There is so much going on with YoungArts right now, we don’t know where to begin. Firstly, we are in the middle of YoungArts Week where all this young performing arts talent from around the country converges on Miami and performs their little hearts out. Tonight, there will be a dance performance and film screening at the New World Center on Miami Beach, on Thursday, a Classical Music Concert at 8:30pm, and on Friday they’ll have Writers’ Readings at 6pm at the YoungArts Campus, followed by an Art, Design and Photography Exhibition and then Young Arts Jazz Combo with Nicole Henry at 10pm. You’ll be thanking yourself for making it to any one of those, but the grand finale will be Backyard Ball.
The Backyard Ball is a fabulous, three-ring circus of an extravaganza that begins with a black-tie gala replete with performances and awards for the highest caliber or artists, as well as famous YoungArts alum who come back to demonstrate how important and successful the whole thing really is. Despite the name “Backyard” in the title, this is a celebrity-studded, swanky affair, which is already sold out. Take a look at last year’s gala here.
We don’t want to be spoilers, but we already know who the big winers are. This year, the Arison Award Honoree is mega-artist Jeff Koons and the 2015 Arison Alumni Honorees are Grammy Award-nominated recording artist, singer, songwriter, actor, YoungArts Master Teacher and 1999 YoungArts Winner in Theater, Josh Groban, and Grammy and Country Music Association Award-nominated singer-songwriter and 2003 YoungArts Winner and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, Chris Young. We also know that big raffle item is a Bruce Weber-designed Mini Cooper.
You might miss some big names in person, but you don’t have to attend the gala to bid on the items, it can be done online here. You can also purchase tickets to 1-2-7 party | A YoungArts Campus Takeover, which will begin at 9pm and livestream some of the performances at the gala, and provide open bar, desserts and dancing on the plaza with tunes by DJ Cassidy.
If all that dance card isn’t full enough, they’re also poised to open Ted’s, a restaurant named for Ted Arison, next week on the campus. But more on that later.
Photos by: Jason Koerner