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MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA The National YoungArts Foundation hosted its annual gala on January 11. With a new name, the Backyard Ball, the event took place for the first time on the organization's new campus. On the former site of the Bacardi Building on Biscayne Boulevard, the campus gave planners the space to host the whole evening in one space. In previous years, the night had included performances at one venue and the rest of the program at another, but this year the whole program took place under a tent with decor from Wow Factor Marketing Group.
Playing off the event's new location—in the YoungArts Foundation's proverbial backyard—decor took on a warm, rustic look. As the evening's alumni performances and award ceremony played out, guests noshed on Thierry Catering's appropriately home-style menu items, which included artisan breads, country pâté, and roasted sliced beef with rosemary roasted potatoes.
Another new element was the “After Hours” party in the courtyard. The main gala, which sold tables for $10,000 to $50,000, drew 800 guests and sold out. Planners partnered with Gilt City to sell $125 tickets to the after-party, which took place in the plaza and offered sweets, dancing, and a full bar. The courtyard bash drew some 150 additional guests, and the evening raised more than $1.5 million overall.