National YoungArts Foundation Raises Over $1M at 2013 Gala

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.

On the heels of this tremendous week, YoungArts announces that Facundo and Elizabeth Bacardi will chair the 2014 YoungArts gala to be held at the new National YoungArts Foundation headquarters, formerly the Bacardi campus. "We are excited and honored to be chairing next year's event," stated Facundo L. Bacardi. "It is a pleasure to see our former campus enlivened by the nation's artists of tomorrow and we look forward to honoring the 2014 Winners next year."

The 2013 edition of YoungArts Week, which takes place in Miami each year, enabled 152 young artists from 29 states to participate in a week of intense master classes and workshops with distinguished master teachers and mentors such as Joshua Bell, Plácido Domingo, Rachelle Fleming, Adrian Grenier, Bill T. Jones, Lourdes Lopez, Brian Stokes Mitchell, Tarell McCraney, Andrew Rannells, Desmond Richardson, Zuzanna Szadkowski, and Marisa Tomei. Finalists shared their talents each evening in free performances, readings, exhibitions and screenings at notable Miami institutions such as The New World Center, Miami Art Museum, and the Adrienne Arsht Center. Like all YoungArts programs, YoungArts Week is designed to support young artists at a critical juncture in their lives and encourage them to pursue a career in the arts.

This year, for the first time, YoungArts is inviting YoungArts Winners living in the greater Los Angeles area to participate in YoungArts Los Angeles, a new regional program joining YoungArts' ongoing programs in Miami, New York, and Washington, D.C. YoungArts Los Angeles will take place from February 6 to 11, 2013, and will provide approximately 90 young artists with life changing experiences including master classes and workshops with notable artists in the visual, literary and performing arts.

Bobby McFerrin: A YoungArts MasterClass, is set to premiere on HBO on February 12, 2013. The Special Presentation is the second episode of the second season of the acclaimed Emmy-nominated program, which presents world-class creative artists who share their art and life experiences with small groups of young artists who represent a new generation of American talent.

The National YoungArts Foundation (formerly known as the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and support the next generation of artists, and to contribute to the cultural vitality of the nation by investing in the artistic development of talented young artists in the visual, literary, and performing arts. YoungArts provides emerging artists with life-changing experiences with renowned mentors, access to significant scholarships, national recognition, and other opportunities throughout their careers to help ensure that the nation's most outstanding emerging artists are encouraged to pursue careers in the arts.

To date, YoungArts has honored more than 16,000 young artists with over $6 million in monetary awards; facilitated in excess of $100 million in college scholarship opportunities; and enabled its participants to work with master teachers who are among the most distinguished artists in the world, such as Mikhail Baryshnikov, Jacques d'Amboise, Plácido Domingo, Bill T. Jones, Quincy Jones and Martin Scorsese. In addition, at the request of the Commission on Presidential Scholars, which is appointed by the President of the United States, YoungArts serves as the exclusive nominating agency for the U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, the country's highest honor for artistically talented high school seniors.

In early October 2012, YoungArts acquired the historic Bacardi buildings in Miami and began converting the organization's first national headquarters into a campus that will become a thriving arts and cultural center for young artists ages 15 and up, and allow YoungArts to carry forward an expansion of activities unprecedented in its history. World-renowned architect Frank Gehry has been commissioned to design the master plan for the historic Bacardi campus, creating a multi-disciplinary arts complex that will include a park with state-of-the-art video projection capabilities and arts programming for the benefit of the community. In order to help with its expansion, YoungArts has named Frank Gehry, Plácido Domingo and Bill T. Jones as Artistic Advisors. As part of this initiative, the organization will produce events year-round in New York City, including performances programmed by Mikhail Baryshnikov, master classes and screenings at The Museum of Modern Art, and performances at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. In Los Angeles, YoungArts will inaugurate a new program, providing young artists with master classes, workshops, performances and exhibitions. The new YoungArts campus will host year-round programming in Miami, including master classes and forums, interdisciplinary performances and exhibitions, screenings of the Emmy-nominated HBO YoungArts MasterClass series, and an art gallery offering exhibitions with free admission, curated in partnership with Miami Art Museum.

YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Vanessa Williams, Viola Davis, and Kerry Washington; four-time Tony Award nominee Raúl Esparza; Executive Director of American Ballet Theatre Rachel Moore; recording artists Nicki Minaj and Chris Young; musicians Terence Blanchard, Eric Owens, and Jennifer Koh; choreographer Desmond Richardson; and internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken.

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