From rapper to singer to record producer, Pharrell Williams is now adding philanthropist to his resume. Williams is set to open a youth center, The Pharrell Williams Resource Center, in Virginia Beach, is where he will reach out and help young people follow their dreams of working in the arts.
“I wanted to provide people with the same opportunities I got,” he says in Wallpaper magazine. “My teachers didn’t let me go until I had realized my potential. They taught me to fight my way out of a paper bag.
“Children need guidance and creative discipline and someone to be there when they fall. They also need a safe haven. At the moment, arts organizations across the U.S. are having their funding cut and we can’t let that happen. There’s so little regard for creative skills. Where would we be without design?”
Williams Farm Park will house the center and will serve as a place to “inspire and educate” school-age children through their second year of college in the greater Virginia Beach area.
The Center will integrate a variety of programs and house art, music and research departments supporting its vision of empowering youth to learn through new technologies, arts and media.
Williams’ center hits close to home, since he grew up in Virginia Beach. He continues to help out his community and since 2004 has helped out the Back to Schools Supplies program, along with giving turkeys to members of his old neighborhood on Thanksgiving.
The project is expected to break ground in 2012 and projected to open in 2013. The venture will even be supported by Williams’ own charity, From One Hand to Another.