a row of dancers are in a row in a gray room, illuminated by a long-throw spotlight. all have their arms outstretched with palms upwars and are wearing matching black outfits

Bringing it Home

The annual Performance Unleashed gala dazzled in true UArts style.

It’s easy to throw a memorable party when you have this much creativity in-house, and UArts continues to up the ante each year with its annual gala. Performance Unleashed provides attendees the opportunity to witness the phenomenal talent and hard work of UArts students, while helping nurture the university’s next cohorts of artists.

Each year, Performance Unleashed honors two awardees. This year, Ed Satell was presented with the 2023 Excellence in the Arts Hamilton Award. A media entrepreneur; business leader; and the founder of the nonprofit Satell Institute, a Think and Do Tank Dedicated to Corporate Social Responsibility, Satell was recognized for his innovative work around responsible leadership and philanthropy.

The second honor of the night went to Adam Blackstone ’04 (Instrumental Performance), who was given the 2023 Excellence in the Arts Alumni Award. As a musical director, Blackstone has collaborated with Janet Jackson, Alicia Keys, Justin Timberlake, and other A-list performers. His most recent TV work includes the spectacular 2023 Super Bowl Halftime Show with Rihanna. He has also worked on The Voice and broadcast shows for the Oscars and the Grammys. Blackstone was born into a music-loving family in Trenton, New Jersey, and attended UArts on a scholarship. Blackstone embodies the crucial importance of financial support for tomorrow’s artists and the transformative potential of a UArts education.

Rounding out the night was a scholarship auction featuring four box seats to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band; a football from Super Bowl LVI, signed by Dr. Dre and other performers and athletes from the game; and VIP tickets to a Phillies game with an on-field experience, among other desirable items. In total, Performance Unleashed raised over $400,000 for student scholarships—truly a night to celebrate.