Braulio Cuesta, NWSA Dean of Visual Arts Maggy Cuesta, NWSA Provost Mercy Quiroga and Manny Quiroga
NWSA Foundation Board Member Abbey Chase, Carmen Ledesma, Celeste Pierson, Louise Romeo
NWSA Deans: Patrice Bailey (Theater), Maggy Cuesta (Visual Arts), Jeffrey Hodgson (Music), Daniel Lewis (Dance), Principal Ellery Brown and Provost Mercy Quiroga
New World School of the Arts celebrated its 20th anniversary with a special commemorative production of the signature annual revue, "Rising Stars;" a stunning display of art and post-performance parties for students, parents, sponsors, faculty members, community leaders and a multitude of NWSA supporters.
Festivities began at the NWSA Gallery where guests enjoyed a PTSA reception and viewed more than 40 works produced by fine arts students from the High School and College Visual Arts Division.
Moving on to the Gusman Center of the Performing Arts, over 1,600 guests were in their seats as the curtain rose on "Another Op'nin', Another Show" from the Tony Award-winning musical Kiss Me Kate. Dean of Theatre Patrice Bailey and Stage Manager Jeff Quinn were at the helm as 209 students-performed renditions from Cole Porter's acclaimed "Kate" and Alfred Uhry's "Parade," as well as riveting dance excerpts from Peter London's "Vespers for Frida Kahlo" and the classical "Esplanade" by Paul Taylor. The audience was on its feet as the show continued with Robert Battle's powerful dance "Primate" and an audacious scene from Tony Kushner's "Angels in America Part I: Millennium Approaches."
The NWSA Concert Choir performed a medley from Rodgers & Hammerstein on Broadway led by conductor Albert Clark. Musical accompaniments were provided by NWSA's symphony orchestra and wind ensemble under the direction of conductors Alfred Gershfeld and Brenton Alston of the Music Division.
Provost Mercedes Quiroga honored outgoing Principal Ellery Brown for her 20 years of steadfast commitment with the "Heart of the Arts Award" and a bouquet of roses, as the deans of the four arts divisions: Patrice Bailey (Theatre), Jeffrey Hodgson (Music), Maggy Cuesta (Visual Arts) and Daniel Lewis (Dance) stood along side. A special "Rising Stars Award" was also presented to Maria Alonso, SVP Market Development Manager at Bank of America for their continued fiscal support of NWSA's programs.
As the Rising Stars artists danced and dined with friends and families at the Street Cast Party organized and sponsored by the PTSA, another group of luminaries, some 350 guests, set off for an elegant gala at the historic Alfred I. DuPont Building. Among the distinguished guests were Elaine Bloom, Micky Wolfson, Abbey Chase from Chase Marketing, Dr. Rolando Montoya, President of Miami Dade College - Wolfson Campus, Tomas Martinez, VP and GM of Radio Caracol, Maria Alonso of Bank of America, as well as representatives from Miami-Dade Public Schools, Miami Dade College, University of Florida, Comcast, Miami Monthly Magazine and The Miami Herald. Guests sipped Bacardi cocktails and enjoyed a sumptuous gourmet spread as they bid on silent auction items and listened to the wonderful sounds of NWSA's Jazz Ensemble, conducted by Jim Gasior. While they played "It's a Wonderful Life," the magic generated by the Rising Stars and the evening's celebration of such possibilities, made everyone agree that … life really can be.