Point of View


Madama Butterfly After Party
April 27, 2009, 9:11 pm
Filed under: Florida Grand Opera

Florida Grand Opera closes its season at the Adrienne Arsht Center with Puccini’s Madama Butterfly (April 25 through May 9.) The opening-night after party was held this past Saturday in the Peacock Foundation Studio. In attendance among the elegant black tie guests were: Robert M. Heuer, General Director/CEO of Florida Grand Opera, Dr. and Mrs. J. Morton Robinson (Jane Robinson is President of the Board of Directors of FGO), Board member Robert Gang and his wife Adrienne (Mr. Gang’s law firm, Greenberg Traurig were partial production sponsors), Crown Jewel members, Randy Gage, Ralph Lutrin of the Audrey Love Charitable Foundation and Mr. and Mrs. Roger Sturgeon – Isobel Sturgeon looking stunning in a red satin Madama Butterfly gown created by local couture fashion designer, Yoly Munoz. Also spotted at the party were socialite philanthropists Ruby Bacardi, Ana and Alvaro Varela and Dr. and Mrs. Sanford Ziff (of the Ziff Ballet Opera House).

The event paid a special tribute to Maestro Stewart Robertson, stepping down at the end of this season after 11 euphonious years as Music Director and Conductor at Florida Grand Opera.

Jane A. Robinson (President of Board of Directors of FGO), Dr. Sanford and Dolores Ziff

Jane A. Robinson (President of Board of Directors of FGO), Dr. Sanford and Dolores Ziff

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State of the Arts Acknowledges the Adrienne Arsht Center
April 27, 2009, 8:08 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

On Monday, April 20, Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council, Adolfo Henriques, delivered the much anticipated State of the Arts in Miami-Dade County Address. In a time when the economic climate throughout all industries and the nation has been no more than bleak and concerning, Henriques’ overall message carried an optimistic yet realistic analysis into how the arts and culture realms are fairing and commended the Adrienne Arsht Center for its valiant efforts.

The chairman made an acknowledgement to the many strategies implemented that have softened the daily stresses and financial struggles taking place in all aspects of the Miami-Dade cultural community including the successful act of the Adrienne Arsht Center adopting the remaining series of shows that were to be presented by Concert Association of Florida after its doors closed.  Henriques stated, “I want to commend the boards of the Concert Association of Florida and the Adrienne Arsht Center for finding a way to continue to present the great arts companies of the world to Miami-Dade audiences.” He continued, “This is a great example of converting crisis into opportunity, and a real win for our community…you only had to attend an Alvin Ailey Performance this past weekend to be convinced.” 

Although this was one highlight into preserving the arts in our community, there are still many other concerns that continue to be addressed within Miami-Dade arts and culture. It’s the hard work, dedication and passion for the arts that will keep it afloat throughout the hard years ahead. To read the entire State of the Arts in Miami-Dade County Address, please visit: http://www.miamidadearts.org/news.aspx#192



INVESTING IN THE ARTS IS AN INVESTMENT IN OUR COMMUNITY
April 27, 2009, 5:52 pm
Filed under: Education

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Participation in the arts provides opportunities for exploration and self expression that foster creative thinking skills, boost self esteem, expand the horizons of the participants, and provide new and innovative ways of learning. Through their ability to communicate information, convey subtleties of culture, and foster the discovery of new ideas, the arts can play a vital role in the lives of children and families. Inclusive and culturally diverse high quality performing arts experiences are a window to the world that can engage people from all backgrounds. Recognizing the value of the arts to all communities, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is dedicated to providing high quality programs for children, families, and teachers that feature live performing arts experiences and active learning in and through the arts.

As students study music, theatre and dance, they become actively engaged in learning as they explore their creativity, nurture healthy bodies, and strengthen their respect for themselves and others within a supportive framework that gives them an important foundation for the future. Throughout underserved communities around the Arsht Center and in Miami-Dade County, at-risk young people lack the resources and role models that can help channel their talents and energy in positive ways. Without direction, focus, or guidance, particularly during the summer months, these young people are exposed to the dangerous realities that exist in their communities including drugs, violence, poor nutrition, early pregnancy, and crime. 

One upcoming education initiative is Ailey Camp, a summer day camp founded by the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation that will serve approximately 90-100 at risk children ages 11-14. Taking place at the Center, campers will come from diverse ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds throughout Miami-Dade County to participate in disciplined dance training, creative writing instruction, personal development and communication workshops, as well as recreational and cultural field trips. Ailey campers develop a respect for themselves and others that will impact their lives far beyond the two-week program by stretching their bodies and minds while develop important life skills before their entry into the challenging years of high school.

Studying the arts contributes to developing students who take ownership of learning and fosters the development of a dynamic, cohesive and exciting teaching environment. There is ample evidence that when the performing arts are a strong component of a school curriculum, test scores improve while dropout rates and absenteeism declines. In a time when standardized testing dominates many classrooms, an arts infused curriculum invigorates the learning process, provides opportunities for creative problem solving, and makes class content accessible to multiple learning styles all while bringing the arts into a student’s everyday life.

The Center’s Jazz Roots educational programming is a perfect example of how a sensational music series can teach and inspire young people by offering unique opportunities to experience the performing arts up close and in person.  As part of the Jazz Roots series, students and their teachers are offered an in-depth look at the “behind the scenes” workings of a live sound check and the technical aspects necessary to produce a world-class concert.   Students have the opportunity to speak with internationally acclaimed jazz musicians about the music, the artistic process and the practical skills needed for a career in the arts and attending the live concert at no cost to the student, teacher or school. This multi-layered approach provides programming that engages and involves tudents while also providing resources including study guides, listening kits, lesson plans and curriculum materials for the school system.

A study of the benefits of arts participation commissioned by The Wallace Foundation highlights the potential of early participation in the arts. The report argues, “Early exposure is often key to developing life-long involvement in the arts.” The study’s key findings put forth that “families, community leaders and public policymakers should therefore work toward building demand for the arts by introducing more Americans to engaging arts experiences, especially when they are young.”

In an effort to engage families in Miami Dade County and contribute to community building, the Arsht Center offers Family Fest, a free series that makes the performing arts attractive and accessible to families. Family Fest, which takes place on Saturday afternoons throughout the year, starts on the Center’s outdoor Plaza and then moves the action indoors for a free performance in the Ziff Ballet Opera House or Knight Concert Hall. The outdoor activities include performances, hands-on demonstrations, and mini-workshops that provide active and engaging opportunities for parents and their children. Families can make a puppet, learn a song, or try out a few new dance moves while learning about the arts and other cultures.

The Adrienne Arsht Center’s arts education and community outreach programs are exposing thousands of children and their families to the performing arts each year. Public support combined with corporate sponsorships and individual donations has been instrumental in creating our arts education successes. Educational initiatives like master classes, workshops, and school programs have demonstrated that the joint investment of public and private dollars can have a positive and long term impact in our community. Miami is realizing the return on it’s investment in the Arsht Center: area property values are increasing, people are migrating into our urban core at a record pace, and our community’s children and families are unlocking the power of the performing arts. Going forward, the Center will leverage public and private resources to maximize its mission of broadening and deepening participation in the arts among the diverse communities of Miami.

– Deanna Maria Costa, Director of Education and Outreach

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OUT IN THE COMMUNITY: MIAMI BEACH GAY PRIDE PARADE
April 27, 2009, 3:43 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

The Adrienne Arsht Center Street Team was out on South Beach this past Saturday to help celebrate the 1st Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade. Over 20,000 people lined Ocean Drive to see the fabulous floats and marching bands. Hundreds visited the Adrienne Arsht Center booth for a chance to win a pair of tickets to Adrienne Arsht Center shows.

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Photo Credit: Attendees at 1st Annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade. Photo by Crystal Chancellor.



FREE GOSPEL SUNDAYS
April 27, 2009, 3:37 pm
Filed under: Gospel Sundays

This past Sunday marked this season’s final installment of Free Gospel Sundays! Besides an inspiring show from gospel singing sensation Helen Baylor, the audience was moved with a surprise performance from Broadway’s The Color Purple star, Montego Glover, after it was revealed to the crowd that the Tony Award-winning hit will make its South Florida debut during the 2009 & 2010 season.

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Photo Credit: Montego Glover sings at Free Gospel Sundays. Photo by Mitchell Zachs.



ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER MASTER CLASS
April 27, 2009, 3:31 pm
Filed under: Education

51 students from Coral Reef Senior High, South Miami Senior High, and Dr. Michael Krop Senior High attended the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Master Class this past Thursday in the Carnival Studio Theater led by Ailey dancer, Linda Celeste Sims.

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Photo Credit: Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater Master Class. Photo by Manny Hernandez.



SONNY & MARKUS
April 27, 2009, 3:27 pm
Filed under: Jazz Roots

13-year-old Markus Howell, an audience member and saxophone student, was surprised with the opportunity to have a one-on-one saxophone lesson with jazz legend Sonny Rollins after his Saturday evening performance at the Adrienne Arsht Center.

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Photo Credit: (Left-Right) Sonny Rollins and Markus Howell. Photo by Daniel Azoulay.




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