Point of View

Resident Artist Jencarlos Canela starring in Telemundo’s hottest new telenovela
June 23, 2009, 4:53 pm
Filed under: Resident Artists

Adrienne Arsht Center’s resident artist Jencarlos Canela – a Miami-born actor, singer, musician and model – has taken off since starring in the Center’s production of Miami Libre last summer. Canela is now the leading man in the hottest Latin soap opera on Telemundo – “Más Sabe el Diablo.” Canela’s show is the newest drama on the NBC sister network and is already racing up the charts. He plays “Angel,” a young man who shrouds himself in a world of intrigue and robbery as a way of helping his mother afford the expensive medications she needs to fight a serious illness. Behind his tough exterior, Canela’s character is really a decent, smart, talented and kind-hearted guy who learns that there are other ways of using his strengths in this cliffhanger of a drama.

To become a man whose life is filled with pain, passion, trickery, vengeance and love is no easy feat. In preparing for this deep and complex role, Canela engulfed himself in the circumstance of his characters. He walked the streets of Miami, engaging with strangers about personal experiences that could help him relate. Not having grown up in the “glamorous life,” Canela also feels a connection to the character through his own life experiences.


Canela made his Arsht Center debut in the hit show Miami Libre in summer 2008, where he starred in the role of “Pepito.” In addition to his work on “Más Sabe el Diablo,” the 21-year old star has won various awards for his achievements so far, including the Premio sin Limite from the City of New York in the “Best Young Actor” category and “Best Performer in a Soap Opera” for his work on the Telemundo telenovela “Pecados Ajenos.” He has also been awarded the Premio Estrella and the prestigious Premio Fama, both in the “Best Young Actor” category. Besides being the lead of the hottest Spanish language soap opera on TV today, Canela recently finished filming his first feature film, “Hunted by Night,” which will be released later this year and is eager for his debut album to hit stores this July.

To check out “Más Sabe el Diablo,” tune into Telemundo Monday through Friday at 8 p.m. EST.


Hopefuls come out for AileyCamp Interviews
June 23, 2009, 4:32 pm
Filed under: Education, Out in the Community

On Saturday, June 13, 114 middle school students from around Miami-Dade County came to the Adrienne Arsht Center to interview for one of the 85 spaces available for the first AileyCamp Miami, a summer day camp founded by the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation which will be offered for the first time in Miami this summer. The four-week camp, which is completely free to participants and does not require any formal dance training, features ballet, jazz, modern and West African dance classes as well as classes in creative communication and personal development. Designed to help students make a successful transition to high school, the programming focuses on building self-esteem, encouraging creative thinking, and supporting exploration of the arts through cooperative dance activities.

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Young hopefuls arrived at 9:30 a.m. to register in the lobby of the Center’s John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. At 10 a.m. sharp, the first group of students was lead to the Peacock Education Center to get things started with a movement activity lead by Natasha DeVaughn-Rigby, the camp’s new director. From there, each student was escorted to a one-on-one interview conducted by a panel of specially selected members of the Adrienne Arsht Center community who have experience working with children, including representatives from Miami-Dade County Public Schools, an Adrienne Arsht Center Board member, and some of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s most dedicated volunteers. Ms. DeVaughn-Rigby and Nasha Thomas-Schmitt (AileyCamp’s National Director) represented the AileyCamp’s national office and rounded out the group of interviewers. The 85 students who were selected to participate have been notified by mail.

AileyCamp Miami will run from July 13 to August 7 with a final performance in the Knight Concert Hall on Saturday, August 8. The stage will come to life with an original production presented by the 85 students who will have called the Adrienne Arsht Center’s AileyCamp their summer home.

Center’s Information Technology Team Awarded Computerworld Magazine Laureate Award
June 23, 2009, 4:28 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

Computerworld, the world’s leading source of information technology news and information, has honored the Adrienne Arsht Center’s IT team with one of its most prestigious awards – the 2009 Laureate award from IDG’s Computerworld Honors Program. Recognizing those who use information technology to benefit society, the Computerworld Honors Program unites Chairmen and CEOs of the world’s foremost information technology companies to recognize the most outstanding user achievements in technology each year.

The Adrienne Arsht Center was selected for building a “future-proof” wireless networking infrastructure. This distinction marks the first time in the magazine’s 21-year history that this award been bestowed upon a performing arts organization. In addition to the selection as a Laureate, the Center was a finalist for the 21st Century Achievement Award in the Media, Arts and Entertainment category.

The technology achievements honored by this program are preserved and protected in national archives, and in over 350 universities, museums, and research institutions throughout the world.

Each year, members of the Chairmen’s Committee, a group of 100 Chairman/CEOs of global technology companies, nominate individuals and organizations around the world whose visionary applications of information technology promote positive social and economic progress.

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“The Computerworld Honors Program seeks to recognize organizations, from a variety of sectors, for their ongoing efforts to utilize technology in order to benefit society,” said Ron Milton, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation and Executive Vice President of Computerworld. “We are proud to provide a platform to publicly acknowledge these contributions.” The Laureate Medal Ceremony and Gala Awards black tie evening took place at the historic Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. where the Center’s Senior Director of Information Technology, James J. Thompson, accepted the award.

“This honor affirms our long-standing commitment to the harmonious relationship of technology and the performing arts,” said Thompson. Arriving in Miami from the Tennessee Performing Arts Center in Nashville more than four years ago at a critical stage in our Center’s construction, Thompson was given a firm budget, a blank slate and told “go.” His experience in Nashville proved vital in reaching design goals that keep the facility cutting edge in an ever-changing environment. Thompson further said, “Our current goal is to anticipate and change with the times. Technology is a relatively new tool in our industry for both artist and audience. Our team strives to keep pushing the envelope.”

International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami Receives Prestigious International Award
June 23, 2009, 4:17 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

One of the highlights of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s summer season, the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami was chosen to receive the Atahualpa del Cioppo Award bestowed by the prestigious Ibero-American Theatre Festival (FIT) in Cadiz, Spain. The award was established as a tribute to del Cioppo, one of the most revered figures in Latin American theater of the last century, to honor those persons or institutions that have distinguished themselves by their extraordinary accomplishments and championing of the values of Ibero-American theater. The mayor of Cadiz and chair of the Cadiz FIT’s Board of Trustees, Teófila Martínez, will present the award to Mario Ernesto Sanchez, an Adrienne Arsht Center Board member and the director of the International Hispanic Theatre Festival.

“This generous distinction belongs to all of us at the Festival,” said Mario Ernesto. “I will accept it on behalf of our sponsors, staff, casts, academics and Miami audience. We are honored and moved to receive this recognition of our work of almost 25 years.”

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Cadiz Mayor Teófila Martínez, fellow honoree Fanny Mickey & Mario Ernesto Sanchez

Mario Ernesto continued, “We value and are tremendously grateful for this honor because it is about the theater, our most valued treasure. In addition to entertaining, good theater educates, moves, uncovers, humanizes, unites, confronts, and nourishes the soul. Our thanks to all the members of the Festival’s Board of Trustees and Advisory Council.”

Now in its 24th year, the International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami has also been honored with the Granada Provincial Council’s Federico García Lorca Award, CELCIT-Spain’s Ollantay and the La Paz International Theatre Festival’s Kusillo for its contribution to the development of Hispanic theater in America.

The XXIV International Hispanic Theatre Festival of Miami, presented by Teatro Avante and the Adrienne Arsht Center, will be at the Carnival Studio Theater July 8 – 26. Select performances have surtitles translated into English.

South Florida Business Leader honors Board Chair J. Ricky Arriola as “Power Player”
June 23, 2009, 4:09 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

The Adrienne Arsht Center is proud to announce that its very own J. Ricky Arriola was named a 2009 “Power Player” by South Florida Business Leader Magazine. Each year, the publication selects key business leaders who are making a difference in the South Florida community. Taking a leap into the heart of the Adrienne Arsht Center scene in September of 2007, Arriola progressed from serving as a member of the Performing Arts Trust Board of Directors to the Board’s Chair, hoping to further apply his talents to help the Center reach the potential he never doubted it had. Part of the Adrienne Arsht Center family since 2004, the young businessman offered hope and direction to the budding Center and has been an instrumental force in its dramatic turnaround. Under his leadership, the Center has raised millions in private donations, increased average attendance by 25%, and reversed a $2.5 million annual deficit into an operating surplus of $800,000.

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Arriola is President and CEO of Inktel Direct Corp., a national multi-million dollar direct marketing services firm. Whether this Harvard graduate is leading one of South Florida’s top businesses, leading the board of a performing arts centers, volunteering his time at various local charitable organizations or running marathons, Arriola approaches each challenge he takes on with a rare level of focus and intensity.

Q: What interested you in becoming such an active member at the Adrienne Arsht Center in 2004?

RA: What drew me to become an active member was my passion for the performing arts and Miami. I was excited about the potential the Adrienne Arsht Center could have on the community while providing quality performances.

Q: What has inspired you to stay so dedicated to the center despite challenges?

RA: I really don’t see them as challenges – it’s part of the process. That being said, I’m inspired by my belief in the mission of the Adrienne Arsht Center. If that weren’t enough, the dedicated and wonderful staff of the Center inspires me.

Q: In what instrumental ways does the Board of Directors act as an agent for success at the center?

RA: The Board of Directors provides governance and a sounding board to the executive team at the Center. They also act as ambassadors for the work of the organization. We should be a resource to catapult the Adrienne Arsht Center to become one of the leading performing arts centers in the world.

Q: In your opinion, what is the key to maintaining and cultivating a strong Board of Directors?

RA: The key is bringing on talented people who are committed to the mission of the Center.

Q: What do you believe are the most crucial goals for the Adrienne Arsht Center as a major contributor to the community?

• Presenting the highest quality performances possible
• Having a significant educational component to our mission
• Presenting programming reflective of the diversity of our community
• Remaining fiscally responsible
• Providing a great customer experience in everything we do

Q: As a Henry Crown Fellow recognized for extraordinary professionalism, what advice would you give to aspiring leaders?

RA: I would say set the bar high for yourself and work relentlessly in pursuit of your goals. Be sure to surround yourself with the highest caliber of people you can find. Have an unquenchable thirst for learning. Above all, you must have integrity and passion!

Rapper Lil Wayne attends Fuerza Bruta
June 16, 2009, 9:42 pm
Filed under: Fuerza Bruta

If you came to the Saturday, June 13 evening performance of Fuerza Bruta, you might have rubbed elbows with GRAMMY® Award-winning recording artist Lil Wayne. The star rapper made a surprise appearance at the Magic City’s interactive summer show taking place at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Upon arrival, Lil Wayne waited in his limo as a friend went inside the Ziff Ballet Opera House loading dock, which has been transformed into an industrially and futuristically-styled entrance to Fuerza Bruta.  His companion purchased four tickets and the group snuck in right at curtain, easily blending into the crowd of Fuerza Bruta showgoers.


A celebrity sighting is nothing new for Fuerza Bruta.  The New York engagement has frequent A-list fan visits including Leonardo DiCaprio, Jude Law, Justin Timberlake, Madonna, Jessica Alba, Cameron Diaz, Sting, Britney Spears, Harrison Ford, Tyra Banks, Robert DeNiro, Catherine Zeta Jones, Sandra Bullock, Adrian Grenier, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore, and Drew Barrymore!

Fuerza Bruta has audiences all a-Twitter!
June 16, 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: Fuerza Bruta

Since Fuerza Bruta opened last week, the online community is all a-Twitter with instant reviews of the one-of-a-kind production! Twitter is one of the many vehicles the Adrienne Arsht Center uses to get the pulse of the public and a reality check on how the shows are doing, or as this Center reporter says … “Tweets are the reviews of the streets!” So far, the temperature for Fuerza Bruta is pretty high, indicating this is one hot show not to be missed.


Here are some of the Fuerza Bruta opening night tweets…

GinoCampodonico – Fuerza bruta was out of control!!! Never been to a show like that. Loooooved it! Prepare to get wet 😉

SkyIsOpen – Fuerza Bruta…simply speechless. Breath taking.

Whodany – Fuerza Bruta was the most amazing piece of performing art, we have ever seen – best of all, you feel like at a club 😉

cali2425 – Fuerza Bruta was amazing. It is so simple, yet different than anything else I’ve seen. Kind of performance art…

sweatrecords – Btw, Fuerza Bruta was indescribably amazing … it beats Cirque Du Soleil by a squillion. It’s on for 4 more weeks -GO!

yellitddot – Just watched Fuerza Bruta in Miami – killer show!

hugobr2009 – I just saw the show Fuerza Bruta and I must say it’s one of the best shows I’ve ever been to. An experience is like no other…

miamiherald – Something very cool to see this weekend: Fuerza Bruta – performance art that will blow your senses away

Since this is a young and energetic production, the majority of the audience is twitter-savvy, which gives the Adrienne Arsht Center the opportunity to play heavily in cyber-space. While a good review in The Miami Herald lends a show credibility and even longevity, several hundred good tweets jump start the word-of-mouth hype akin to a recommendation from your best friend.

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