Kravis Center Gala Guests Join Ailey Dancers Onstage

Michael and Angela Vecellio

Michael and Angela Vecellio

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. – They opened with a dazzling performance involving members of the audience and closed with their signature work, “Revelations.” Throughout their show, the famed Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater electrified guests at the Kravis Center’s annual gala.

Cameron and Jeffery Preston

Cameron and Jeffery Preston

It was the dance troupe’s first performance in West Palm Beach in more than 15 years.

The not-for-profit arts center, which opened in 1992, presents national and international artists and companies, and also offers arts education programs and a venue for local and regional arts organizations.

“We estimate that more than 8 million people have walked through our doors since opening in 1992, and approximately 2 million children have seen a live performance,” Monika Preston, the gala chair, remarked to the dinner guests.

“The community expects the Kravis Center to be here, and as I look around this gorgeous room and see so many younger people here who want to be involved and inspired, there is no doubt that the Kravis Center’s future will be healthy and strong.”

The annual black-tie affair began with a red carpet runway welcome in the lobby, followed by a cocktail reception, the performance by the Ailey dancers and concluded with a dinner dance.

Hali Utstein, David Silvers, Laurie Silvers, Mitchell Rubenstein

Hali Utstein, David Silvers, Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein

Judith Mitchell is chief executive officer of the Kravis Center; Jane Mitchell is the board chair.

Among the guests were eight teenagers from the Dreyfoos School of the Arts – future performers and arts enthusiasts – who sat at a “Rising Stars” table sponsored by Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein.

Tara and Christopher Vecellio

Tara and Christopher Vecellio

“People count on the Kravis Center being here, and a well-funded endowment provides the long-term fiscal stability necessary for us to continue to carry out our mission,” said Judith Mitchell.

“Tonight I have the distinct pleasure to report that the Kravis Center’s endowment is thriving. The recent announcement of a $5 million gift from the estate of Helen K. Persson brings the value of our Permanently Restricted Endowment Fund to $17.3 million.”

Gala sponsors of the Feb. 24, 2014, event included Martin Axman, The Breakers, Stephen Brown and Jamie Stern, Alec and Miriam Flamm, Diane and Bruce Halle, Henni and John Kessler, Dorothy and Sidney Kohl, Ingrid and David Kosowsky, Jack and Goldie Wolfe Miller Fund, Jane M. Mitchell, Neiman Marcus, Helen K. Persson, Monika and John Preston, Sabadell Bank & Trust, SBA Communications Corporation, Laurie Silvers and Mitchell Rubenstein, Kathryn and Leo Vecellio; as well as support from Tiffany & Co. and Classical South Florida.

Gala committee members were Michael Bracci, Mark Freitas, Robert Fromer, Irene Karp, John Kessler, Ted Mandes, William Meyer, Laurie Silvers, and Dom Telesco.

For more information, call (561) 651-4320.

All photos by Lucien Capehart Photography except Utstein and Silvers, by Corby Kaye’s Studio Palm Beach.

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