A New Mainland

YoungArts Week 2014 unites an artistic Miami

Facundo and Elizabeth Bacardi at the YoungArts Backyard Ball

Photos by Manny Hernandez
Words by Aaron Glickman

Debbie Allen in a stained glass jewel box choreographing a new generation of young talent;

Rosie Perez educating high school actors on the tricks of the trade;

Rita Moreno, ageless at 83, sitting center stage with the Kennedy Center’s Michael Kaiser, telling stories from the Golden Age of cinema – stories of racial imbalance, stories of trial by fire, stories of triumph;

A late night jazz combo featuring guest artist Nicole Yarling in a Frank Gehry designed, 7th floor salon that hosted Wynton Marsalis just three weeks prior.

“It’s pure in its mission,” said a YoungArts patron as she overlooked the photography exhibition in the newly designed, two story gallery space on the YoungArts campus.

Another patron answered, “Yes, and its purity emanates from the top down.”

James Rosenquist, Zaha Hadid, Shelly Berg and a host of other “masters” mentoring eager and idealistic high school artists who are flown in from cities near and far, small and large, to experience a magical week of creative enlightenment that they will covet like badges of honor affirming their talent and justifying their belief that they are indeed artists.

Marile Lopez, Jorge Luis Lopez and Mayda Cisneros at the YoungArts Backyard Ball

This was YoungArts Week 2014.

In what used to be the Bacardi Building, the new YoungArts Campus is poised to become a defining element of arts education in America; and what the New World Center has done for Miami Beach, the YoungArts campus will do for the Biscayne Corridor.

The Saturday Night gala was an expression of this potential as stars from stage and screen, art and design, writing and dance converged with the social stars of Miami in a massive transitory structure erected on the YoungArts campus to celebrate an evolution more than 30 years in the making and a future as bright as the full moon over a glistening Biscayne Bay.

And following a riveting performance featuring YoungArts alumni, the gala crowd joined the ongoing after party on the campus’ plaza to create an eclectic mix that represents a new mainland Miami – a Miami that has come so very far, and yet still has so much further to go.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email