NWSA celebrates 25th Anniversary, launches Legacy Society

By Maria M. Flores….

Pictured (l-r) are Dr. Robert McCabe, Abbey Chase and Jeffrey Hodgson.

With an elegant soiree hosted by Armando Guerra and his wife Maria Catá- Guerra, NWSA Executive Board member, in their lovely home in Coral Gables, it was a sparkling evening for New World School of the Arts’ supporters, founders, students and faculty.

More than 50 friends of the arts conservatory gathered to celebrate the school’s 25th anniversary and honor its generous benefactors.

“Despite the gloomy weather, our home was filled with warmth and beautiful music,” Maria Catá-Guerra said.

It also was the perfect occasion to announce another remarkable milestone in the history of the school — the NWSA Legacy Society, a newly established gift-giving initiative that promises to sustain New World School of the Arts for decades to come.

Conceived by former NWSA Foundation Board member Lydia Harrison and her husband, Burt Harrison, along with NWSA Foundation Board chair Dennis Edwards ear-lier this year, the NWSA Legacy Society enables supporters to include New World School of the Arts in their estate planning to augment the institution’s scholarship coffers. With over $2 million already pledged, the program is off to a stellar start.

“New World School of the Arts is such a force in our community and in the globe,” Lydia Harrison said as she introduced the program. “Our students are not only forging the way in all aspects of the arts, many are joining the ranks of doctors, lawyers and engineers, while others are leaving their mark in the fields of academia, government and non-profit organizations.

“We need to make sure that scholarships remain funded in perpetuity at this wonderful institution, not just to benefit the next generation of artists, but also for the good of our community.”

Co-founder of the initiative Dennis Edwards added, “Forming the Legacy Society allows us to identify, recognize and thank those in the community who are securing the future of NWSA.”

Accompanied by champagne ‘n’ berries and savory hors d’oeuvres, the evening began with a welcoming showcase by a music quartet comprised of young New World School of the Arts musicians. Guests, who had the opportunity to mix, mingle, and reminisce about the early days of New World School of the Arts also were treated to another spectacular display of talent as six college theater students interpreted popular musical numbers for guests’ delight.

Jeffrey Hodgson, interim provost of New World School of the Arts, led the program as he acknowledged the invaluable support that NWSA has received from key members of its board and patrons of the school since its inception.

“Tonight was an opportunity to thank our closest friends and supporters in this intimate and beautiful reception,” he said. “After 25 years of love and support for the students of our school, these generous friends have again proven their deep commitment to NWSA through the newly founded Legacy Society. They have made New World’s silver anniversary shine, illuminating the path forward brightly.”

Among those who joined the celebration demonstrating their steadfast commitment to the school were Lydia and Burt Harrison, Carmen Bishopric, Maria Alonso, Dr. Robert McCabe, Mark Trowbridge, Myrna and Sheldon Palley, Matthew Meehan, and Mark Steinberg.

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