'80s Singer Lisa Lisa to Headline School Fundraiser

By Lisha Arino on May 29, 2014 1:37pm 

 Recording artist Lisa Lisa will headline a fundraiser for the Children's Workshop School on May 30, 2014 at Paul Taylor Dance on Grand Street.
Recording artist Lisa Lisa will headline a fundraiser for the Children's Workshop School on May 30, 2014 at Paul Taylor Dance on Grand Street.
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Handout/Rina Ortega

LOWER EAST SIDE — '80s pop singer Lisa Lisa will headline a fundraiser for an East Village elementary school on Friday night.

The freestyle artist — whose best-known songs with her band Cult Jam include the 1987 hits “Head to Toe" and “Lost in Emotion" — will perform solo at the Children’s Workshop School’s 21st annual Schoolapalooza fundraiser.

It's not the first time the singer, born Lisa Velez, has taken the stage to support the Children's Workshop School — her sister, Maria Velez-Clarke, is principal of the East 12th Street school, and Lisa Lisa has performed at fundraisers previously, said Rina Ortega, co-president of the school's PTA.

“Her performance is fun,” Ortega said. “It’s lots of singing and dancing, just kind of how I remembered it as a kid.”

Country band The Lonesome Cupcakes and world roots group Brown Rice Family will open for Lisa Lisa, Ortega said.

The fundraiser also includes dinner prepared by local chef Stephanie Sugawara, as well as a silent auction that includes artwork by graffiti artist STASH, graphic designer Grotesk and other artists.

The auction also features stays in vacation homes in North Carolina and Italy, nights in local boutique hotels, restaurant gift certificates, clothing and jewelry. Early bidding is available online up until the day of the event.

The money raised by the event will help support programs at the elementary school including yoga classes and a band, as well as field trips to a local farm and to Washington, D.C. for the older kids, Ortega said.

“There a lot of budget cuts [the Department of Education] has given...so this is a way for the parents to raise funds to be able to provide enrichment programs to the school,” she said.

Schoolapalooza will take place at 6 p.m. Friday at Paul Taylor Dance, 551 Grand St. Tickets cost $25 and are available at www.schoola.org.

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