom and rehearsal space, the expansion will provide the school with two dance studios, two science laboratories, four new classrooms, a lecture hall, six theater practice rooms, two theater rehearsal rooms, a scene shop, labs for digital photography and music production and a theater that seats 90 which will be named in honor of Jada Pinkett Smith. The expansion will allow the school to increase enrollment from 316 to 375 students. BaltimoreSchool for the Arts is also planning to increase stage production and instrumental music programs.
"She credits the School for the Arts for really giving her her start and was impressed by the things they've been doing and the way they've grown," Evans told the Associated Press. "When they came up with this (expansion campaign) and all they're doing, she felt like this is what she needed to do."
Jada Pinkett Smith graduated from the BaltimoreSchool for the Arts in 1989.