MIAMI, Feb. 7, 2012 /PRNewswire-HISPANIC PR WIRE/ — The much anticipated NWSA All-Alumni Reunion finally took over much of Miami, resurrecting treasured memories, highlighting cherished moments and reconnecting many as they joined to celebrate the 25th year anniversary of New World School of the Arts [NWSA] one of the top arts conservatories in the nation. The three-day celebration began with a welcome reception at Artseen Gallery in Wynwood, followed by workshops and master classes in the studios of NWSA. An elegant reception at Jungle Island added a touch of glitz to the celebrations while a fun-filled Sunday BBQ at Key Biscayne’s historic Crandon Park, closed the 25th anniversary festivities.
Artseen Gallery, located in the artistically fertile grounds of Wynwood, in Miami Florida, became the launching pad for the first-ever NWSA All-Alumni Reunion in celebration of New World School of the Arts 25th Anniversary, graciously sponsored by Bank of America. Adorned with chic high tops dressed in black and contrasting loungers in crisp white, the 7500 square foot site became the welcoming scene for NWSA alumni, faculty, and friends. Many, coming back for the first time since they walked out in their cap and gown more than two decades ago, were eager to reconnect with fellow alumni and teachers and start strengthening the bonds that were once created at the school. Others, who regularly visit the gallery and attend the many events and performances that NWSA showcases regularly, felt right at home the minute they stepped in. A live performance by the NWSA Jazz Ensemble and larger-than-life video projections on all walls of the gallery were the perfect entertainment for the more than 300 guests. Sponsored by Bacardi®, the evening boasted an open bar, a savory display of appetizers, and a decadent birthday cake to celebrate the many accomplishments of the school, its faculty and its alumni who, through the years have demonstrated their commitment and pride in their alma mater.
The celebration continued as alumni, faculty and staff reunited the following day in the familiar NWSA building located in downtown Miami, where it hosted workshops, lectures and master classes by renowned alumni and professors. Some of the more popular offerings were a master dance class with recognized dance alumni Vitolio Jeune – now a dancer in the Garth Fagan Dance Company, and a lively open-mic session with Rodester Brandon. Renowned founding-dean of dance, Daniel Lewis, hosted a 25th anniversary retrospective while NWSA graphic designer, Rosario Martinez-Canaz, treated eager guests to a complimentary personalized NWSA Alumni Reunion gear.
The merriment continued in the evening with a spirited dinner ‘n-dancing reception at Miami’s popular Jungle Island as more than 200 alumni, faculty, staff and friends of New World School of the Arts joined in to celebrate the schools 25th birthday. A deliciously crafted cocktail hour was the perfect way to start the evening, which turned into a wilderness adventure as Jungle Island staff brought out an exotic collection of animals for the delight of guests. The evening affair opened with a stellar performance by music theater students who sang popular pieces from Broadway musicals – a most appropriate introduction to Jeffrey Hodgson, interim Provost of NWSA – who delivered the heartfelt welcome address. With an inspiring and promising message he presented other keynote speakers, including former NWSA High School Principal, Ellery Brown, former Dean of Dance, Daniel Lewis, and founding faculty member Richard Janero. World-renowned playwright Tarell Alvin McCraney (1999 alum) also had his moment in the limelight as he delivered a playfully nostalgic message that revisited his NWSA journey and the power of friendship, while celebrated Jazz vocalist, Jennifer Sanon (2004 alum), rounded off the alumni presentations with an inspiring rendition of My Funny Valentine. Among the distinguished alumni that enjoyed the 25th anniversary reception was choreographer Rosie Herrera, Vitolio Jeune (2009 alum) – dancer with the Garth Fagan Dance Company, film maker Billy Corben (1996 alum) and award-winning playwright McCraney.
Despite the temperamental Miami weather, New World School of the Arts alumni, students, faculty and staff took to the beach and continued the celebration at the Beach BBQ Bash on Sunday. Hosted at the historic Crandon Park in Key Biscayne, enthused friends enjoyed a delicious BBQ spread, music and games. At the end of the fun-filled soggy afternoon, everyone that attended the three-day reunion had a greater sense of affinity towards New World School of the Arts and a renewed sense of camaraderie that will surely last for decades to come.
New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature in 1984 as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College, and the University of Florida.
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SOURCE New World School of the Arts