Filed under: Education
South Florida actors and singers headed for the The Peacock Foundation Education Center at the Adrienne Arsht Center the week of February 16th to audition for the Learning Through the Arts’s Rock Odyssey, a new rock musical retelling of Homer’s epic The Odyssey. Close to 100 people brought their sheet music and smiling faces to sing a few bars for the audition panel, hopeful they would receive an invitation to come back to read for specific parts in the new production, including the roles of Odysseus, his wife Penelope, and various gods and warriors. A total of 18 men and 16 women were called back to try out for the cast of 10. Final casting will be announced shortly and rehearsals begin in March.
In partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Learning Through the Arts program will bring every child in the public school system to see three live performing arts events over the course of their public school education. Beginning this year with 5th graders, 25,000 students will come to the Center throughout two weeks in April—at no cost to the students or their school –to experience the fully staged Rock Odyssey. This high-quality, age-appropriate professional production is supplemented by curriculum materials and lesson plans provided for teachers to use pre- and post-show in the classroom.
“Rock Odyssey represents the heart and soul of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s institutional mission by engaging our community through the performing arts,” said John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “This unique program will give our community’s youth, many of whom have never set foot in the Center, an opportunity to experience the power of the performing arts first-hand. As we prepare to embark on our 5th year serving South Florida, we look forward to expanding our community outreach and educational programs through increased private sector support.”
Adrienne Arsht Center’s arts education programs are made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council.
Filed under: Miami Light Projects
The Adrienne Arsht Center’s Miami Made Weekend, March 5 – 7, promises three thrilling days packed with exciting mainstage performances and free, behind-the-scenes events, all spotlighting artists working and living in South Florida. The weekend’s flagship showcase, Here & Now, co-produced with Miami Light Project, features three world premieres by local Miami artists commissioned jointly by the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami Light Project to create new work especially for the festival. Free, ticketed events include Incubator: works-in-progress; Outloud: play reading; and Talking Here & Now: panel discussions with leaders in the performing arts arena.
Check out the sneak preview of the commissioned artists creating new work for Here & Now: 2010.
Filed under: Education
Thirty students from 11 Miami Dade County Public High Schools were the stars of the show on Friday February 12th in the Carnival Studio Theater. Playing many jazz standards including “When I Fall in Love” and “It Don’t Mean A Thing If It Ain’t Got That Swing,” the Jazz Roots Student All Stars played to a near-capacity crowd in a special concert that was the culmination of a week-long arts-education residency with jazz great Ed Calle.
With only 11 hours of rehearsal and lots of practice at home, the young people pulled out all the stops and played 12 songs for an enthusiastic crowd of friends, family and members of the community. Under the expert direction of Mr. Calle, the solo and ensemble performances earned a standing ovation at the conclusion of the concert.
The Jazz Roots All Stars, which required an audition to win a seat in the band, is a performance component of the jazz programs in the county schools and the Jazz Roots education initiative, which also includes behind-the scenes look at a pre-concert sound-check and free tickets to the concert that follows, plus discussions with acclaimed musicians, and individual and ensemble coaching by jazz professionals.
Filed under: Artist Talks
The reviews are in! Platanos & Collard Greens is a huge hit with Miami! With its soulful and laugh-out-loud way of addressing the meaningful and sometimes controversial issue of inter-cultural romance, the show has struck a chord with our community. More than 80 guests stayed after the show on Thursday, February 18, to participate in a community discussion entitled “Love Conquers All ” which focused in interracial relationships.
Questions and eager comments for our wonderful panel guests were plentiful. The discussion was moderated by the one-and-only Supa Cindy from 99 Jamz. She was a lively and entertaining moderator and was able to dig into the topic since her mother is Dominican and her father is Haitian. We also had Dr. Dionne Stephens, Assistant Professor of Psychology & African Diaspora Studies at FIU, Susan Abascal from Miami Urban Life and two cast members, Sandi Luna who plays Semana, the role of the Dominican mother, and Phillip Smith, who plays Freeman, the male lead.
Filed under: At the Center
Valentine’s Day was sweet for Livan Echevarria. Echevarria, a Miami hairstylist, won a new 2010 Volkswagen EOS in a random drawing on Feb. 14th that supported the Adrienne Arsht Center and its resident companies.
With romance and Rachmaninoff in the air, Echevarria’s name was plucked from 520 others during intermission of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s richly dramatic performance with music director Leonard Slatkin. Esserman International owner Ron Esserman announced the winning ticket from the First Tier balcony in the Knight Concert Hall lobby.
The award-winning hardtop convertible – on display for the past few months in the Adams Foundation Lobby at the Center’s Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House – was generously donated by Esserman International as part of Arts Odyssey, an unprecedented fundraising collaboration between the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami City Ballet, Florida Grand Opera and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. Chances for the car were sold for $100 each. Proceeds from the random drawing will be shared by the four Miami arts organizations.
Joining the exciting scene on the balcony, Adrienne Arsht Center CEO John Richard thanked Mr. Esserman for his outstanding support of the Center and the arts in Miami. Esserman is one of the Center’s founding donors.
The VW EOS coupe is aptly named after the goddess of wind and dawn, but it was music to the ears of this lucky winner.
Filed under: Artist Talks
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, along with Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa, visited Miami on February 1, 2010, in his latest stop on the “Art Works” tour across America. Chairman Landesman was in Miami to learn the role of architecture and design in creating sustaining liveable communities, and over the course of his day, he was joined by arts advocates and patrons.
The day’s events included a visit to the award-winning Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH); a tour of the Design District and Wynwood Arts and Design District; a visit to the Little Haiti Cultural Center; and a stop at the Bass Museum.
A roundtable discussion was held on the subject of “Greater Miami – A New Cultural Capital Shaped by Design, Architecture and Arts Pioneers.” The roundtable was hosted by The Wolfsonian – FIU, along with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. The panel was moderated by Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s Miami Program Director, and in addition to Mr. Landesman, included: President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities member and Adrienne Arsht Center Chairman J. Ricky Arriola; artist Edouard Duval Carrié; real estate developer and arts activist Tony Goldman; Adolfo Henriques, businessman and current chair of the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council; Cathy Leff, Director of the Wolfsonian; and Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.
Topics included the ways in which the Adrienne Arsht Center has played a central role in enhancing the urban revitalization of the downtown entertainment corridor, and what Miamians need to do to continue the incredible growth in the arts.
Chairman Landesman’s noted three areas of critical importance:
- A strong public and private partnership of investing in the arts;
- Making the case for the arts in our lives; and
- Understanding that “art works” as part of the real economy.
“Art works” is part of the Chairman’s message – that art jobs are real jobs that are part of the real economy. With 5.7 million arts-related jobs in the United States, the arts is an economic driver, something Miamians and the city’s cultural leaders have come to understand. As Chairman Landesman suggested, if you bring art into a place, it changes the economy of that place.
Filed under: Out in the Community
Throughout the holiday season just passed, several Adrienne Arsht Center patrons held lunches at Prelude by Barton G. and Barton G. Weiss, himself, held a private dinner for The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation. Launched in 2009, The Foundation was founded to assist in the health and continuing education of hearing-challenged children and their families, with an emphasis on the viability of cochlear implants, and vital therapy as an option for deaf children to become part of the hearing world. The Prelude event included the introduction of Kilian Hennessy’s fragrance line, with a percentage of Kilian sales donated to The Barton G. Kids Hear Now Foundation.
More recently, Prelude by Barton G and Barton G. Restaurant on Miami Beach donated 5 percent of all receipts for an entire week to the Red Cross to help the victims of the earthquake in Haiti.