Point of View


MY POV: JOHN RICHARD, PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE ADRIENNE ARSHT CENTER, ON WHAT MAKES THE CENTER A UNIQUE HOME FOR ALL THE PERFORMING ARTS

Few cities can offer—in an entire year—the depth and breadth of performances on our stages this month alone. Allowing us to accomplish this is the Center’s brilliantly conceived collection of halls and stages, all designed to bring out the best in everything from the most complex productions to the simplest and most intimate solos.

The John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall is a sonic wonder. Its miraculous acoustical design gives it unparalleled flexibility. There’s no better place to hear large-scale orchestras and choirs—the experience is grand, impressive, overwhelming. Yet in that same hall you can also detect every nuance a solo artist might articulate—be they a classical pianist, jazz trumpeter, world-famous comedian or pop superstar.  The Carnival Studio Theater—with just over 200 seats—gives audiences a unique perspective—up close and personal. You can’t miss a beat when the performer is just inches from your seat. Our Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House is the envy of cities everywhere. It’s enormous, state-of-the-art stage, incomparable sightlines, and compact horse-shoe design makes it an ideal showcase for the grandest opera, dance, and musical theater performances.

February at the Center has been a veritable festival of programming: a Jazz Roots celebration of Miles Davis , the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie playing Beethoven and Brahms, the Tony Award-winning actress Melba Moore in Crowns, Spain’s magnificent Ballet Nacional de España, the witty banter of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,”and much more. Finally, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visit to Miami this week is all the more special as it celebrates not only the 50th anniversary of the ever-surprising Revelations, but also Judith Jamison’s final season as the iconic leader of one of America’s true cultural treasures.

This is just a taste of the brilliant 5th Anniversary Season we have planned for you, and I look forward to seeing your smiling faces.

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A PARTNERSHIP CREATED TO INSPIRE

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.

 



INTERNSHIPS: A LEARNING EXPERIENCE IN THE ARTS

Have you ever wondered what happens behind the curtain at the Adrienne Arsht Center? There are more than 100 individuals who work in “backstage” careers that help to put a production on the stage. Many of these professionals had an “aha” moment which inspired them to pursue a career in the arts while participating in student internships at a performing arts organization.

The Adrienne Arsht Center wants to help high-school and college students find their “aha” moment with our Marketing Internship program. Every semester, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s marketing department takes on several students to share in the whirlwind excitement of promoting Center events and productions.   

In this program, interns don’t just alphabetize a file cabinet. Interns are introduced to the many facets of the performing arts and promotion process, focusing on many types of productions and events, budgeting, developing ideas, working with print, radio and TV and helping to plan communication strategies for various campaigns.  

Adrienne Arsht Center interns have come from schools nation-wide and leave the program with a ready-for-anything mind-set, strong business sense, and passion for theater. 

Adrienne Arsht Center Interns learn the value of the creative process as the underpinning of the theatrical industry while supporting the overall marketing efforts of a world-class performing arts center in one of the most diverse communities in the world. Examples of projects students have been involved with include everything from planning viral marketing campaigns and events to assisting with large-scale events like Fall for the Arts.

“More than anything, the program is a learning experience. It’s like trying on a job to see if it fits,” explains Trish Brennan, Human Resources Vice President. Brennan explains that because the experience acts as experimental work – a “trial run” of real life – interns usually “get hooked.” It is not uncommon that interns find their calling through this exposure, nor is it unusual for internships to turn into permanent, paid jobs.




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