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.


Reunion time! More than 130 Adrienne Arsht Center/AileyCamp Miami 2010 campers, staff, volunteers, family and friends returned to the Center for a reunion luncheon in the Peacock Education Center of the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. Supported by the Miami-Dade County Mayor, the Board of County Commissioners, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

The AileyCamp program is a full scholarship camp for at-risk youth in grades 6-8, that provides instruction in modern dance, ballet, West African, and jazz, plus creative communication and personal development classes – all at no cost to campers and their families.

The reunion guests, many of whom hadn’t seen each other since last summer, caught up on events and activities over a pizza and salad lunch, while Nasha Thomas Schmitt, AileyCamp National Director, welcomed everyone to the reunion. After many hugs and applauses, the guests were shown—for the first time—the AileyCamp Miami 2010 “A Look Back” slide show, which highlighted activities and events during their six-week summer program, including the AileyCamp Miami final performance, for which the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall was packed with more than 1500 beaming, clapping, shouting friends and family members supporting these young students’ journey.
Following the slideshow, Alicia Melton, Adrienne Arsht Center’s Education and Outreach Assistant, announced the launch of the AileyCamp Miami Alumni Facebook Page and the AileyCamp 2011 application process. Going into its third year at the Adrienne Arsht Center, AileyCamp Miami has already staked its claim as one of the Center’s most vital and moving programs.

The reunion culminated with a group picture and the opportunity to attend that day’s matinee performance of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater at the Ziff Ballet Opera House with complimentary tickets provided by the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Education and Outreach division.


More than 52,000 students have already been inspired! The performing arts entertain, educate, enlighten—and when they’re really good—they inspire. They inspire us to think, to learn, to imagine, to dream. That’s why the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools have partnered with the common goal of making the performing arts as accessible to as many Miami-Dade County students as possible through high-quality programs that feature live theatrical experiences and active learning in the performing arts.

INSPIRE. It’s the message on the new 72-feet high by 60-feet wide banners that have recently been installed on the sides of the Miami-Dade County Public School Administration Building across the street from the Center on NE 14th St and 2nd Ave.  They are larger-than-life reminders of how rewarding and vital to our community this unique partnership between arts presenter and educators can be. Already the benefits have been felt far and wide, in schools throughout the county, by families throughout South Florida. Thousands of students have participated in in-school classes, interactive workshops and demonstrations, intense arts-training programs such as AileyCamp Miami, and behind-the-scenes activities.

Perhaps most visible of these has been the Learning Through the Arts program. Hundreds of yellow school busses from every district in the County have brought class after class of 5th graders to the Center to see a free live performance of Rock Odyssey, a new musical retelling of Homer’s epic adventure. More than 52,000 students have already had the opportunity to attend last spring and fall, and another 26,000 are expected once the next school year begins. Following the extraordinary success of Rock Odyssey, the Center hopes to produce more new works and, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Schools, expand Learning Through the Arts over the next five years with the goal of ultimately reaching 100% of the County’s fifth, seventh, and ninth graders. This expansion would eventually provide arts adventures for more than 75,000 young people every year. It will enrich their studies and enhance their exposure to the arts. Most of all, it will inspire them to fulfill their potential as they make their journey from student to adulthood.


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