Philanthropic Fun: Turn of a Century

The annual BRAVO Gala celebrated NOBA’s Golden Anniversary.

This year’s annual BRAVO Gala dedicated two glamorous evenings to kick off NOBA’s Golden Anniversary. On January 26, the “Evening of Stars” performance at the Mahalia Jackson Theatre began with a lifetime board member induction ceremony and presentation featuring youth from NOBA’s tuition-free dance program. NOBA’s newest Lifetime Board Members are three community visionaries whose extraordinary creativity and vision helped chart the course of the organization: Center For Dance Founders Hon. Jacquelyn Brechtel Clarkson and Janée Michelle Tucker, and former NOBA Board Chair Dr. Bernard M. Jaffe.

While the stage was flipped for dinner, guests gathered in the lobby to enjoy champagne, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres by 1718 Catering.

Following, patrons experienced an extraordinary full performance of classical and contemporary masterworks danced by some of the world’s preeminent artists from Pacific Northwest Ballet, San Francisco Ballet and National Ballet of Cuba, as well as NBC “World of Dance” and world-champion ballroom stars. Gala patrons enjoyed a post-performance patron reception and then shifted to the transformed, gilded stage with magnificent centerpieces by Dunn & Sonnier, with a three-course dinner prepared by 1718 Catering by the Hyatt Regency New Orleans, music by Julio and César, a silent auction, a Lee Michaels shopping spree raffle and more.

Benefactor Dinner Chairs were Gregory Curtis, who attended with Bradley Feichter, and Charlotte Bollinger. In attendance were Honorary Gala Chairs Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Hutto Edwards. Special Honorary Guests included Former New York City Ballet Principal Wendy Whelan, Complexions Contemporary Ballet Artistic Director Desmond Richardson and the evening’s artists.

The gala experience continued on February 5 with a spectacular grand-seated Benefactor Dinner sponsored by the Windsor Court Hotel. Prior to dinner, guests enjoyed cocktails and entertainment by Anaïs St. John, and enjoyed music by Rachel Van Voorhees for dinner.

Guests participated in live auctions, and benefactors also received a treasured gift from Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.


Event at a Glance

What: “50th Anniversary Evening of Stars,” benefiting Ballet Resource & Volunteer Organization

When: Saturday, January 26

Where: Mahalia Jackson Theater of the Performing Arts


Warner and Pamela Williams, Ralph Mahana and Benefactor Dinner Co-Chair Charlotte Bollinger

Honorary Gala Chairs Governor John Bel Edwards and First Lady Donna Hutto Edwards with Sandra and Joel Chaisson

Joseph Canizaro, Special Honorary Guest Wendy Whelan, Martine Chaisson Linares and Henson Davis

Jacquee Carvin, Teresa Guzzetta, Deborah Alciatore-Empey and Rosalyn Ditta

Stephen Sonnier, Gayle Dellinger, Jessie Tantardini and Carlos Mickan