Will Ferrell, Johnny Knoxville, will. i. am, Jennifer Aniston, Tina Fey, Lionel Richie and Joaquin Phoenix are among the 40-plus celebrities who have donated original drawings for “You Can’t Memorize This,” a limited-edition book benefitting the LilySarahGrace Foundation. Since April of 2012, the organization has raised $1 million to benefit underfunded public elementary schools and help them develop curriculum through the arts. Proceeds from the book – which, as of this writing, has raised just over half of its $20,000 Kickstarter goal – will go toward the same generous cause.
A trailer for the campaign, located below, explains the mission of LilySarahGrace. “The arts have been cut out of public elementary schools,” says a narrator. “Kids can go through their whole educational experience without picking up a paintbrush, playing music or being in a play.” The video also features some of the artwork available in the book – including Knoxville’s image of a farting bull, Fey’s self-portrait and Richie’s hand tracing.
The Foundation was created by Matthew Badger and partner Abby Ballin, after Badger’s three young daughters – nine-year-old Lily and seven-year-old twins Sarah and Grace – were tragically killed in a fire on Christmas Day in 2011. Badger was inspired to pursue the idea after witnessing how vital an arts curriculum had been for his daughters, who had dyslexia.
As its title implies, “You Can’t Memorize This” exemplifies the power of arts-based learning over the rote memorization and recall used in many elementary schools. The book also features drawings from Lena Dunham, Jessica Biel, Jason Bateman, Casey Affleck, Julianne Moore, Ed Helms, Flea, Jack Black, Rufus Wainwright, Whoopi Goldberg, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Naomi Watts and Justin Theroux, among others.
The deadline for the Kickstarter campaign is Friday, October 24th. Additional details about the Foundation are available at the LilySarahGrace website.