National YoungArts Foundation Raises Over $1M at 2013 Gala

On Saturday, January 12, 2013, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) raised in excess of $1 million in support of YoungArts programs in Miami, New York City, Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles at An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala. Held in Downtown Miami, the evening honored director and choreographer Debbie Allen (Leadership Award), violinist Joshua Bell (Arison Award), and actor and alumnus Adrian Grenier (Alumni Award) and brought together prominent artists, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities. In addition to the honorees, notable attendees included Lin Arison, Sarah S. Arison, Elizabeth and Facundo Bacardi, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Charles Bronfman, Chick Corea, Jacques d'Amboise, Bill T. Jones, Jeannine and Paul T. Lehr, Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq., Debi Mazar, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Jorge M. Pérez, Desmond Richardson, City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Andrew Rannells, Max Schneider, Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Marisa Tomei. Select images of the gala are available upon request.

Guests celebrated the participants in the 32nd edition of YoungArts' signature program, YoungArts Week (January 6-12, 2013), which provided 152 of the nation's most outstanding young talents in the visual, literary and performing arts with life-changing experiences, including master classes, workshops, inter-disciplinary activities, performances and exhibitions.

"An Affair of the Arts was the culmination of an inspirational week with the YoungArts Finalists. It is incredibly rewarding to experience the work of these young students throughout the week and of alumni at the gala performance. To see the students' energy when they are engaging with some of the most respected talents in their industry, and vice versa, is what this organization is all about." stated Paul T. Lehr, Executive Director of the National YoungArts Foundation. "We were thrilled to honor Debbie Allen, Joshua Bell and alumnus Adrian Grenier, and have them meet the participants to discuss their work and encourage them to pursue their dreams."

An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala kicked off with an interdisciplinary performance by YoungArts alumni from around the nation in the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Following the performance and awards ceremony, guests walked across the street to the Historic Alfred I. DuPont Hotel, which was transformed into a classic supper club, with references to the iconic Bacardi Tower and Museum building complex which is the new YoungArts campus, where music by YoungArts alumni set the stage for a relaxing dinner and conversation. Dinner was followed by dessert and dancing in the street, to the music of DJ Irie.

This year's event was led by Honorary Gala Chairs Plácido Domingo and Mikhail Baryshnikov, and Gala Chairs Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq. SunTrust was the event's presenting sponsor, The Historic Alfred I Dupont Building was the Host Sponsor courtesy of the Tilia Family of Companies, and Gala Sponsors included Bacardi, MIAMI Magazine, Miami Arts and Entertainment Council, The James Royal Palm, Miami Herald, Braman, Seabourn, and the Miami Heat.

Previous Affair of the Arts honorees have included Robert Redford, Michael Kaiser, Bill T. Jones, Frank Gehry, Plácido Domingo, Quincy Jones, Doug Aitken, Kerry Washington, Desmond Richardson, Vanessa Williams, Michael Tilson Thomas, and Mikhail Baryshnikov.

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