On Saturday, March 6, 2010, six of the country’s top performing arts leaders participated in a community panel discussion during the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Miami Made Weekend, a full weekend dedicated to the development of new, original works by South Florida artists. The panelists were brought to the Adrienne Arsht Center to give the national and international perspectives to artists and arts administrators involved in the creation new works in Miami. Panelists included Charles Reinhart from the American Dance Festival Studio; Baraka Sele, Assistant VP of Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; Clyde Valentin, Executive Director of The Hip Hop Theater Festival; Stephanie Hughley, Founding VP of Programming at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center; and Jason Palmquist, Executive Director at Hubbard Street Dance Chicago.
In keeping with the theme of the weekend and the flavor of Miami, the panelists discussed the importance of presenting quality international performances, and how Miami can lead the charge in doing so. Baraka Sele stated “we have to transform our cultural landscape and our cultural psyche” so that international audiences embrace new works from their native countries. She says that presenters must be prepared to travel in search of new work. By presenting a wide range of quality work from various countries, a new, local culture will be created that enjoys and supports that which is new and engaging.
Valentin, Hughley, Sele and Reinhard all touted the importance of funding “a diverse aesthetic and new work,” and all of their institutions have proven, successful track records in doing so. They state that although audiences may not be used to experiencing new work at first, with perseverance, audiences will respond.
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