Perelman's gift will be used to fund education programs, such as American Roots, Carnegie's new program for New York City middle-school students, which explores the role of the blues, jazz, gospel, bluegrass, and Native American music in American history. Approximately sixty students from two public schools are currently participating; the program will soon be expanded to reach 10 deprived schools.
In addition to the endowment gift, Perelman, a Carnegie trustee, will produce an annual benefit event featuring major artists; a portion of the proceeds from this gala will go towards furthering his education initiatives.
Perelman said, "It is essential that we provide our young people access to compelling educational opportunities as well as great music and artistic possibilities. This gift was important to me because it does just that: students learn about American history along with the rich tradition of our musical roots—jazz, blues, and gospel music. This program provides the tools for kids to learn about different types of music while connecting it with their own history and identity."
Perelman is the chairman and chief executive officer of MacAndrews & Forbes Holdings, an investment firm that controls stakes in of Revlon and other companies.