New Beginnings Family Academy to host 20th Anniversary Gala

BRIDGEPORT, CT (JANUARY 5, 2023) - New Beginnings Family Academy (NBFA) will host the 20th Anniversary Gala on Thursday, April 20 in Westport, Connecticut at The Inn at Longshore. The fundraising gala, which will include a live auction and dinner, will feature a special performance by Grammy, Emmy, and Tony® Award-nominated performer Vanessa Williams. 
Vanessa Williams continues the NBFA tradition of headlining memorable events for NBFA students. Previous galas featured Motown legend Gladys Night, award-winning songstress Roberta Flack, and jazz great Wynton Marsalis. The gala will also feature themed pop-up stations, for guests to experience NBFA’s educational model firsthand.  

“As NBFA celebrates its 20th academic year, we are thrilled to collaborate with a talented entertainer and children’s book author who shares NBFA’s commitment to the academic and social-emotional growth of students,” said NBFA Director & CEO Ronelle Swagerty. “We look forward to spotlighting NBFA’s many accomplishments over the past two decades while enjoying a special evening with new and old friends.”  

All proceeds from the gala will benefit New Beginnings Family Academy in its mission to provide students a meaningful, high-quality education through experience-based learning that helps them develop essential social, emotional and critical-thinking skills. These events help close the school’s operating budget gap, as NBFA receives 20% less funding per pupil than non-charter public schools.  

“Growing up, my dad would read to me every night before bed, which instilled in me the importance of literacy. I’m excited to partner with NBFA which emphasizes how key literacy is in the pathway of success,” said Vanessa Williams. “I look forward to a magical night of music, fellowship and learning.” 

For more information on ticket and ticket package details, please visit  

About Vanessa Williams

Vanessa Williams is one of the most respected and multi-faceted performers in the entertainment industry today, selling millions of records worldwide.  Her work in music, film, television, and the Broadway stage has been recognized with 4 Emmy nominations, 11 Grammy nominations, a Tony nomination, 3 SAG award nominations and 7 NAACP Image Awards. Her platinum single, "Colors of the Wind," from Disney’s “Pocahontas,” won the Oscar, Grammy and Golden Globe for Best Original Song. Her 2012 autobiography, You Have No Idea, co-written with her mother Helen Williams, was a N.Y. Times Best Seller and she released Bubble Kisses, her first picture book for children, in 2020.  Vanessa recently starred in the World Premiere of Selina Fillinger’s new Broadway comedy, POTUS: Or, Behind Every Great Dumbass are Seven Women Trying to Keep Him Alive, directed by Tony Award-winner Susan Stroman.  She is part of the star-studded panel of judges for RuPaul’s Paramount+ competition series, Queen of the Universe, which will return for a second season.