Pharrell is giving back to his hometown of Virginia Beach in a major way. In addition to bringing the highly anticipated Something In The Water music festival to the coastal city, the songwriter and record producer has reportedly partnered with Verizon to launch a new music education program in nationwide Verizon Innovative Learning schools, according to Billboard.
Launched under the Verizon Foundation, the organization will provide free technology, internet access, technology-focused curriculum to under-resourced middle schools. The partnership also includes the building of a Verizon Innovative Learning Lab, which will feature cutting-edge technology such as augmented reality, virtual reality, robotics, and machine learning. The lab will be located in a middle school in Virginia Beach.
“I want all children to have access to that kind of creative growth, access, and support. All kids, not just my own,” Pharrell tells Billboard. “There’s a lot of variables in a situation as to why something falls apart, but there’s only one scenario where it holds together, and that’s when all the variables are there. The environment, the family, the school, the system — there’s so many things. We just want to do what we can to balance the odds so that as many kids as we can afford, or help and assist in whatever ways, get this access and support.”
Pharrell’s Something In the Water festival kicked off last night in Virginia Beach. The event will be going on all weekend long with performances by Chris Brown, Travis Scott, Sza, Pusha T, Jhene Aiko, and many more.