Forget movie stars and pop artists—Chance the Rapper wants to honor educators.
The Grammy-winning artist from Chicago announced last week that he would organize the inaugural Twilight Awards, “highlighting teachers, parents, principals, and students who convey leadership.” The ceremony will be held in Chicago in June 2018 and be hosted by James Corden, the late-night television host known for Carpool Karaoke. Chance also promised special guest performances.
Chance, whose real name is Chancelor Bennett, also announced that his nonprofit, SocialWorks Chicago, had raised $2.2 million to give to arts education programs at 20 Chicago public schools. Earlier this year, the 24-year-old donated $1 million to the Chicago district. He has been a strong advocate for protecting funding to the cash-strapped school system.
No further details have been released about the Twilight Awards—but with Chance’s involvement, it’s safe to say this might be the biggest, most star-studded award ceremony for teachers out there. Chance has a lot of cool friends and fans, including Beyoncé.
Of course, educators have been in the awards-show limelight before: They were recognized at the Oscars this year, and the Topeka, Kansas, superintendent walked the Oscar red carpet. The Grammy Awards also recognizes a music teacher every year. And there are several teaching awards, including the National Teacher of the Year contest, the Milken Awards (called “the Oscars of Teaching”), and the $1-million Global Teaching Prize.
But according to Twitter, educators across the country—and perhaps especially in Chicago—are excited about the news of an awards show devoted to education.
-- Dwayne Reed (@TeachMrReed) September 4, 2017
-- Nicholas A. Ferroni (@NicholasFerroni) September 2, 2017
-- Carlen (@MrsCarlenM) September 6, 2017
Image: Chance The Rapper performs at the Lollapalooza music festival last month in Chicago. --Grabowski/Invision/AP
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teaching Now blog.