New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy (NWS), held its highly anticipated gala titled “Brave New World” on Saturday, February 20. For the first time in its history, the celebration’s program took place in a digital realm, a place NWS has embraced and explored since moving into the New World Center 10 years ago. The evening surpassed academy’s fundraising goal of $1.2 million, raising $1.7 million in funds benefitting NWS’s Resilience Fund created by NWS Trustee and gala chair, Judith Rodin, in response to the devastating impact of both COVID-19 and the consequences of systemic racism on the performing arts field and its audiences.
The Fund supports NWS’s acceleration of innovation in performance, artistry, education and EDIB (equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging) initiatives. The 33rd annual gala was chaired by Dr. Rodin and her husband Paul Verkuil and honored the visionary investments of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and its President and CEO, Alberto Ibargüen. Donor and guest benefits included access to private virtual performances and Q&A sessions with participating premier guest artists and dinner boxes catered and delivered by Thierry Isambert Culinary and Design. The gala program was streamed on NWS’s website, YouTube channel and Facebook page.