Point of View

May 10, 2011, 6:57 pm
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One of the hottest tickets in town this year was the Spring Fling hosted by the Center’s young patrons group, the Green Room Society. On April 30, 2011, an energetic event inspired by the theatrical sensation The Sparrow gave donors a flashback to adolescence at Small Town USA’s Spring Farm dance. Guests enjoyed BOMBAY SAPPHIRRE™ cocktails and Heineken while dancing the night away under shiny disco lights in a prom setting at in the Peacock Foundation Studio.

May 10, 2011, 6:56 pm
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As a nonprofit, mission-based organization, community involvement is at the heart of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s institutional character. You don’t have to look far to find Center staff members who are engaged with other organizations throughout South Florida.

Just recently, Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard has been elected to the board of directors for one of South Florida’s largest healthcare organizations: Miami Jewish Health Systems (MJHS). Founded as a nursing home in 1940, MJHS today stands as one of one of the most innovative, full-service healthcare providers in the southeast U.S., with a team of nearly 1,000 employees serving 3,700 people daily on the organization’s Miami campus and at facilities across South Florida.

“This is a move that aligns South Florida’s chief cultural arts institution with one of the region’s longest-standing healthcare providers,” said Mr. Richard. “I look forward to applying lessons I’ve learned at the Adrienne Arsht Center to my work with Miami Jewish Health Systems, and vice versa. Community participation has always been important to me, and I am hopeful that my involvement with MJHS will inspire other members of our team to get engaged in a cause that matters to them.”

Other examples of involvement among the Center’s senior leadership include Executive Vice President Scott Shiller’s role in South Florida’s arts community. Scott serves as Vice Chairman of both the Carbonell Awards and the Rosie Herrera Committee, and as a member of the Broadway League.

VP of Human Relations Trish Brennan is on the board of directors for ArtSouth, a nonprofit arts organization in Homestead, Florida. VP of Advancement Suzanna Valdez is involved with Miami Science Museum and the Community Partnership for the Homeless. VP of Marketing Andrew Goldberg serves on the Foundation Board for the New World School of the Arts and as a member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce Creative Industries Committee. Associate VP of Public Relations Suzette Espinosa Fuentes is involved with Arts for Learning and Public Relations Society of America.

May 10, 2011, 6:54 pm
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On Thursday, May 19, the MOCA Shakers, Miami Emerging Leaders Council, South Florida Young Adults and the Brickell Brats join the Adrienne Arsht Center to welcome the cast of Cirque Eloize iD! These and other community and social groups such as the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Birthright Israel, Miami Sports and Social Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters will enjoy the Cirque Eloize iD Kickoff Party on the Thomson Plaza for the Arts from 6:30pm to 8:30pm— the latest example of the Center’s beautiful outdoor plaza serving as Miami’s “town square.”

The Cirque Eloize iD Kickoff Party is a special free event previewing the Center’s summer theatrical spectacle that begins performances July 26. It will feature live graffiti art by artists from Primary Flight— Miami’s original open air museum and street level mural installation, responsible for mural art in the Wynwood Art District. Guests can get a temporary tattoo at the “tattoo shop,” snap a customized digital photo, and take a spin on the prize wheel for cool merchandise giveaways. All guests will have the opportunity to enter to win two free tickets for an upcoming Cirque Eloize iD show and a weekend “staycation” in Downtown Miami. The night
will end with a bang when the cast shows off with a
spectacular display of acrobatic stunts.

For more information about this event and Cirque Eloize iD, click here.

May 10, 2011, 6:52 pm
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Reflecting on the incredible season thus far of Family Fest activities and performances, the Adrienne Arsht Center Education and Outreach Manager Jairo Ontiveros can’t help but smile. So far more than 4,000 people have taken part in Family Fest fun this year—with a total of 23,673 kids and adults since the series began in 2008. The season concludes on Saturday, May 14 with “Creole for Kidz & The History of Zydeco,” a Big Easy-style party, spotlighting American Roots music from Louisiana and Mardis Gras-flavored fun for the whole family! The fun begins at 11:30 AM in the Thomson Plaza for the Arts and moves indoors to the Knight Concert Hall at 2 PM.

This season has been a diverse spectacle of music and dance. At the Milkshake concert in November, kids were so inspired by the Grammy nominated band that they rocked out in a mosh pit with the ‘electric’ guitars they had just crafted themselves. In January, the Knight Concert Hall was filled to capacity for a performance by Balé Folclórico da Bahia, whose capoeira, samba and carnival style moves and music captivated families. Youngsters then took a musical trip around the world with the global rhythms of the Miami Music Project in March.

These are just a few highlights from this year’s free Family Fest series, which always feature family-friendly out-of-doors activities and performances that provide engaging opportunities for parents to share arts activities with their children.

May 10, 2011, 6:48 pm
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I am very thrilled to be part of The Sparrow’s Ghost Class. I had so much fun promoting the play. I wore The Sparrow shirt in public, posted flyers around Miami, passed out flyers at the Carnival on the Mile, and posted about the play on Facebook and Twitter. I received some pretty cool things in return, like a signed Wicked poster and the invitation to the Broadway 2011–2012 Season Announcement Party.

I was very excited and overjoyed to find out that I won the walk-on role in The Sparrow. I always dreamed of what it would be like to perform onstage with real actors. It was like a dream come true. I was ecstatic to meet the cast. They were all so nice and they made me feel like I was really part of the show. Watching the cast rehearse and performing with them felt so awesome. During the show, I was really nervous and I got stage fright. I had butterflies in my stomach and I kept hoping that I wouldn’t mess up. But once I walked to the stage, I didn’t feel anxious anymore. I waited for my cue, which was “And here comes the tip,” and threw the ball. I was having so much fun. I am very happy to have had the opportunity to be part of The Sparrow. It has been such an amazing and wonderful experience.

May 10, 2011, 6:46 pm
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As a writer and an actor, this entire experience has truly been one of a kind for me. It’s rare that the students of South Florida are allowed the opportunity to live out a real-life experience like this; and I have had an amazing time participating in The Student Reviewer Program. My English teacher, Mr. Christian Losa, introduced the idea to me of joining this competition early in March, and assured me that it would be a valuable experience that I would not want to miss out on. Following the advice given to me, I came to the Student Press Event, and as I have gone through each portion of this program, I cannot be happier with the results of it all.

People see plays all the time. It’s hard not to catch on to the rich and diverse theatrical talent that we have here in South Florida. And when a group of people gather in a theater to watch these lives play out on the stage before them, every last person within that audience will have their own opinion; and it is my personal opinion that this goes especially for the youth of today, who bring bright and innovative new points-of-view on the cultural anomaly that is art. And I truly hope that the Student Reviewer Program inspires even more students all over Florida to get their words out there to the public. Especially on masterpieces, such as the visual grandeur that is The Sparrow. ‘Cause who knows? Maybe you just might end up on the Herald one day.

May 10, 2011, 6:42 pm
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On Saturday, April 16, the Adrienne Arsht Center celebrated at the annual Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade & Festival with a float inspired by the Tony-winning musical, HAIR, coming to the Ziff Ballet Opera House May 31 – June 5. One of our lucky staff got the chance to be a part of this fun and slightly kooky experience! Here he shares with us his experience.

On April 16, Miami Beach played host to the annual PRIDE event which saw thousands of people celebrating PEACE, LOVE, AND what else… FREEDOM! And what better show to capture this feeling of unity other than HAIR, which is itself a celebration of those values that the hippies held so close to their flowery wreathed hearts! Having the opportunity to be a part of the parade that preceded the day’s festivities was a thrilling and enjoyable experience. It’s not often that you get to be a part of something like this that brings so much positive energy to the city, and being there in the thick of it instilled a sense of belonging in my own flowery wreathed, hippie heart.

This year’s PRIDE event is one that will remain in my memories because I was not only there to enjoy the day but to take part in making it better for all those in attendance; the ones who waved at me, the ones who shot up a peace sign in my direction hoping to catch my eye, the ones who took the time to read my homemade sign and giggle at the text. Being up in that float and on display to the crowd was a rush to say the least. I couldn’t stop waving and smiling. But the fun didn’t end with the parade. Throughout the rest of the day and into the evening I can’t count the number of times I was stopped to pose for a picture or shoot back a peace sign to a smiling face in the crowd of PROUD men and women. Thank you to those who made it possible for me to be able to have this memory to look back on fondly.

April 27, 2011, 8:52 pm
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Intensely aware of the precarious position of many Haitian arts groups following the catastrophic 2010 earthquake, the Adrienne Arsht Center was determined to help the country in some meaningful way. That’s when John Yearwood, World Editor of The Miami Herald, brought Jeanguy Saintus, founder of Haiti’s celebrated Ayikodans, to the attention of Adrienne Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard. Soon afterwards, Richard and programming director Kathryn Garcia were on their way to Haiti to see firsthand both the process of rehearsal and recovery of Ayikodans, Haiti’s unofficial ambassador of dance.

The talent and resilience of Saintus and his troupe subsequently led to the Adrienne Arsht Center’s commission of a new work from the company set to premiere in Miami in Spring 2012. In addition, the Center committed to producing a fundraiser for the company, scheduled for May 21 & 22, 2011, in order to help the company through their immediate challenges. The Adrienne Arsht Center has convened an outstanding group of community leaders committed to helping Ayikodans develop long term tools for success so that they may continue to inspire pride in the strength, beauty and richness of Haitian culture.

Saintus and his troupe of dancers and percussionists have appeared in halls from Spain to Japan. The troupe’s high-energy performances have enabled the emergence of a new, contemporary Haitian aesthetic that, while rooted in tradition, reflects a modern Caribbean culture and creativity that would surprise many who associate Haiti only with disaster, poverty and helplessness. Indeed, although last year’s earthquake saw six of its drummers and ten dancers lose either family members or homes, the group’s artistic development has not faltered: “Saintus has developed a contemporary style which is both articulate and powerful, and should provide new insights into the language of contemporary dance for the 21st Century,” said Barbara Requa, a founder of the School of Dance at the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts in Jamaica.

Along with his professional dance company, Saintus runs a dance school and an ongoing training program called “Dance Barefoot” that offers free tuition (and often meals and housing) for talented young dancers. Some of the students and dancers are recruited from crowds of barefoot kids break-dancing and performing on the streets of Port-au-Prince. Saintus provides them with formal dance training in the studio-house he rents in the suburb of Pétion-Ville.

”As I always say, Haiti was there for me the day I decided to be a choreographer, a teacher, a mentor and an artist. Despite all the sufferings, misunderstandings and the confusions linked to this country, I do think that I need to give back to the community part of what has been given to me…There are many things to be done in this country. The positive part of it all, is seeing that some people are still fighting to move on with their lives despite the catastrophic situation we are all living in. Some of us want to go away while others are fighting for survival. My only wish is to be there for those who want to survive DANCING .” Jeanguy Saintus


April 27, 2011, 7:58 pm
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In the spectacular tradition of past summer blockbusters such as Fuerza Bruta and Slava Snowshow comes a new theatrical wonder to the Adrienne Arsht Center designed to thrill and amaze Miami audiences. It’s called ID, and its pedigree is impeccable.

Created by the internationally popular French-Canadian Cirque Eloize, in collaboration with Cirque du Soleil, and directed by one of the greatest cirque directors of our time, Jeannot Painchaud, ID is an awesome, mind-blowing fusion of new theatrical circus and urban dance. Opening July 26 in the Ziff Ballet Opera House, ID transports us into the vibrant streets at the heart of a city. The stage comes alive with the boundless energy of acrobats, break dancers, contortionists, and a fearless stunt biker who perform against a kaleidoscope of eye-popping video projections drawn from science-fiction films, comic books and graffiti. The daring soundtrack mixes rock, hip-hop, and electronic. The Toronto Star raved, “You’re not going to find a more energetic, mind-blowing, roof-raising piece of entertainment!”

ID is the centerpiece of the Center’s sizzling summer lineup which also includes productions by two of Miami’s leading theater companies at the Carnival Studio Theater (in the Ziff Ballet Opera House).

City Theatre, now in its 16th season, presents three productions. Up first, June 2 – 26, is the ever-popular Summer Shorts, a chance to see seven of the country’s best short plays (which can last anywhere from 5 – 20 minutes) in one non-stop evening of comedy and drama. The 2011 edition features TV and stage star Jai Rodriquez, known not only for Bravo TV’s “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” but also for indelible performances in the iconic Broadway musicals Rent and The Producers. Jai will also be in town to share his Dirty Little Secrets, a hilarious and provocative show, suitable for mature audiences only, being given just four performances on June 10, 17, 19, and 24. Finally, last year’s family musical triumph, Camp Kappawanna, returns by popular demand June 15 – 26, with several new songs by Lisa Loeb and a joyful and insightful book by Marco Ramirez.

Now celebrating 26 years of Hispanic Culture, The International Hispanic Theater Festival spends July 7 – 24 in the company of distinguished theater groups from Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Spain, and the United States in a continent-spanning tribute to Chile.

Before any of the above, though, the Tony Award-winning production of Hair kicks off the summer on an exuberant high. Opening May 31, and featuring an extraordinary score of unforgettable songs including “Aquarius,” “Let the Sun Shine In,” “Good Morning, Starshine,” and “Easy to be Hard,” Hair is easily one of the most euphoric and moving works ever produced by the America musical theater. This production is so popular that New York City audiences have demanded it return to Broadway for the summer, following its national tour.

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April 27, 2011, 7:56 pm
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The Adrienne Arsht Center took home six ADDY Awards for advertising and marketing excellence at the Advertising Federation of Miami’s 2011 award ceremony. The ADDYs are the advertising and marketing industry’s most significant awards competition, with more than 60,000 entries annually. This marks the third-straight year in which the Adrienne Arsht Center was recognized in the competition’s arts and sciences category with multiple awards. That makes a grand total of 30 ADDYs!

“It’s safe to say that no other business or organization has had a greater impact on Miami’s cultural landscape over the past five years, and I like to think that our marketing efforts have been a key factor in that success,” said Andrew Goldberg, Vice President of Marketing at the Adrienne Arsht Center. “Our marketing campaign is responsible for much more than filling seats. By bringing 500,000 people to Downtown Miami each year for performances and programs, we are making a direct, positive impact on our neighborhood’s economy and destination status.”

The Adrienne Arsht Center’s six awards recognized marketing efforts and advertising pieces surrounding a number of shows and programs, including the 2010/11 Jazz Roots series, Babalu, the Center’s 2010 Summer 2010 brochure, and the Adrienne Arsht Center 2010 specialty holiday chocolates package.


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