This year, the annual “Hope and Dreams Gala” commemorated the 20th anniversary of the New Orleans Ballet Association’s partnership with the New Orleans Recreation Development Commission and the successful operation of the NOBA/NORDC Center for Dance. In addition to NOBA’s efforts to bring world-class dancers to New Orleans, the center has now served over 12,000 children in the greater New Orleans area with more than 37,000 tuition-free dance classes, making dance accessible to all school-aged children.
Warner and Pamela Williams served as honorary chairs of the event, and Teresa Guzzetta was the gala coordinator. The event included a performance by Center for Dance students as a tribute to its honorees.
This year Deborah Alciatore, Michael Allday, Charlotte Bollinger, Jacquee Carvin, Jacquelyn B. Clarkson, Yvonne Coe, Constance Cowart, Gloria Darlak, Louana B. DeMatteo, Virginia Eckholdt, Raymond Falk, Cecile Gibson, Matthew H. Greenbaum, Teresa Guzzetta, Barbara Hymowitz, Dr. Bernard M. Jaffe, Cynthia LeBreton, Barbara Louviere, Gee Mercadel-Tucker, Gail Moore, Suzanne L. Parker, Barry Schlaile, Linda Skidmore-Forman, Sandi Smith, R. Sonda Stacey, Leslie Stokes, Phyllis M. Taylor, Sandra Trout Wilson and Joann B. Wisdom were honored with Orrefors crystal bowls donated by Lee Michaels Fine Jewelry.
Among the vast array of auction items were a stay in a Mexican hillside villa for 10, a seven-course tasting menu for four at Stella! and a Saks Fifth Avenue cosmetic and fragrance gift basket. The guests were served grilled beef tenderloin with Béarnaise sauce with goat cheese whipped potatoes. A moving 20th anniversary video was also shown, which included interviews with program founders such as Jackie Clarkson and Phyllis Taylor, current students, program alums and more.
Event at a Glance
What: “Hopes and Dreams Gala,” benefiting the NOBA/NORDC Center for Dance
When: Saturday, May 11
Where: Sheraton New Orleans Hotel