Rocker Billy Joel Is Donating $1 Million (£670,000) To Education Officials In His Hometown Of Long Island, New York To Prevent The Imminent Closure Of A Local Arts School.
The Uptown Girl singer/songwriter previously appealed to officials at the Nassau County Boards of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES) not to shut down the Long Island High School for the Arts, which shares a campus with the Doshi Science Technology Engineering and Math Institute, due to decreasing enrolment.
"Long Island needs to embrace the arts," Joel wrote in a letter in November (15). "I went to public school on Long Island and I am grateful for the music program and my music teachers for helping provide me the tools for which I have based my career.
"I understand that closing this school does not mean the end of music and arts programs on Long Island, but it does indicate our willingness to abandon a school that has been there for 40 years rather than build it up into something Long Island and New York State can be proud of."
The star's manager revealed Joel was willing to step up and also donate to the cause, and now he has officially pledged $1 million to an organisation supporting the school, on the condition bosses at BOCES use the funds to keep the facility open for the next three years.
The money will be donated through the veteran musician's The Joel Foundation, which provides music scholarships, gifts and endowments to institutions on America's East Coast.