January 12, 2019



December 20, 2018


Presented by Harry Winston, Inc. with Honorary Chairs Darlene and Jorge M. Pérez and Co-Chairs Oxana and Steven Marks and Jackie Soffer and Craig Robins Event Punctuates National YoungArts Week, Celebrating Artists Ages 15–18

On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the National YoungArtsFoundation (YoungArts) will honor prolific choreographer and bold visionary Camille A. Brown (1997 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and singular interdisciplinary designers Simon and Nikolai Haas of The Haas Brothers, with the 2019 Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award, respectively. Acknowledged for their vital contributions and commitment to the arts, Brown and The Haas Brothers will be recognized at the Backyard Ball performance and gala. The evening brings together artists, influential community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to support and celebrate the achievements of the 2019 YoungArts winners, representing the nation’s most outstanding young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. For the first year, the Backyard Ball will be presented by fine jeweler Harry Winston, for whom philanthropy is a longstanding tradition.

“We are honored to celebrate Camille A. Brown and The Haas Brothers and to acknowledge their invaluable commitment and contribution to the arts with the Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award, respectively,” said Sarah Arison, YoungArts Board Chair. “Camille, Simon and Nikolai are examples of outstanding leaders in the arts known for powerful storytelling, experimentation and collaboration, and we’re thrilled to also welcome them as master teachers during National YoungArts Week. I hope the 2019 winners will be inspired and encouraged to be as bold and
dedicated to their craft as these artists.”

YoungArts alumna and master teacher Camille A. Brown will be recognized with the Arison Alumni Award for her contributions to the performing arts field and a body of work that utilizes dance, movement and musical composition to reclaim the cultural narrative of African American identity in contemporary society. Recipients of the Arison Award, The Haas Brothers have been YoungArts master teachers since 2015 and play an essential role in the organization’s mission to create a strong, supportive community for emerging artists. They are known for their exceptional craftsmanship as cross-pollinators in creative disciplines including fashion, film, art and design, and will be presenting their first solo museum exhibition at The Bass Museum of Art, titled “Ferngully”, this December during Miami Art Week.


Without the adults that helped us believe in ourselves when we were young, we would never be where we are today,” said Nikolai and Simon Haas. “Supporting youth and helping to create an avenue for expression is the greatest joy of our career. Being recognized and honored for doing what we love is an immense privilege. We are humbled and thrilled to accept this year's Arison Award" 

The 2018 Backyard Ball is co-chaired by Oxana and Steven Marks, and Jackie Soffer and Craig Robins, and honorary chairs Darlene and Jorge M. Pérez, and is YoungArts’ largest annual fundraiser. Each year the occasion marks the conclusion of the organization’s signature program, National YoungArts Week. One of the most comprehensive programs for aspiring artists in the country, National YoungArts Week provides approximately 170 Finalists with transformative experiences, including master classes, workshops and the opportunity to perform and exhibit to
public audiences.

“Receiving recognition as a YoungArts Finalist in 1997 was a defining moment for me,” say Camille A. Brown. “As a  , I had always struggled with body image and never quite felt like I was enough. When I received the award—which also paved the way to becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts—it was one of the first times I felt seen. While in Miami, YoungArts Dance Discipline Coordinator Gary Lund gave us powerful words of wisdom I hold to this day. To paraphrase, he said that our performance was not about competing with others, but an opportunity to be our best selves. It is my hope that I inspire this year’s recipients the way Gary and our mentors did when I was 17.”

Previous Arison Alumni Award- and Arison Award honorees include Tarell A. McCraney, Jason Moran, Jessica Lang, Tony Yazbeck, Kerry Washington Josh Groban and Andrew Rannells.

The Backyard Ball performance and gala is presented by Harry Winston, Inc. Support for the gala is provided by EventStar Structures, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and The Facundo Rum Collection, Miami Herald and Miami Magazine. For more information or to purchase tickets to events and performances, visit youngarts.org/galas

National YoungArts Week 2019 Highlights

YoungArts will kick off the new year with National YoungArts Week, bringing the nation’s most promising young artists across 10 disciplines to Miami for a free, seven-day intensive program packed with master classes, workshops, and performance and presentation opportunities. National YoungArts Week aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and community, while offering artists the guidance needed to prepare for the next stage of their artistic development. YoungArts winners also receive financial awards of up to $10,000 and ongoing artistic and professional
development opportunities. Winners in their senior year of high school are eligible for nomination as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.

From January 6–13, the 2019 YoungArts Finalists will learn from renowned artists including Tony Award winner Gavin Creel; Grammy Award-winning percussionist Joseph Gramley; award-winning journalist, author, and provocative cultural critic Joan Morgan; poet John Murillo; opera singers Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader; US Artist Fellow and Princess Grace award-winning choreographer Rosie Herrera; author Kristen Simmons; and photographer Lori Hepner among many others.

During National YoungArts Week, audiences can experience the work of the next generation of artists through performances in voice, jazz, theater, dance and classical music, as well as film screenings, at New World Center; writers’ readings in the YoungArts Jewel Box; and a visual arts, photography and design exhibition in the YoungArts Gallery. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit youngarts.org/yaw.

Support for National YoungArts Week is provided by the National Premier Partner Carnival Foundation; the YoungArts Week Performance Partner SunTrust; the Design Arts Discipline Partner Arquitectonica; the Visual Arts Discipline Partner Related Group; Jay Franke and David Herro; Sandra and Tony Tamer; Stephanie Ansin and Spencer Stewart; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade Tourist Development Council; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural
Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; Wells Fargo; and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.

About the National YoungArts Foundation

The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, performances, and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.    YoungArts’ signature program is an application-based award for emerging artists ages 15–18 or in grades 10–12 from across the United States. Selected through a blind adjudication process, YoungArts winners receive valuable support, including financial awards of up to $10,000, professional development and educational experiences working with renowned mentors—such as Debbie Allen, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Rebecca Walker, Frank Gehry, Jeff Koons, Wynton Marsalis, Salman Rushdie and Carrie Mae Weems—and performance and exhibition opportunities at some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, including the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (Washington, D.C.), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), The Museum of Modern Art (New York) and New World Center (Miami). Additionally, YoungArts winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for high school students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence. 

YoungArts winners become part of a thousands-strong alumni network of artists, which offers them additional professional opportunities throughout their careers. YoungArts alumni who have gone on to become leading professionals in their fields include actresses Viola Davis, Anna Gunn, Zuzanna Szadkowski and Kerry Washington; Broadway stars Raúl Esparza, Billy Porter, Andrew Rannells and Tony Yazbeck; recording artists Josh Groban, Judith Hill and Chris Young; Metropolitan Opera star Eric Owens; musicians Terence Blanchard, Gerald Clayton, Jennifer Koh and Elizabeth Roe; choreographers Camille A. Brown and Desmond Richardson; visual artists Daniel Arsham and Hernan Bas; internationally acclaimed multimedia artist Doug Aitken; New York Times bestselling author Sam Lipsyte; and Academy Award winners Doug Blush and Tarell Alvin McCraney.

For more information, visit youngarts.org, Facebook or Twitter. To watch a brief video about YoungArts, click here.

About Harry Winston, Inc.
Founded in New York City, in 1932, The House of Harry Winston continues to set the standard for the ultimate in fine jewelry and high-end watch making. From the acquisition of some of the world’s most famous gemstones, including the Jonker, Hope and Winston Legacy Diamonds, to adorning Hollywood’s leading ladies on the red carpet, for over eight decades, Harry Winston has been a symbol of the best there is. Headquartered in New York, the company operates retail salons worldwide, in locations including: New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Genève, Rome, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

National YoungArts Week


Monday 1/7

Classical, Jazz & Pop Voice Performance

8 PM

New World Center


Tuesday 1/8

Jazz Instrumental & Theater Performance

8 PM

New World Center


Wednesday 1/9

Dance Performance & Film Screenings

8 PM

New World Center


Thursday 1/10

Classical Music Concert

8:30 PM

New World Center


Friday 1/11

Writers’ Readings 6 PM

Design, Photography & Visual Arts Exhibition Opening 7:30 PM

YoungArts Jewel Box and Gallery

Miami Vibes Magazine


Private policy

Terms & condition


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