Rachel Dratch & Julianne Hough to Host New 42 WE ARE FAMILY Gala

As previously announced, gala honorees include Josh Groban, Julie Andrews and more.

By: May. 30, 2023
Rachel Dratch & Julianne Hough to Host New 42 WE ARE FAMILY Gala

Rachel Dratch and Julianne Hough will host New 42's annual gala on Monday, June 5 at the Plaza Hotel. This year’s “We Are Family” gala will celebrate how theater builds connections across generations of families and artists, and will include performances from 2023 Tony nominees Betsy Wolfe and Jordan Donica, in addition to the previously announced performance by this year’s Grammy Award-winning Best New Artist and singer of the 2023 Best Jazz Vocal Album Samara Joy. 

As previously announced, gala honorees include Grammy, Emmy, and Tony Award nominee Josh Groban; Academy, Emmy, and Grammy Award winner and Tony nominee Julie Andrews and her daughter, children’s book author Emma Walton Hamilton; and Sesame Workshop, along with their CEO Steve Youngwood. 

The New Victory Arts Award will be presented to Josh Groban for his unwavering commitment to providing all kids with access to quality arts education, and to Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton for their devotion to literary and theatrical work that inspires young people to love the arts. Emma Walton Hamilton will be in-person to accept the award on behalf of herself and her mother. 2023 Tony nominee Annaleigh Ashford will be presenting Josh Groban’s award, and actress and singer Hope Hamilton will be presenting Julie Andrews and Emma Walton Hamilton’s award.

The Marian Heiskell Award will be presented to Sesame Workshop and their CEO Steve Youngwood for the joyful learning given to kids and families for over 50 years, and for Steve’s exemplary leadership.

"We are absolutely thrilled to have such an incredible group of honorees at this year's gala, all of whom have shown steadfast dedication to encouraging young people to love the arts and providing children across the country with access to quality arts education,” said Russell Granet, President & CEO of New 42. “Their individual achievements and commitment to kids are unparalleled and perfectly align with New 42’s mission.”

Since 1995, New 42’s signature project, the New Victory Theater, has welcomed generations of families to experience the magic of theater together: the New 42 family includes 150 partner schools and 40,000 NYC school kids, whose education is enriched each year by the New Victory’s performances and resources as well as the Youth Corps employment program.

“It is an honor to get to celebrate Julie Andrews, Emma Walton Hamilton, Josh Groban, Sesame Workshop, and Steve Youngwood at this year’s gala,” said Fiona Rudin, Chairman of the Board at New 42. “We are also especially looking forward to welcoming 2023 Grammy Award-winning Best New Artist Samara Joy for a special performance. This promises to be a truly memorable evening that stands to celebrate our continued commitment to performing arts and arts education.”

Proceeds from the “We Are Family” Gala will support the innovative artistic, arts education, and engagement programs of New 42 and New Victory.

The “We Are Family” Gala leadership includes Fiona and Eric Rudin, Emily and Len Blavatnik, and Diane and Marc Spilker, Hosts Jody and John Arnhold, and Chairs Shahara Ahmad-Llewellyn, Kitty Patterson Kempner and Tom Kempner, Sarah Long and David Solomon, May and Samuel Rudin Family Foundation, and Gerri and Andy Sommers.

The evening will begin at 6:00 PM with a festive cocktail reception, after which guests will be treated to a night of tributes and performances by world-class artists beginning at 7:00 PM. To purchase tickets, visit Click Here or call 646-223-3082.


Under the leadership of President & CEO Russell Granet, New 42 is a cultural nonprofit whose mission is to make extraordinary performing arts a vital part of everyone’s life from the earliest years onward. Driven by a deep commitment to performing arts access, New 42 connects people to world-class performances, essential education and employment programs, and creative communities that push culture forward. Through New Victory and New 42 Studios, the nonprofit serves artists, educators and New Yorkers of all ages with invaluable arts engagement and resources in and beyond the performing arts. Together with our supporters, New 42 opens new perspectives, incubates new works and creates new opportunities to move us all.

ABOUT Julie Andrews

Julie Andrews has been a beloved star of stage, screen and television for more than half a century. Some of her prominent early stage roles included playing Eliza Doolittle in My Fair Lady in 1956 and Queen Guinevere in Camelot in 1964. The same year, Ms. Andrews was called to Hollywood to play the title role of the magical nanny in Mary Poppins, which earned her an Academy Award. The following year she portrayed Maria von Trapp in the iconic film The Sound of Music.  An accomplished best-selling author (Mandy, The Last Of The Really Great Whangdoodles) Ms. Andrews joined talents with her daughter, Emma Walton Hamilton, in 2003 to create The Julie Andrews Collection. To date they have released over thirty books. Ms. Andrews’ biography, Home – A Memoir of My Early Years, the first of a trilogy of books that highlight Julie’s life, was released in April 2008 and immediately climbed to No.1 on the New York Times Best Seller list. 

Julie is dedicated to several charitable causes including Operation USA, which she and her late husband of 41 years (famed writer/director Blake Edwards), helped to found. In the year 2000, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II bestowed upon her the title Dame Commander of the British Empire. Aside from an Oscar, Ms Andrews has received several Emmys, Golden Globes, a BAFTA and Grammy award, among others. In 2001 she was made a Kennedy Center Honoree and in 2011 was celebrated with the SAG Lifetime Achievement Award. Together, she and Blake raised five children - and much to her delight, ten grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

ABOUT Emma Walton Hamilton

Emma Walton Hamilton is an award-winning, bestselling children’s book author, editor, producer, and arts educator. Together with her mother, Julie Andrews, she has written over 35 books for children and adults, nine of which have been New York Times Bestsellers. The pair also co-host and co-produce Julie’s Library, a story-time podcast for family audiences. Emma was a two-time Emmy nominee as Executive Producer and Writer for Julie’s Greenroom, a children’s television program about the performing arts created for Netflix. A co-founder of Bay Street Theatre in Sag Harbor, NY, Emma served as its Co-Artistic Director and Director of Education and Programming for Young Audiences for seventeen years. She is currently on the Creative Writing faculty at Stony Brook University, where she directs their annual Children’s Lit Conference and serves as Executive Director of the Young Artists and Writers Project (YAWP), dedicated to mentoring middle and high school students in creative writing.  

ABOUT Josh Groban

Tony®, EMMY®, and four-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated singer, songwriter, actor, and philanthropist Josh Groban possesses one of the most outstanding and instantly recognizable voices in music. His chart-topping blockbuster albums include Josh Groban (5x-platinum), Closer (6x-platinum), Noël (6x-platinum), Awake (2x-platinum), Stages, his first UK #1 album, Bridges, and his most recent release, Harmony. Groban made his Broadway debut in 2016 with a starring role in Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812. He has expanded his presence with appearances on “Glee,” “The Simpsons,” “The Office,” “CSI: NY,” “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia,” and “The Crazy Ones” as well as in the feature films Coffee Town, Muppets Most Wanted, and Crazy, Stupid, Love. Now in 2023, he returns to the Broadway stage in the revival of Sweeney Todd, playing the title role. As an arts education philanthropist and advocate, his Find Your Light Foundation helps enrich the lives of young people through arts, education, and cultural awareness.


Sesame Workshop is the nonprofit media and educational organization behind Sesame Street, the pioneering television show that has been reaching and teaching children since 1969. Today, Sesame Workshop is an innovative force for change, with a mission to help kids everywhere grow smarter, stronger, and kinder. They are active in more than 150 countries, serving vulnerable children through a wide range of media, formal education, and philanthropically funded social impact programs, each grounded in rigorous research and tailored to the needs and cultures of the communities they serve. 


Steve Youngwood is CEO of Sesame Workshop, the media and education nonprofit behind Sesame Street and many more award-winning programs. He directs the Workshop’s efforts to deliver critical early learning through media and targeted initiatives that help children and families around the world navigate complex and pressing challenges. Under Youngwood’s leadership, the Workshop has seen dramatic growth in its commercial and philanthropic efforts; expanded globally in China, Japan, Latin America, South Africa, Middle East, and beyond; and entered the school curriculum market. Youngwood has 25+ years' experience as a global senior executive working to advance businesses at the intersection of media, content, education and technology, including as President of Media & Education and COO at Sesame Workshop and Executive VP & General Manager of Digital Media & Entertainment Products at Nickelodeon/Viacom. 


With her Grammy Award-winning Verve Records debut, Linger Awhile, 23-year-old Bronx native Samara Joy makes her case to join the likes of Sarah, Ella, and Billie as the next mononymous jazz singing sensation recorded by the venerable label. Her voice, rich and velvety yet precociously refined, has already earned her fans like Anita Baker and Regina King, appearances on the TODAY Show, The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon, The Late Show w/Stephen Colbert, CBS Mornings, MSNBC, Kelly Clarkson, Jennifer Hudson, Drew Barrymore, etc., in addition to millions of likes on TikTok — cementing her status as perhaps the first Gen Z jazz singing star. In February 2023, Samara Joy took home two Grammy Awards: Best Jazz Vocal Album and the auspicious Best New Artist award. 


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