2024 Annual Benefit Dinner
Celebrating Alberto Ibargüen

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297 NE 67th Street | Miami, FL 33138
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On Saturday, January 27, 2024 Locust Projects hosted its Annual Benefit Dinner celebrating Alberto Ibargüen's  transformative impact on arts and culture in Miami and beyond during his 18 years as CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. The celebration was hosted by Honorary Chairs Jorge M. and Darlene Pérez, and Event Chairs Dede and Robert Moss, Debra Scholl, Dennis Scholl, and Munisha Underhill.

Continuing its tradition of placing art and artists at the center of its events, Locust Projects 2024 Benefit Dinner was inspired by a theme of reunion, with a multi-disciplinary performance by award-winning choreographer Jonah Bokaer, a longtime mentee of Ibargüen’s, to mark the occasion as a special tribute. Guests wore varying interpretations of the Newsworthy attire from newspaper patterns to stand-out black and white ensembles. The dinner was framed beneath a captivating suspended installation of tree branches, clear tubing, and sound elements by Tania Candiani. 

With a dining experience inspired by Alberto Ibargüen’s fondness for Basque cuisine, the evening started with cocktails in Cornelius Tulloch’s welcoming Poetics of Space “front porch” installation with a Caribbean Rum Punch welcome. At dinner guests enjoyed creative dishes by Le Basque from the Land, the Water, and the Earth inspired by Tania Candiani’s Waterbirds installation evoking the path of migratory birds over the Everglades. Dry Farm Wines accompanied the evening.

The highlight of the night was Jonah Bokaer’s tribute to Alberto Ibargüen. With the support of the Merce Cunningham Trust and dancers from YoungArts, Bokaer presented a mesmerizing 15-minute program featuring Merce Cunningham choreography paired with stunning audio in an Event for Alberto that included staging Beach Birds (1991) to the birdsong of Candiani’s installation to a silent finale of Changing Steps (1973) in which Bokaer, a former dancer for the company, danced solo to Cunningham choreography for the first time in nearly twenty years.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation; Miami Herald; Sarah Arison/Arison Foundation; and YoungArts where among the evening’s notable supporters. In addition to the honoree, Event Chairs, Honorary Co-Chairs, and Executive Director, Lorie Mertes, guests included, Victoria Rogers, Sheldon and Florence Anderson, Maria Bechily, Ximena Caminos, Marianne and John Devine, Diane and Werner Grob, Tom Healy and Fred P. Hochberg, Diane and Alan Lieberman, Hal Philips and Greg Kendall, Todd White and Cameron Horne, Christina Pérez, Nicolas Maclean, Jane Wooldridge, Mera Rubell, Franklin Sirmans, and Patricia Lent of the Merce Cunningham Trust and Laura Kuhn of the John Cage Trust.

The celebratory evening binding people and place together in Locust Projects’ still relatively new home in Little River supports the distinct mission of the 26-year-old artist-founded organization where artists are free to experiment and bring ambitious art and ideas to life.

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