Linda Perry: Keeps Gettin’ Better
BY Jamie Wetherbe
April 19 2010 11:45 PM ET
Linda Perry will again try her magic hand at philanthropy. The acclaimed songwriter and music producer will return as cochair for An Evening With Women: Celebrating Art, Music & Equality, to be held Saturday, May 1, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel to benefit the Los Angeles Gay and Lesbian Center.
“The center is such an important part of our community, and I am drawn to their amazing work,” Perry says. “We are all incredibly dedicated to making this event the best yet, and I’m excited about the support from the entertainment industry, whose contributions will help raise necessary funds to directly benefit the center and their programs.”
The charity event will feature silver-screen stars Renée Zellweger and host Gina Gershon, performances by music industry giant Heart and comedian Sarah Silverman as well as a silent auction, dinner designed by Top Chef contestant Jamie Lauren, and more.
“I want one more performer, but I don’t know who it’s going to be,” Perry says. “It can’t just be anybody — they have to mean something ... It’s got to be a whole package; I’m a believer in selling the whole package.”
All money raised from An Evening With Women benefits the center’s services for women — including legal assistance, domestic violence services, and cultural arts programs — but the night is also, with the center’s community awards, an opportunity to recognize lesbians and bisexual women who make a difference.
Known as L.A.’s premier event for lesbians, bisexual women, and their supporters, the annual event reached new heights last year under the direction of Perry and event producer Brent Bolthouse and raised more than $300,000 with Christina Aguilera headlining.
And this year Perry has set her sights even higher.
“Last year we raised $320,000, so it’d be great to double that and raise $650,000,” says Perry. “I know it’s a lot to ask, but a girl can dream.”
Perry also plans to double awareness for the event.
“I want people calling me three months before the event saying, ‘How do I get a ticket? Is there anything [you] can do, because there’s no tickets available,’” she says. “It won’t happen this year, but next year it will. ... The idea is to see a gay and lesbian center across the universe — we all need that; every city needs one.”
Perry — writer and producer for artists such as Aguilera, Pink, Gwen Stefani, and Alicia Keys— first became involved with the center in 2006, when she performed at the event then called Women’s Night and brought special guests Courtney Love and Billy Corgan to perform with her.