Point of View


The Adrienne Arsht Center recently hosted a Launch Event on February 19th for more than 100 Miami-Dade drama and journalism high school students to discuss the theatrical sci-fi thriller, The Sparrow, which runs in the Carnival Studio Theater April 7 – May 1. Sparrow creator Nathan Allen flew in especially for the event and spoke to students about his inspiration for the story, and gave them a few hints regarding the show’s surprise ending.

The drama students were invited to learn about “The Ghost Class.” Participants will work on various promotional projects—social media posts, viral videos, event promotions and more—in order to earn points towards prizes such as signed show posters, invitations to cast parties, and the Grand Prize—a walk-on role at one of the performances of the show! Points are tallied through March 31 and the winner will be announced on April 1.

Meanwhile journalism students were treated to a tutorial by Miami Herald theater critic Christine Dolen to kick-off the Adrienne Arsht Center’s “Student Reviewer Program.”
Student reviewers will report on The Sparrow following a Student Press Performance on Friday, April 8, and will then submit the reviews in order to win a chance to be published in the Miami Herald, Adrienne Arsht Center-affiliated publications, and on The Sparrow website.

December 10, 2010, 4:59 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

Spontaneity is the quality of being able to do something just because you feel like it at any given moment, of trusting your instincts, of taking yourself –and others—by surprise and snatching from the clutches of your well-organized routine, a bit of unscheduled pleasure. That’s what Random Acts of Culture (RACs) is all about.

The Knight Foundation is bringing short, spontaneous bursts of classical music, theater, dance and opera to the streets in eight communities: Akron, Ohio; Charlotte, N.C.; Detroit, Mich.; Macon, Ga.; Miami, Fla.; Philadelphia, Pa.; San Jose, Calif. and St. Paul, Minn. Thanks to this new initiative, you might just experience a bit of culture where you less expected it—think Mozart at the mall and La Traviata in the market. More than 1,000 RACs have been planned for the next three years.

The Knight Foundation’s arts program invests in projects that enrich and engage communities. “Not everyone can make it to see the opera, or the ballet. But when you get a taste of it – even for just a few minutes – you feel the magic that the classical arts bring to our lives,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.

Many supporting the program believe that arts are the highest form of human expression. They describe beauty, speak to our soul, engage and enrage. They celebrate our community’s diversity and etch our shared experience. The arts inspire. These  Random Acts of Culture are already happening in public places like airports, malls, and business meetings. They have already generated more than 500,000 views on KnightArts.org and three million YouTube hits.

 In November, Random Acts of Culture hit Aventura Mall as the Frost School of Music from University of Miami performed six spontaneous jazz moments on a busy Saturday afternoon.  Pleasantly surprised audiences talked about how these acts were very touching and appealing—and a welcome respite from everyday routine. “I felt all these random people in the mall come together as one to share this wonderful experience,” said one beaming shopper.

Also in November, mingling in plain clothes throughout the crowds, more than 650 Philadelphia singers burst into a performance of Handel’s “Hallelujah” Chorus from Messiah at a downtown Macy’s. Mouths dropped. Shoppers pointed, laughed and smiled – joining a growing group of people witnessing “Random Acts of Culture” in eight cities across the United States.

By providing much-needed resources for these Random Acts of Culture, Knight Foundation extends the reach of the classical arts beyond our theaters and allows new audiences to experience the joy of performances in a most visceral and unforgettable way.

To watch some of the videos of the performances go to www.RandomActsofCulture.org

October 12, 2010, 6:20 pm
Filed under: About the Center, Out in the Community

What has 7,000 people, 150 local arts and community service organizations, 8 bands, and 20 epicurean selections — on wheels?  The FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL!  An astounding 7,000 Miamians – from toddlers to seniors – took over the Adrienne Arsht Center campus for an afternoon of free performances on Sunday, September 12.  They interacted with exhibits from more than 150 local arts and service organizations, children’s activities, gourmet food truck treats, and unlimited opportunities to engage and volunteer with local non-profits.  FALL FOR THE ARTS FESTIVAL was an unprecedented collaborative effort to showcase the coming arts season, and celebrate the vibrant and diverse culture and community of Miami. 

During the course of the day, the Adrienne Arsht Center and participating organizations gave out more than 40,000 flyers and brochures and more than 150 arts and community service organizations connected with thousands of potential patrons.

CBS 4 anchors Lissette Gonzalez, Marybel Rodriguez, and Jawan Strader served as special guest MCs, and kept the vibe cool even on the sultry Miami afternoon. The free main stage performances by Grammy Award-winning urban Latino fusion band Ozomatli and New Orleans kings of funk Rebirth Brass Band had audiences on their feet dancing and cheering. 

Families filled the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for performances on the family stage, face-painting, and craft-making throughout the festival.  On the family stage, Peru Expresion, Fushu Daiko, and the thrilling break-dance crew Flip Side Kings delighted and inspired audiences of all ages.  Inside the Carnival Studio Theater in the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the Center offered free acting and break-dancing workshops.  Nearly 1,000 Miami kids attended, and learned to “pop and lock” with mom and dad watching – and sometimes even joining in the fun!

The Adrienne Arsht Center also offered free workshops and seminars throughout the day, with nearly 200 Miami community members in attendance.  The Center also called on their volunteer to ensure smooth operations throughout the festival, contributing more than 600 combined hours of service in just one day!

“The Adrienne Arsht Center was absolutely delighted to partner with The Miami Herald, El Nuevo Herald, the Knight Foundation, and our many media sponsors on this grand-scale festival, transforming our campus into a ‘town square’ for arts, culture, and meaningful community building,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center.  “We feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to collaborate with the community in an impactful way, providing an opportunity for arts organizations to engage with the community, build new audiences, and hopefully to inspire Miami’s next generation of arts lovers.”

Link to UVU video http://ka.uvuvideo.org/_Fall-For-The-Arts-Festival-2010/video/1329944/86294.html

August 25, 2010, 8:33 pm
Filed under: At the Center, Out in the Community

In preparation for the fourth season of Free Gospel Sundays, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County recently held auditions for The Miami Mass Choir, which will become the resident choir for the 2010-2011 Free Gospel Sundays.  The open auditions were held on August 7, 2010, in the Peacock Foundation Studio.

The Miami Mass Choir, under the direction of Pastor Mark Cooper, is 50 voices strong and brings together the best gospel voices of South Florida, from Lauderhill to Florida City.  Pastor Cooper is no stranger to the gospel choir medium, as he has been an active director, producer, songwriter and gospel musician for more than 20 years.  Cooper originally founded The Miami Mass Choir in 1995 and led the Stellar Award-winning ensemble until the group dissolved in 2004.  As Cooper reassembles his choir this year, he hopes to bring together the greatest talent South Florida has to offer.  The newly formed choir will make its debut at the Free Gospel Sundays first performance on October 17, 2010 at 4:00 pm in the Knight Concert Hall along special guest star Shirley Caesar and the 93rd Street Community Baptist Church choir.

April 26, 2010, 2:43 am
Filed under: Out in the Community

Hot off the heels of being nominated for several Carbonell awards, the cast of BroadSword came out this past Saturday to kickoff the 13th Annual BeerFest event and announce the BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition.   The Adrienne Arsht Center street team greeted fans from its very own BeerFest’s BroadSword Booth.  Thousands of South Floridians attended the event to hear great live bands and sample more than 120 beers from around the world.

In a special promotion to support BroadSword, the heavy metal play soon to open in its Carnival Studio Theater, the Adrienne Arsht Center and the Miami New Times have partnered with area clubs to hold air guitar competitions through May 1st. Will the Center find that special person who embodies the spirit of BroadSword and has the skills to represent the United States in the World Air Guitar Competition in Oulu, Finland, this summer?

In the upcoming weeks, look out for mini pre-qualifying competitions in some of the area’s hottest rock clubs leading up to the BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition on May 1st. The winner of that event will be flown to the next U.S. Regional Competition in Las Vegas on May 28th to compete against others from around the country for their shot at the title, cash and prizes.

Anyone can enter the competition but only one will win.  Interested air guitarists can compete in any of the five pre-qualifying South Florida events before the official competition on May 1st at Brew @ the Zoo:

  • Pre-Qualifier:   America’s Backyard (Ft. Lauderdale) – Saturday, April 24
  • Pre-Qualifier:   Hard Rock Café (Bayside, Miami) – Wednesday, April 28
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Churchill’s  (Miami) – Friday, April 30
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Vagabond (Downtown Miami) – Friday, April 30
  • Pre-Qualifier:  Tobacco Road (Brickell) – Friday, April 30
  • BroadSword Official US Air Guitar South Florida Competition: Brew @ the Zoo (Miami Zoo) – Saturday, May 1st

Adrienne Arsht Center Street Team at Miami Beach Gay Pride
April 21, 2010, 7:56 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

The Adrienne Arsht Center Street Team was out in full force on Saturday at the Miami Beach Gay Pride and Expo along South Beach’s Ocean Drive. For the second year in a row, the enthusiastic street team of great volunteers and dedicated staff donated their time to help support the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.  More than 30,000 people attended the Pride festivities this year – almost 10,000 more than last year.  The street team greeted fans and got the word out on the upcoming show Spring Awakening and the 2010/2011 Broadway in Miami Season.

April 8, 2010, 9:17 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

On March 24 the Ziff Ballet Opera House was lit up by bright, young artists from New World School of the Arts in their annual “Rising Stars” student concert.  The quality of programming and performances was a true testament to the high level of training and leadership at New World School. 

Created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence for the arts and opening in 1987, New World School of the Arts (NWSA) is a school and college conservatory with programs in visual arts, dance, theater, musical theatre, instrumental music, and vocal music.  In addition to its close proximity to the Adrienne Arsht Center, NWSA’s commitment to the highest quality performing arts aligns both organizations resulting in a fruitful partnership that started when the Center opened in 2006.  Beginning with NWSA’s participation in KidsFest in the Center’s Inaugural Season, young people from the school have been on the stages and in the rehearsal halls from the day the Center’s doors opened.  Past performance highlights include orchestral and vocal accompaniment for last November’s Lincoln Bicentennial event where studetns performed a segment of Aaron Copland’s Lincoln Portrait, with narration by Alonzo Mourning.

In addition to performances, students from NWSA have participated in numerous master classes with world class artists who perform at the Adrienne Arsht Center and have attended the Jazz Roots educational programs and concerts.  Students are also active in the summer programming at the Center in the role of Group Leaders for AileyCamp Miami, a summer camp for middle school students.  The opportunities for learning through their participation in Adrienne Arsht Center events enhances both the artistic and academic growth of these up-and-coming artists.

March 9, 2010, 4:45 pm
Filed under: Out in the Community

Do arts partnerships and collaborations really work? The Adrienne Arsht Center answers this question with a resounding “YES!” The Adrienne Arsht Center depends greatly on partnerships with businesses, artists, foundations, and government agencies in order to build participation and to reach new audiences. 

The Adrienne Arsht Center could not fulfill its commitment to education without its invaluable partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. This partnership creates opportunities for music, dance and theater master classes, workshops and residencies for students and faculty with local and visiting artists. These activities take place at the Center and in individual schools around the county and feature special daytime performances at the Center such as Rock Odyssey, especially tailored for school audiences. In the case of Rock Odyssey, every fifth grader in Miami-Dade County Public Schools will experience a professionally staged show at the Center at no cost to either the student or his or her school. 

Adrienne Arsht Center has also teamed up with VSA arts of Florida, a not-for-profit organization, whose mission is to create a society where people with disabilities can learn through, participate in and enjoy the arts by providing performing arts experiences for students. The program includes training for performing arts facilitators to support their efforts in making the performing arts accessible to populations with special needs. 

The Center’s wildly successful Free Gospel Sundays series has also been fostered on a very strong partnership with AM 1490 WMBM, a media pillar in the community that has served South Florida with gospel music for over a decade. WMBM, is one of the first black-owned and operated stations in South Florida, with a coverage map of over 1,500,000 homes and businesses. This year marks the third year of the Free Gospel Sunday’s partnership and WMBM’s 15th anniversary. 

From the Boys & Girls Club and Miami Children’s Chorus to American Airlines and Bayfront Park Management Trust, the Adrienne Arsht Center values collaboration among diverse institutions and thanks them for their help in carrying out the Center’s mission.

February 18, 2010, 4:41 pm
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.

Wintery weather didn’t dampen the spirit of Family Fest
January 12, 2010, 7:42 pm
Filed under: Family Fun, Out in the Community

Plunging temperatures and ice cold rain could not keep families away from the Adrienne Arsht Center’s January 9th Family Fest performances and activities.  The free family fun was moved inside from its usual home in the Thomson Plaza for the Arts to the Ziff Ballet Opera House.  In the Carnival Studio Theater, Family Fest performances included Broadway hits performed by students from the New World School of the Arts high school performing troupe, “The 2010 Connection.”  Families were also treated to “Flutesweet and Tickletoon”, a musical duo that present the story of Green Golly, a spin on the fairytale favorite, Rapunzel,  that featured kid-friendly renditions of classical music.  The performance fun shifted to a family dance party with DJ Sama, who played party favorites that got everyone up on their feet dancing.  From the Hokey Pokey to the YMCA to the Cha Cha Slide, the entire room was movin’ and groovin’!  Other activities included a live animal petting zoo set up by MetroZoo and make-and-take craft crowns that were decorated with sequins and jewels.

The Family Fest day concluded with a special performance of Cinderella presented by the Miami City Ballet School in the Ziff Ballet Opera House.  Over 2100 people filled the theater to watch the timeless tale of Cinderella told through music and dance in this performance that was designed especially for young people to enjoy.    

The next Family Fest is March 6th and will feature free outdoor performances and activities beginning at 11:30 am followed by a free percussive dance performance by “Step Afrika!” in the Knight Concert Hall.

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