Camille A. Brown and the Haas Brothers to Be Honored at National YoungArts Foundation Backyard Ball

Thursday Nov 1st, 2018

Blog > Camille A. Brown and the Haas Brothers to Be Honored at National YoungArts Foundation Backyard Ball

Camille A. Brown and The Haas Brothers
On Saturday, January 12, 2019, the National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) will honor prolific choreographer and bold visionary Camille A. Brown (1997 YoungArts Winner in Dance & U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts), and singular interdisciplinary designers Simon and Nikolai Haas of The Haas Brothers, with the 2019 Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award, respectively. Acknowledged for their vital contributions and commitment to the arts, Brown and The Haas Brothers will be recognized at the Backyard Ball performance and gala. The evening brings together artists, influential community leaders, philanthropists and celebrities to support and celebrate the achievements of the 2019 YoungArts winners, representing the nation’s most outstanding young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts. For the first year, the Backyard Ball will be presented by fine jeweler Harry Winston, for whom philanthropy is a longstanding tradition.

“We are honored to celebrate Camille A. Brown and The Haas Brothers and to acknowledge their invaluable commitment and contribution to the arts with the Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award, respectively,” said Sarah Arison, YoungArts Board Chair. “Camille, Simon and Nikolai are examples of outstanding leaders in the arts known for powerful storytelling, experimentation and collaboration, and we’re thrilled to also welcome them as master teachers during National YoungArts Week. I hope the 2019 winners will be inspired and encouraged to be as bold and dedicated to their craft as these artists.”

YoungArts alumna and master teacher Camille A. Brown will be recognized with the Arison Alumni Award for her contributions to the performing arts field and a body of work that utilizes dance, movement and musical composition to reclaim the cultural narrative of African American identity in contemporary society. Recipients of the Arison Award, The Haas Brothers have been YoungArts master teachers since 2015 and play an essential role in the organization’s mission to create a strong, supportive community for emerging artists.  They are known for their exceptional craftsmanship as cross-pollinators in creative disciplines including fashion, film, art and design, and will be presenting their first solo museum exhibition at The Bass Museum of Art, titled “Ferngully”, this December during Miami Art Week.
"Without the adults that helped us believe in ourselves when we were young, we would never be where we are today,” said Nikolai and Simon Haas. “Supporting youth and helping to create an avenue for expression is the greatest joy of our career. Being recognized and honored for doing what we love is an immense privilege. We are humbled and thrilled to accept this year's Arison Award."
The 2018 Backyard Ball is co-chaired by Oxana and Steven Marks, and Jackie Soffer and Craig Robins, and honorary chairs Darlene and Jorge M. Pérez, and is YoungArts’ largest annual fundraiser. Each year the occasion marks the conclusion of the organization’s signature program, National YoungArts Week. One of the most comprehensive programs for aspiring artists in the country, National YoungArts Week provides approximately 170 Finalists with transformative experiences, including master classes, workshops and the opportunity to perform and exhibit to public audiences.

“Receiving recognition as a YoungArts Finalist in 1997 was a defining moment for me,” says Camille A. Brown. “As a student, I had always struggled with body image and never quite felt like I was enough. When I received the award—which also paved the way to becoming a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts—it was one of the first times I felt seen. While in Miami, YoungArts Dance Discipline Coordinator Gary Lund gave us powerful words of wisdom I hold to this day. To paraphrase, he said that our performance was not about competing with others, but an opportunity to be our best selves. It is my hope that I inspire this year’s recipients the way Gary and our mentors did when I was 17.”
Previous Arison Alumni Award and Arison Award honorees include Tarell A. McCraney, Jason Moran, Jessica Lang, Tony Yazbeck, Kerry Washington Josh Groban and Andrew Rannells.

The Backyard Ball performance and gala is presented by Harry Winston, Inc. Support for the gala is provided by EventStar Structures, Bacardi U.S.A., Inc. and The Facundo Rum Collection, Miami Herald and Miami Magazine. For more information or to purchase tickets to events and performances, visit

National YoungArts Week 2019 Highlights
YoungArts will kick off the new year with National YoungArts Week, bringing the nation’s most promising young artists across 10 disciplines to Miami for a free, seven-day intensive program packed with master classes, workshops, and performance and presentation opportunities. National YoungArts Week aims to foster interdisciplinary collaboration and community, while offering artists the guidance needed to prepare for the next stage of their artistic development. YoungArts winners also receive financial awards of up to $10,000 and ongoing artistic and professional development opportunities.  Winners in their senior year of high school are eligible for nomination as U.S. Presidential Scholars in the Arts, one of the nation’s highest honors for students who exemplify academic and artistic excellence.

From January 6–13, the 2019 YoungArts Finalists will learn from renowned artists including Tony Award winner Gavin Creel; Grammy Award-winning percussionist Joseph Gramley; award-winning journalist, author, and provocative cultural critic Joan Morgan; poet John Murillo; opera singers Daniela Mack and Alek Shrader; US Artist Fellow and Princess Grace award-winning choreographer Rosie Herrera; author Kristen Simmons; and photographer Lori Hepner among many others.

During National YoungArts Week, audiences can experience the work of the next generation of artists through performances in voice, jazz, theater, dance and classical music, as well as film screenings, at New World Center; writers’ readings in the YoungArts Jewel Box; and a visual arts, photography and design exhibition in the YoungArts Gallery. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit
Support for National YoungArts Week is provided by the National Premier Partner Carnival Foundation; the YoungArts Week Performance Partner SunTrust; the Design Arts Discipline Partner Arquitectonica; the Visual Arts Discipline Partner Related Group; Jay Franke and David Herro; Sandra and Tony Tamer; Stephanie Ansin and Spencer Stewart; the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council, the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade Tourist Development Council; the City of Miami Beach, Cultural Affairs Program, Cultural Arts Council; Wells Fargo; and the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture.