YoungArts Backyard Ball

Celebrating 35 Years Through the Lens of the Future

Debra & Dennis Scholl

On Saturday, January 9, 2016 the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) kicks off its landmark anniversary with the organization’s largest annual fundraiser, the Backyard Ball: Celebrating 35 Years Through the Lens of the Future. A culmination of the signature YoungArts Week program, the celebratory evening welcomes prominent artists and alumni, community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to its campus in applauding the 2016 YoungArts Winners—819 of the nation’s most talented aspiring artists selected out of over 12,000 applications—a record number this year.

Honoring director and actress Rosie Perez and director Robert Wilson with the Arison Award, and performer, Tony Award-nominee, YoungArts Master Teacher and 1997 YoungArts Winner in Theater Tony Yazbeck with the Arison Alumni Award, the Backyard Ball will be emceed by YoungArts Alumnus Billy Porter (1987 Winner in Theater) and hosted by co-chairs Tracey and Bruce Berkowitz and Margarita and Armando Codina, as well as Arison Arts Foundation President, 35th Anniversary Committee Chairperson, and YoungArts Trustee Sarah Arison.

Michele King & Don Soffer
Performance vignettes interspersed throughout the evening feature award-winning artists and YoungArts alumni Desmond Richardson (1986 Winner in Dance and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), Dave Eggar (1987 Winner in Music and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), India Carney (2011 Winner in Theater, Voice and U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and Jake Goldbas (2007 Winner in Jazz), among others.

Max Mara is the Backyard Ball’s presenting sponsor for the second consecutive year, though this edition marks the inauguration of the “Max Mara Young Visionary Award”—an accolade reserved for an exceptional YoungArts Finalist at the highest financial reward level of $10,000. Every year for the next three years, the award will further encourage young artists to pursue their dreams. Max Mara US Director of Retail Maria Giulia Maramotti and US CEO Cristian Notari will be in attendance, and anticipated guests also include L.A. Music Center’s newly appointed President Rachel Moore, Michael Kaiser, Monica Kalpakian, Marvin Ross Friedman & Adrienne bon Haes, Marty Margulies, Daniel Novela, Erin Newberg, Alan & Diane Lieberman and more.

Bruce Weber & Jeff Koons

At 10:00 p.m., the Backyard Ball transforms into a Bash on the YoungArts Plaza. Think dancing and desserts under the Miami stars with music by DJ Cassidy—one of the most artistically inspired and inspirational nights of the year.

Tickets to the Backyard Ball start at $1,000 and tables are available starting at $10,000; the Backyard Bash after-party is $135 per person. For more information, visit

Chris Young, Jeff Koons, & Josh Groban
Darlene, Jorge, & Christina Perez

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