NDI Gala To Honor Alec Baldwin; Auction Shirts By Portman, AMERICAN IDIOT


On Monday, April 4, 2011, National Dance Institute (NDI) a non-profit arts education organization that has transformed the lives of more than two million public school children since its founding by world-renowned dancer Jacques d'Amboise in 1976, will hold its annual gala. The event, a highlight of New York's spring social calendar, raises critical funds for the organization's free arts programs that reach 4,000 students in 30 public schools throughout New York City each week, in addition to 35,000 family and community members through special performances.

Honorees for the gala include: Alec Baldwin, for his commitment to the arts and culture of New York City; Cisco for its TelePresence technology through which NDI held the first-ever virtual dance rehearsal; Ron Moelis, co-founder and CEO of L+M Development Partners who helped develop the PS90 building which will house NDI's new permanent home; and Shirley Young, for her longstanding support of NDI's international cultural exchange program.

"We are thrilled to be honoring this group - they are leaders in the fields of the arts, technology, and business and are deeply committed to arts education for all children," said NDI Executive Director Kathy Landau. "We have an incredible roster of celebrities and artists who have come together to create one-of-a-kind StarChild T-shirts for this important cause, because they believe in the value of the arts in a child's life. As funding for such programs continues to be drastically reduced, their support and involvement means more than ever."

Gala attendees will have the opportunity to participate in an auction and bid on one-of-a-kind StarChild T-shirts designed for NDI by Natalie Portman, Cameron Diaz, the cast of Glee, Yoko Ono, Paul Rudd, Diane Von Furstenberg, Isaac Mizrahi, Paramore's Hayley Williams, Idina Menzel, current companies of American Idiot and Angels in America, Eat Pray Love author Elizabeth Gilbert, She's Come Undone author Wally Lamb, artists Faith Ringgold and Red Grooms, and some surprise celebrities to be unveiled that night.

The event will be emceed by Broadway's Terrence Mann and takes place at the Best Buy Theater in New York City. The Gala will feature performances by young dancers in NDI's advanced programs, and will be directed by Ellen Weinstein, NDI's Artistic Director.

NDI will be able to reach even more children beginning later this year. The organization will have a new permanent home and will establish the NDI Center for Learning and the Arts, located at the residential development PS90, a former public school, in Harlem. Through a collaboration with New York City's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, L+M Development Partners and the Urban Investment Group at Goldman Sachs, the PS90 building has been restored into residential condominiums and a community space that will house NDI's new home.

"I am thrilled to be honored by NDI and excited to see the organization expand its educational efforts even further through its new home in Harlem," said L+M co-founder and CEO Ron Moelis. "National Dance Institute will help return and revitalize what was a former schoolhouse once again into a place of learning, enriching the lives of children in New York and around the world."

In 2010, Cisco's TelePresence and the efforts of businesswoman Shirley Young helped NDI enhance its educational international cultural exchange programs, expanding the organization's reach to more children.

"I am delighted that NDI, having enriched the lives of so many American children over the past 30 years, is bringing its magic to children on the other side of the world. I am happy to be part of this endeavor," said Shirley Young.

Gala Honorary Chairs are Susan & Donald Newhouse, Madaleine Berley & Arnold S. Penner; Gala Chairs are Kathy & Joe Mele, Lauren B. Cramer & Demetrius Fexy; and Gala Vice-Chairs are Sara Devitt, Valerie T. & Charles Diker, Edith & Jonathan Fassberg, Alicia Glen & Daniel Rayner, Kerry & Ron Moelis, Anya Herz Shiva & Dr. Andrew Shiva, Helen Stambler Neuberger & Jim Neuberger, Rhana & Charles Tabouchirani.

About National Dance Institute's Gala
Monday, April 4, 2011 6 pm
Best Buy Theater
1515 Broadway at West 44th Street
Tickets required for all guests

Proceeds will benefit National Dance Institute. Benefit tables range from $10,000 to $30,000. Individual tickets begin at $1,000. Tickets are available at www.nationaldance.org or by calling 800-807-1787.

About National Dance Institute
National Dance Institute, a non-profit organization, was founded by world-renowned New York City Ballet dancer Jacques d'Amboise in the belief that the arts have a unique power to engage children and motivate them towards excellence. NDI's professional teaching artists foster in children a love of the arts and curiosity about the world, help them develop personal standards of excellence and cultivate a confidence in themselves that supports their success in school and in life. NDI classes and performances integrate dance with music, literature and the visual arts. Over 2 million children have participated in NDI's core programs which are offered free to all children. Since 1995, NDI has been under the artistic leadership of Ellen Weinstein. For more information, visit www.nationaldance.org.

Photo Credit: BWW-Staff

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