Miami’s Best and Brightest
On Saturday, January 11th, the National YoungArts Foundation welcomed more than 800 guests and raised more than $1.7 million at its annual Backyard Ball performance and gala. The event honored jazz trumpeter and composer Terence Blanchard (1980 YoungArts Winner in Classical Music) and contemporary artist Teresita Fernández with the Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award, respectively. At the event, the Jorge M. Pérez Award was given to New York-based sculptor and installation artist Ilana Harris-Babou (2009 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts) and Miami-based sculptor and painter Mateo Nava (2013 YoungArts Winner in Visual Arts & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts). In attendance were newly-appointed YoungArts board members Derrick Adams, Doug Blush, Natalie Diggins, Glenda Pedroso and Jim Shreve, as well as many renowned artists and alumni like Zoë Buckman, Claire Chase, Khirma Eliazov, Dr. Ron McCurdy, Dr. Joan Morgan, José Parlá, Vernon Scott, Michael Trusnovec (1992 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts) and Betty Wright. A number of local museum figures were also present, including ICA Miami Artistic Director Alex Gartenfeld, curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace, and Pérez Art Museum Miami Director Franklin Sirmans. Palm trees and monstera leaves abounded, as guests enjoyed performances including a percussive and tap battle between Goldbas and Rodriguez on the drums, dance by Diadhiou and May as well as Parupudi, and music by Kogen, Stravelli, Ferreira-Dias.