Point of View

Adrienne Arsht Center Opens Doors to Miami’s Up-and-Coming Leaders
July 21, 2009, 7:16 pm
Filed under: At the Center

The Miami Beach Chamber’s Emerging Leadership Committee (ELC) hosted its 3rd Annual Champions of Business Luncheon in the Peacock Foundation Inc. Studio on Thursday, July 9.

Guests were invited to arrive early for a behind-the-scenes tour and then more than 100 guests from a variety of business backgrounds networked and enjoyed a delicious lunch catered by Barton G Performing Arts Catering, while they listened to three featured Miami business leaders share insight and personal stories about how they became successful in their respective field.

ELC Luncheon 7-9-09 176

This year’s panelists included Peggy Hollander of The Succession Group, Barton G. Weiss of Barton G. and Jill Hertzberg of The Jills Real Estate Company. The luncheon was moderated by Jason Beukema of Whet Travel and Vanessa Hauc of Telemundo. After the panel discussion, there was a short Q & A between panelists and guests, followed by a fun door prize drawing and then more networking long after the luncheon ended.

ELC Luncheon 7-9-09 170

“I am so excited to have the Adrienne Arsht Center as our venue for the third annual Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce’s Champions of Business Luncheon. The Adrienne Arsht Center is not only a valued member of the Miami Beach Chamber but also the cornerstone of the arts and cultural community here in South Florida. As a frequent visitor and a long-standing volunteer of the Center, I feel great pride in bringing our event to this venue and for being able to show first-time visitors this world-class performing arts center,” said Jason Hagopian, chair of ELC.

Choreographer Leaps Straightaway to the Major-Leagues Following Performance at Adrienne Arsht Center
July 21, 2009, 6:59 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition, Miami Light Projects

By the hand of outrageous talent, an important fan, and a phone call, Rosie Herrera is hitting the big time. Young and imaginative, the Hialeah choreographer was invited to bring her show from the Here and Now Festival in the Carnival Studio Theater, co-presented by Miami Light Project and the Adrienne Arsht Center, to the prestigious American Dance Festival. Here & Now annually presents Miami’s most innovative, mind-blowing works, and marks the debuts of many promising, local talents . The 2009 Festival stood as a continuation of Miami Light Project’s commissioning and performing partnership with the Adrienne Arsht Center.

Scene from Various Stages of Drowning; Photo by TeaJay

Scene from Various Stages of Drowning; Photo by TeaJay

An accomplished graduate of New World School of the Arts, Herrera was swooped up in a whirl of exciting career jumps when her first chance to draw up a comprehensive dance theater piece arose. The performance that resulted at the Here and Now Festival was a combination of extraordinary creativity and vision. Titled Various Stages of Drowning: A Cabaret, the composition is a recreation of dream states that uses dance, theater, opera, cabaret, and surrealism, appropriating water as a metaphor for the unconscious. The cast included surprising characters- drag queens, bakers, and a 4-year old—and went beyond the comfort level of the traditional theatergoer. The ending of the show was even complemented by a special short film by Maker&theMade.

The world premiere caught the eye of Charles Reinhardt, director of the American Dance Festival: the biggest, most acclaimed and selective showcase of modern dance in the country. A short two weeks after her premiere, Herrera got a call inviting her to the Festival from Reinhardt himself. Now, Herrera faces the challenge of training some of the best young modern dancers from Taiwan, Hong Kong, South Korea, Japan, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Russia, and America to perfect something very different than anything they’ve ever seen.

AileyCampers Hit it Off on Day One
July 21, 2009, 6:48 pm
Filed under: Education, Out in the Community

The much-awaited AileyCamp Miami finally began with a kick on Monday, July 13th. With 82 kids running around the Adrienne Arsht Center, camp staff and volunteers alike came together to set in motion the first of many fun-packed days of dance day-camp. A program founded by the Alvin Ailey Dance Foundation and presented in partnership with the Adrienne Arsht Center, AileyCamp Miami introduces selected participants to a variety of dance forms in addition to basic life skills, constructive communication, and creative thinking, entirely free of charge.



Day one began with an orientation in the Center’s Peacock Studio, which included a warm welcome by camp staff and instructors. A tour of the facilities and a review of camp policies and procedures rounded out the morning. After lunch, AileyCampers were sent to collect their camp uniforms and bags and from there participated in demonstration classes in West African and Modern dance, two of the dance forms they will study over the course of the 4-week camp. Impressed by the monumental size and architecture of the Center, campers ooh-ed and aah-ed at their new summer play place. Many of the kids are inexperienced as dancers, but judging from their eagerness and energy, it can confidently be said that their wrap-up performance on August 8th will be quite a show.


By the end of the first week, campers were seen chassé-ing through the corridors of the Adrienne Arsht Center on their way to lunch and twirling into the Carlin Banquet Hall for dance technique classes. AileyCamp Miami has added another fun and lively component to the Adrienne Arsht Center’s summer programming and has brought an overwhelmingly positive response from AileyCampers, their families, and the staff.

High School Art Student Adds Novelty Touches to Fuerza Bruta Experience
July 21, 2009, 6:44 pm
Filed under: Fuerza Bruta

Born-and-raised Miami kid James Quinaz is an early riser in the realm of established art. A student at Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), Quinaz’s art was selected to be featured in the Fuerza Bruta loading dock. Quinaz’s entire life has been influenced by art of all different mediums-from spray paint to film- but from an early age, he knew his biggest passion lay in the world of street art. His work in the loading dock, the entrance for the Fuerza Bruta production, headlines silhouetted figures, and plays on both bright and fading colors. Facial features in the works are powerful and dramatic and the highlight colors mirror and smooth out the image. Quinaz’s career in art is only beginning; after his classroom education is completed, he eagerly hopes to pursue his career in street art and become a professional artist and architect.

Fuerza Bruta Press Meet - June10,09 Photos by Mitchell Zachs (111)

Quinaz’s school, DASH, is a magnet school in the heart of the Design DistrictCurrently ranked as the 5th best public high school in the nation by US News & World Report, the school offers specialty programs in Architecture/Interior Design, Fashion Design, Industrial Design, Entertainment Technology, and Visual Communications/Web Design. The curriculum enforces a strong foundation in the fine arts, and students go beyond the classroom to pursue their specialties. With the assistance of the school, many students engage in internships with local design firms or enlist in dual-enrollment college-level design courses taught by professors from local colleges as well as by field professionals.

Success South Florida Magazine honors Valerie Riles as one of the 25 Most Distinguished Black Business Women in South Florida
July 21, 2009, 6:41 pm
Filed under: Awards and Recognition

South Florida’s premier magazine for black business professionals recently announced its 2009 picks for the 25 most distinguished and prominent black business women in South Florida. Among the 100 nominees selected for this honor was Adrienne Arsht Center’s own Valerie Riles, vice president for Board & Government Relations. Riles has been with the Adrienne Arsht Center since 2003, and as a member of the senior executive team is responsible for nurturing and maintaining the Center’s relationship with a number of governmental bodies – from the federal and state government to the Center’s most substantial partner – Miami-Dade County. She also manages the relationship with the Center’s Board of Directors, a volunteer group of 37 South Florida community leaders who have a broad portfolio of responsibilities, including fiduciary, governance, policy setting and advancement activities.

Valerie Riles and Dexter Bridgeman of Success South Florida Magazine

Valerie Riles and Dexter Bridgeman of Success South Florida Magazine

Valerie Riles came to the Adrienne Arsht Center from the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida, where she was Interim Executive Director and responsible for the day-to-day management of the research center and the Lyric Theater. Currently, she is a member of the National Black MBA Association and Howard University Alumni Association.

The final 25 honorees were hand-picked by an advisory committee composed of business leaders in the fields of banking, media, politics, medicine and community/non-profit leadership. Riles was honored at a reception in late June at the South Beach Marriott and recognized for her professional accomplishments and vigorous efforts to support her community.

“In receiving this honor, I am humbled to be recognized by my peers, especially when there are so many great women who work tirelessly to impact our community.” Riles said. “The real honor is being a part of an organization which engages its internal leadership in the decisions process, looks for diverse points of view, and appreciates the input it receives.”

As one of several staff members who have received an honor for their outstanding work and impact on the community, Riles and her achievements typify the Adrienne Arsht Center’s excellence in its field. She is an example of the Center’s commitment to engage leaders who apply a mission-centered focus and inclusive approach to making decisions and inspire and motivate others to act upon them.

Earlier this year, the Adrienne Arsht Center won the 2009 South Florida Business Journal award for Best Non Profit. The magazine applauded the Center for its outstanding business practices, entrepreneurial spirit, and commitment to inclusion.

Hybrid Artists Tell P.O.V. Just What Makes Them Stand Out
July 21, 2009, 6:39 pm
Filed under: Fuerza Bruta

With video installations in both the Fuerza Bruta lobby and the G-Lounge, Maker&theMaDe steals the show. A practitioner of ‘hybrid art’, Maker&theMaDe primarily aims to fuse different media and genres together to produce new-age art with a message. Through combined creative talents, visionaries Adam Reign and Osiris S. have created this progressive, contemporary establishment. Missionaries of truth, these two artists deliver reality and authenticity in the most visually appealing of ways.
Free of restrictive boundary, artists of Maker&theMaDe are innovative and creative to the core. This bedrock notion is what directly allowed for the creation of the enthralling video installations at Fuerza Bruta.

Q: What major influences have compelled Maker&theMaDe to take the shape it bears today?

M&M: The biggest influences are the two main artists, Adam Reign and Osiris S., and their individual backgrounds and upbringings.
Adam’s background is in photography and film making, and Osiris’s background is in fine art, design, & motion graphics.

Copy of 382-FuerzaBrutaOpeningNightJune11PhotosByMitchellZachs

Q: Would you say that the hybrid creations of Maker&theMaDe are revolutionary to the world of art?

M&M: Fundamentally speaking, yes; our work is about challenging the creation processes of photographic and design art, thus becoming part of a whole new wave of art. We are part of a new generation of emerging artists with fresh perspectives and inspirations, new ways of experiencing the world and universe around us. Never has there been a time or place that information is so freely given and available.
At the end of day, we just want to express ourselves and, in turn, create something anew through collaborative art and new technologies.
A wise man once said there is never a crowd on the leading edge.

Q: Is Hybrid Art a genre that aims to direct artists to a specified art form or does it act more as an outlet for new, avant-garde art genres?

M&M: It’s all about new avant-garde genres. It’s all about freeing one’s mind to really create work that doesn’t need to fit into a specific box. We feel it’s the wonderful manifestation of free minds across the globe.

Q: How did you get involved with the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts?

M&M: Our first experience with the Adrienne Arsht Center was via a close friend, dancer/choreographer Rosie Herrera and her 2009 “Here and Now” performance for Miami Light Project called Various Stages of Drowning: a Cabaret. For her show we made a short film that took place, for-the-most part, underwater. The shooting was awesome, the footage came out great, and the short film played as the end to her show. All in all, it was a fun experience that we feel has started a long collaboration with Rosie. After that show, we were reacquainted with Elizabeth Boone & Rebekah Lengel from Miami Light Project (Adam has known them since he was a 16-year-old bboy), from which, they recommended us to the Adrienne Arsht Center, as they were looking for good emerging artists that could produce original video content for an installation at Fuerza Bruta.

Q: What do you think of Fuerza Bruta as a parallel to your art? In other words, do you think the message of the two art forms can relate?

M&M: We were astonished when we first watched the clips from Fuerza Bruta!
It was striking and reassuring to feel the energy of the show and how similar we felt in terms of what we like our art to feel like and where our minds are heading.
From interviews we saw of the show’s creator Diqui James, he looks for truths: ever-lasting basic human connections that all humans throughout the history of time feel in some form or another. Our work at Maker&theMaDe aims to connect and promote similar human qualities through interesting and fun visual experiences.

For more information concerning Maker&theMaDe or hybrid art, check out http://makerandthemade.com or email hybrid@makerandthemade.com.

The Team Behind the Team: Interns shine at the Adrienne Arsht Center
July 7, 2009, 7:06 pm
Filed under: At the Center

Behind the big names, the stage productions or even a weekly meeting’s pie chart, there is oftentimes an intern who secretly prides himself for having taken part in something special at the Adrienne Arsht Center. Unlike many other internship programs, the Center does not limit their intern help to last-minute errands and busywork. Interns at the Arsht Center escort visiting press from all over the world as they tour the Center for the first time, greet visiting artists as they arrive backstage, and participate in brainstorming sessions with the programming team.

The program aims to stimulate participants in a real working environment and lend a hand in steering them in the right direction. Open and accessible, the program is affiliated with 15 schools and centers around the country, welcoming more than 25 high school and college students since the Center opened 3 years ago. Also on target for the opportunity are individuals looking for a career change, eager to test the waters.


Interns are active, carrying out important business and accountable for important assignments. For most participants, internships are exchange programs: they put in work and, in turn, receive credits or recommendations. “More than anything, the program is a learning experience. It’s like trying on a job to see if it fits,” explains Trish Brennan, Human Resources Vice President.

Brennan explains that because the experience acts as experimental work – a “trial run” of real life – internships usually “get hooked.” It is not uncommon that interns find their calling through this exposure, nor is it unusual for internships to turn into permanent, paid jobs. Tom Gordon’s career is one case where both these statements proved true. A graduate student at the University of Miami, Gordon was required to take up an internship and sought out an engagement where he would do more than push papers. After submitting an application to the Adrienne Arsht Center, Gordon began his internship in the Center’s programming department. Not sure of his direction, he was taught the ropes of programming and, as Brennan would say, “got hooked.” After 3 months, Gordon earned his well-deserved promotion and is now employed as a programming coordinator for the Center, regularly interacting with artists and managing special events taking place at the Center. “It was exactly the right starter,” said Gordon, looking back at the experience.

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