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Coining his style of art as “neo-African Abstract Expressionism,” Danny Simmons has become an enduring influence in the art world as an author, poet, painter, and arts philanthropist. Growing up in a family of popular musicians and artists, Simmons was able to draw inspiration from African American culture in his abstract works, making a name for himself in the field.
With a bachelor's degree in social work from NYU, a Master's in public finance from Long Island University, and an honorary PhD from Long Island University, Simmons used his education to succeed in both his personal art pieces and his community projects. Simmons is president of the Rush Arts Gallery and founded the Ruth Philanthropic Arts Foundation, “providing disadvantaged urban youth with exposure and access to art.” Simmons has brought his skills to the screen, stage, and page, co-founding the hit HBO show “Def Poetry Jam” with his younger brother Russel Simmons, which won a Tony award for the Broadway incarnation, and wrote the novel Three Days As the Crow Flies.
Simmons’ art is showcased internationally, with pieces in the United Nations and the Schomburg Center for Black Culture.
-Amelie Lee SC ’23, Wilson Arts Administration Intern 2020