Point of View

March 29, 2010, 3:07 pm
Filed under: Artist Talks, At the Center

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.

Panelists for Miami Made Weekend. Photo by Gregory Reed.

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.

February 24, 2010, 4:43 pm
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.

February 24, 2010, 4:39 pm
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.

Beatle Mania: Behind the Sound of the Beatles
May 11, 2009, 9:59 pm
Filed under: Artist Talks

On Thursday, May 7, Miami’s music-loving community gathered in the Carnival Studio Theater at the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House to be in the presence of the recording engineer who was behind the magic of the Beatles revolutionary music. The Recording Academy (presenters of The GRAMMY® Awards) partnered with the Adrienne Arsht Center to present Here, There And Everywhere: My Life Recording The Music Of The Beatles — A Conversation With Geoff Emerick

Here, There and Everywhere

More than 200 Adrienne Arsht Center patrons representing local music professionals, anglophiles and Beatle maniacs were thrilled to hear story after story about the making of the music that is part of our collective global existence. A lesser-known Beatles fact that Mr. Emerick shared is that the Fab Four stopped doing live concert tours in 1966 choosing instead to focus on innovative recording techniques that “abused the standard equipment, but in a nice way.” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, one of the best selling albums of all time, was one of the fruits of this experimentation and gave life to mind-bending, life-changing singles like “Strawberry Fields Forever” and “A Day in the Life,” which was the final track. It was for the song “A Day in the Life” that Ringo Starr is credited with one of his few artistic decisions: Not having the budget to hire a 90-piece orchestra, they hired a 45 players and Emerick dubbed them over twice! And the immortal “Strawberry Fields” is actually two different recordings in two different tempos, cut and glued together to make one seamless version.

After a generous question-and-answer period, the crowd cheered and gave a standing ovation in honor of this recording studio legend.Adrienne Arsht Center patron Tony Sinatra enthusiastically stated, “This is a wonderful space and to use it as a forum to bring the Miami community together is a great idea!”

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