Dancing in the Street at the YoungArts Gala

Posted by Maryanne Salvat On January - 30 - 2013


Grenier, Bell, Allen, & MitchellBy:  Mary Jo Almeida-Shore 

Stars flocked to An Affair of the Arts Performance and Gala on the evening of Saturday, January 12, which began with an inspiring, interdisciplinary performance by YoungArts alumni from around the nation at the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts, followed by a gourmet dinner at the Alfred I. DuPont Building and “dancing in the street” on Flagler Street. Actors including: Adrian Grenier, Max Schneider, Andrew Rannells and Brian Stokes Mitchell; actresses Marisa Tomei, Debi Mazar, and Zuzanna Szadkowski, along with honoree and violinist Joshua Bell; Mikhail Baryshnikov, Chick Corea, Jacques D’Amboise, Shelly Berg, Debbie Allen, Bill T. Jones, James Rosenquist, and YoungArts alum participated in the National YoungArts Foundation’s (YoungArts) magnificent event, that raised in excess of $1 million in support of YoungArts programs in Miami, New York City, Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles. 

During the awards portion of the program, director and choreographer Debbie Allen received the Leadership Award; Joshua Bell was honored with the Arison Award, and alumnus Adrian Grenier received the Alumni Award. Notable attendees included Lin Arison, Sarah S. Arison, Elizabeth and Facundo Bacardi, Charles Bronfman, Bill T. Jones, Jeannine and Paul T. Lehr, Marile and Jorge Luis Lopez, Esq., Jorge M. Pérez, Desmond Richardson, City of Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado, Andrew Rannells, and Max Schneider, who celebrated the participants in the 32nd edition of YoungArts’ signature program, YoungArts Week, held from January 6-12, 2013, providing 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 to have them meet the participants to discuss their work and encourage them to pursue their dreams.” Following the performance and awards ceremony at the Olympia Theater, guests walked across the street to the Historic Alfred I. DuPont Hotel, which resembled a classic supper club, wherein the ballrooms were transformed to mirror the stained glass in the iconic Bacardi Tower and Museum building complex which is the new YoungArts campus.  Music by YoungArts alumni set the stage for mingling and a perfect dinner.

Another highlight of the night came courtesy of our favorite spin master, DJ Irie who commanded all of Flagler Street, which had been closed off and covered in a red carpet for the occasion.  This is where the party was kicked up a few notches, as very talented YoungArts alumni, danced non-stop in the street with each other, by themselves, with the celebs, and just about all of the attendees, taking a break only to delight in  the decadent dessert bar that flanked the street party. 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. Facundo and Elizabeth Bacardi will chair the 2014 YoungArts gala to be held at the new National YoungArts Foundation headquarters, formerly the Bacardi campus. 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.


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