A Whole New World

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On February - 3 - 2011

nwsa-orchestral-academy__logolBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore


The New World Symphony held its official housewarming party to celebrate its new home in the shiny new architectural marvel designed by Frank Gehry last week with much fanfare by way of nightly concerts, a picnic on the lawn and grand opening gala.  On Tuesday, January 25, guests were invited to the first official concert in the hall followed by cocktails on the lawn for the inauguration of the state of the art external video wall, SoundScape and premier of Chronograph, a NWS-commissioned video mural on the New World Center’s projection wall by artist and filmmaker Tal Rosner and artist C.E.B. Reas.  Throngs of guests and passers-by gathered to enjoy the party on the front lawn of the building -which is actually a city park.  Invited guests were given a picnic mat, boxed dinner, and free flowing cocktails and invited to partake in the celebration on the grass or the picnic tables while enjoying the video installations and later dancing to the Latin sounds of the band Tiempo Libre.  


The weeklong celebrations culminated with the highly-anticipated  gala on Saturday night- one of the highest-priced tickets of the season (up to $100,000 per table) which raised a whopping $2.17 million, with all proceeds going towards the underwriting of NWS fellowships and community engagement programs.  And while the gala was geared toward society’s most affluent members, the goal of the New World Symphony in its $160-million concert hall is to bring the music to the people- for little to no cost and to become a cultural focal point for Miami Beach, with regularly scheduled free live Wallcasts™ of performances which will be projected onto the 7,000-square-foot exterior wall and feature a high-quality audio system designed to “envelop outdoor audiences in the sound of the orchestra.”

During Saturday night’s gala, renowned conductor, and Co-founder and Artistic Director of the NWS, Michael Tilson Thomas presented a multimedia concert featuring Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition, and the world premiere of stunning commissioned video art by the USC School of Cinematic Arts, accompanying the movements of the piece.  After dinner under a ceiling of custom-designed, suspended light boxes on the Mary and Howard Frank Plaza, guests re-entered the atrium hall, which was transformed into a music lounge for a performance by Broadway star Audra McDonald.
 The Prince of Yugoslavia: Dimitri Karađorđević; Broadway star, Will Swenson; Lin, Micky and Madeleine and Sarah Arison; Michael Valdes; co-chairs Susan D. Kronick and Edward Manno Shumsky; NWS Chairman and former Miami Beach Mayor Neisen Kasdin; New York Philanthropist Adam R. Rose and partner Peter R. McQuillan, Armando Codina, Alberto Ibargüen (Knight Foundation), Phillip and Patricia Frost, Fanny and Charles Dascal, Paul and Trudy Cejas, George and Mariita Feldenkreis (Perry Ellis), W Hotel owner David Edelstein, Norman and Irma Braman, GAP, Inc. Director Bill Fisher with wife Sako, renowned art collectors Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz, National Endowment for the Arts President Rocco Landesman with wife Debby, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation President Don Randel with wife Carol, Fairholme Capital Founder Bruce Berkowitz with wife Tracey, Loews Hotels owner and renowned philanthropist Jonathan Tisch, along with wife Lizzie, Joe and Lourdes Arriola, New York Philanthropists Edward and Arlyn Gardner, television producer Douglas Cramer,Former FIU President Mitch Maidique, and Diane and Alan Lieberman were among the 450 distinguished guest, each of whom received  a commemorative custom-made exclusive crystal “Flag” by Baccarat etched with an original image created by NWS and Lin Arison’s latest book.


Lea_&_Roy_BlackBlack’s Gala Pre-Party

One of the highlights of the social season each year is the Black’s Annual Gala to benefit the Consequences Foundation.  On Thursday, January 27, various scenesters and philanthropists gathered at SET nightclub for a gala pre-party that featured complimentary cocktails, music, a fashion show, live fashion shoot and the opportunity to RSVP for the BIG event, to be held on Saturday, April 2nd at the Eden Roc Renaissance Miami Beach.  The stellar musical line-up for this year’s gala includes Pharrell Williams, Dionne Warwick and Cristian Castro– strange bedfellows, indeed. 

The pre-party sponsored by Ocean Drive Magazine, was hosted by the magazine’s cover model, Jonathan Babicka; Stephan Morris and Missy Ewart. This year’s gala will benefit the Juvenile Services Department of Miami-Dade County through its program with The Consequences Foundation, which services over 7,500 at-risk kids a year.  The Consequences Foundation program is dedicated to keeping at-risk youth out of trouble and giving them a second chance through education, resources and mentoring designed to reduce juvenile crime and delinquency. For information on The Blacks’ Annual Gala to purchase tickets, which start at $600, contact Jason Clarke at 305.443-8980 or info@theblacksannualgala.com or visit the website www.theblacksannualgala.com.  

Miami Beach International Fashion Week Kick-off


Jackie Nespral and Henry Gonzalez

Sobol- Perry Fashion Productions, Inc hosted the 2nd Annual Humanitarian Awards and official kickoff party for the Miami Beach International Fashion Week on Thursday, January 27 at the Mondrian.  Ten South Florida philanthropists were honored at the event, including:  Shareef Malnik, Tina Carlo, Vincent Castro, Jackie Nespral, Maria Elena Salinas, Manuel Machado, Ricky Ariola, Somy Ali, Dr. Omar Pasalodos, and Joy Wallace .

Models paraded around the pool modeling designs by Julian Chang, Viviana G., Nicolas Felizola, Zula Khramov, Cesar Rosario, Kimberly Hendrix and Somy Ali.  All proceeds generated from the event, including two silent auctions benefitted the Miami Fashion Week Foundation, Inc. which provides scholarships to the winners of the Miami Beach International Fashion Week competitions so that they may have the opportunity to thrive in their efforts in becoming professionals within the fashion industry.

“We could not have asked for a better backdrop for the event,” exclaimed Beth Sobol, President and Executive Producer of Sobol-Perry Fashion Productions Inc. “Designers and attendees arrived from all over the world for the event. It was truly remarkable to see everyone come together and help raise funds for this charitable cause.”


_MG_3047Up in the Treehouse

We spent the better part of Friday night in the space that once housed one of our favorite South Beach haunts of all time- Groove Jet, 323 23 Street, now the home of   Treehouse, a nightclub-meets-adult playground, with wood-lined interiors, owned by Jeremy Waks, Heathrow Lounge founder.  Treehouse celebrated its debut with a grand opening that, in contrast to Groove Jet, which was a dead-zone until 3:30 a.m. on most nights, had the place packed to the rafters by 10:00 p.m., with a 300 person-deep crowd outside for most of the evening.  But the energetic crowd of more than 1,000 didn’t seem to mind the cramped conditions- dancing throughout the club to the fantastic sounds of vixen DJs: Ess & Emm and the adorable and talented, Troy Kurtz.  Notables in attendance included celebrity photographer Patrick McMullan; nightlife impresario, entrepreneur, philanthropist, Michael Capponi; novelist Brian Antoni; publicist Nick D’Annunzio, socialites Jordana Mesner, Lily Zanardi and Malinka Max; reality television personality Ariel Stein; The One Group’s  Roy Alpert; stylist Daniella Sredni, Creative Mafia’s Sean Drake and Rian Maercks, M.D.

One Response to “A Whole New World”

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