The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The winners of the contest, created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, include projects to:
“The arts have always had a transformational impact on our sense of community," said Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. “They move us, shape us, bring us together and show what we can be - and everyday Knight Arts Challenge winners are adding to that momentum."
The 2010 winners include individual artists like William Stewart, a former percussionist for the top reggae band Third World, emerging groups like The PlayGround Theatre and some of the county’s largest institutions.
Their ideas will promote creative writing among students young and old, help more groups perform on Gusman Center’s historic stage and create an exhibition space for sound art on Lincoln Road. (A full list is below.)
“Anyone can apply to the Knight Arts Challenge. The only requirement is that they have a great idea. Tonight’s winners show South Florida has an abundance of them,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.
The contest’s success inspired Knight Foundation to launch a national arts program, which invests in projects that enrich and engage eight communities across the United States. The cities include Detroit, San Jose and Philadelphia, which now has its own Knight Arts Challenge contest.
Among the national program’s signature efforts is Random Acts of Culture, which brings performers out of symphony halls and into the streets and people’s everyday lives. Some 1,000 Random Acts of Culture will be performed over the next three years in Miami and the other seven cities.
The Knight Arts Challenge, a matching grant program, will open again in early 2011 to accept the fourth round of applicants.
To find out more about Knight’s arts program, or to sign up for e-mail updates, visit www.knightarts.org.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation advances journalism in the digital age and invests in the vitality of communities where the Knight brothers owned newspapers. Knight Foundation focuses on projects that promote informed and engaged communities and lead to transformational change. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.
Contact: Marc Fest, 305-908-2677; firstname.lastname@example.org
Award: $1 million
Summary: To help Miami-Dade students experience South Florida’s cultural richness, the school board will sponsor an arts field trip in every grade. The Cultural Passport program will reach more than 130,000 public school students – or twice the number that participate now. An advisory board representing the cultural, business and educational communities will work together to help coordinate the program. New curricular materials will educate students about the cultural arts they will experience, and teachers will lead activities in the classroom to engage students before and after the arts field trip. The project aims to instill a love and understanding of arts and culture in young people – and to support the long-term future of the arts.
Bio: Miami-Dade County Public Schools provides the highest quality education so that all students are empowered to lead productive and fulfilling lives as lifelong learners and responsible citizens. The school district's core values are excellence, integrity, equity and citizenship. Miami-Dade County Public Schools is committed to educational excellence for all.
Summary: To expose new audiences to great music, the University of Miami will create a community engagement program featuring its Henry Mancini Institute's multigenre orchestra. The orchestra will bring its blend of stylistically diverse music to such community venues as Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and the U.M. Gusman Concert Hall. The program also will include two free community concerts featuring new works by U.M. Frost School of Music students, faculty and guest artists, and a dozen mixed-genre concerts at select public schools.
Bio: The Phillip and Patricia Frost School of Music is a world-class music institution with 100 faculty members and 700 students located on the Coral Gables campus of the University of Miami. The mission of the Frost School of Music is to foster musical leadership by providing an innovative, relevant and inspiring education; advance performance, creativity and scholarship; and enrich the world community with meaningful outreach and brilliant cultural offerings. The Frost School is the exclusive home of the Henry Mancini Institute, which provides students with cross-genre performance opportunities in real-world professional settings, and the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program, which develops the creative skills of talented young artist-songwriters by immersing them in the diverse traditions of American songwriting.
Summary: The city of Miami Beach will inspire and bring South Florida together with a third Sleepless Night festival featuring indoor and outdoor art and performances across Miami Beach. The 13-hour festival, to be observed at the end of daylight saving time 2011, will feature more than 150 performances, exhibits and cultural events at more than 80 locations, including five outdoor stages. As many as 150,000 attendees are expected to share a newfound sense of community as they mingle and experience the work of 300 artists. The festival also aims to stimulate tourism and the local economy by attracting crowds to the city.
Bio: Miami Beach’s cultural affairs program sustains, develops and supports the arts in Miami Beach for the enjoyment and education of residents and visitors.
Summary: To shape Miami’s cinematic identity, the Borscht Film Festival will showcase and create original films that tell unique Miami stories. The festival will issue an open call for local filmmakers to join them in the process, and will provide financial and professional support for producing the films created annually. After they are completed, the films will be available online, shown at the Borscht Film Festival and made available to national and international film festivals.
Bio: The Borscht Film Festival, established in 2004, is Miami's fresh local independent film fest. It commissions and showcases films by emerging artists that tell Miami stories that go beyond the typical portrayal of a beautiful but vapid party town, forging the cinematic identity of the city both locally and globally. The Borscht festival has been called "Miami's best film festival" by Miami New Times and "Miami alt-culture summit" by The Miami Herald.
Summary: To explore innovative architecture, DawnTown will sponsor an annual architectural contest resulting in the creation of a temporary structure. The organization will solicit nominations of architects from around the world who are working with innovative styles, techniques or materials. One winner will be awarded a budget to design a temporary structure to be built on a Miami site. The structure will demonstrate the winner’s innovation and attract people to experience architecture and their community with fresh eyes.
Bio: DawnTown’s mission is to strengthen the connection between Miami and innovative architecture. DawnTown is a partnership among institutions and individuals who recognize that innovative architecture can enrich our lives but is rarely experienced. The partners thus dedicate their time and talents to generating excitement for innovative architecture by organizing competitions, promoting events and generally supporting the community of architects and architecture fans in Miami.
Summary: To continue cultivating a new audience for opera, Florida Grand Opera will offer discount tickets to winners and entrants in last winter’s Knight-supported drawing for free tickets to Carmen. The opera company will reach out to winners and entrants in the 2010 ticket giveaway, offering them discounted tickets to performances in Miami-Dade and Broward counties. The ticket offer will be part of a marketing campaign, with an online survey, that will target the nearly 11,000 contest entrants. Survey results will help the company know what kind of incentives people need to become part of Miami’s faithful opera audience.
Bio: Florida Grand Opera (FGO) is the seventh oldest opera company in the United States, founded in 1941 in Miami and 1945 in Fort Lauderdale. FGO is the Southeast’s first regional opera company – created May 31, 1994, by the merger of founding companies Greater Miami Opera and the Opera Guild of Fort Lauderdale. It is the 12th largest opera company in the nation with a budget that has grown from $1,200 in 1941 to a projected $11 million for 2010-11. FGO is categorized by OPERA America as one of 10 Level I opera companies. Each season, more than 60,000 people attend main-stage opera performances in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, and thousands more experience FGO through free-to-the-public outreach programs and events. FGO’s educational programs reach 11,000 students annually.
Summary: To advance South Florida’s literary community, Florida International University will create a fellowship program in creative writing for graduate students in the fine arts. Eight Knight Fellows will receive an annual stipend for three years as they participate in a range of community activities, including teaching creative writing in Miami-Dade public schools, coordinating a reading series and representing FIU and South Florida at national writers conferences. The fellowship program aims to help attract America’s top young writers to South Florida and generate creativity within Miami’s arts community.
Bio: Florida International University is Miami-Dade County's first public, four-year research university. With more than 38,000 students, 1,000+ full-time faculty members and more than 135,000 alumni, FIU is recognized as one of the nation's largest universities based on enrollment. FIU offers more than 200 bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs in its colleges and schools. As the heart of FIU, the College of Arts & Sciences plays a vital role in the intellectual, cultural and civic life of local, national and international communities. The college provides an educational foundation that prepares students to be successful and engaged citizens in a global society.
Summary: To cultivate new arts audience in Broward County, Funding Arts Broward will establish three annual Knight New Work Awards for cutting-edge visual and performing arts projects. An advisory panel of arts professionals will help the group’s board review applications for the award. Each award recipient will give a free artistic demonstration, performance, master class or other presentation in an under-served Broward community. The project aims to increase audience enthusiasm and experience in the arts, draw new talent to the area and result in more sophisticated, ambitious works from the award winners.
Bio: Funding Arts Broward Inc. is a nonprofit arts organization committed to preserving and cultivating the arts in Broward County. FAB! was formed in response to the need for private financial support following drastic government budget cuts in the arts. Each FAB! member contributes $1,000 annually to the arts support fund and votes in the yearly competition that awards grants to nonprofit visual and performing arts organizations in Broward County. FAB! members review applications, view the artists’ works and hold extensive discussions to select proposals from local artists and art organizations.
Summary: To showcase Haitian music, the Rhythm Foundation will produce a monthly concert series in Little Haiti featuring the country’s diverse rhythms. The free series will include performances in such venues as restaurants, art studios and other cultural centers. The concerts will allow Haitian artists to reach a larger audience and will showcase the broad and rich culture of Little Haiti, including its food, music and fine arts. The project also will help unify the community and attract South Floridians to the neighborhood, creating a broader audience for retail businesses and the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Interactive components on a website will use social media to generate interest and gauge impact.
Bio: The Rhythm Foundation, a Miami-based nonprofit cultural organization, is the foremost presenter of world music in Florida. Founded in 1988 with the goal of increasing international awareness through live music, the Rhythm Foundation has presented more than 400 concerts, events and festivals by established and innovative artists from around the world. Special focus is given to those cultures connecting to South Florida audiences – music from Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe. Many of the world’s established music legends have made their U.S. or Florida debuts with The Rhythm Foundation. Recognized as one of the top world music presenters in North America, the organization has built strong name recognition and a dedicated audience over the last 22 years. Its success is due to the selection of premiere artists and consistent quality of production.
Summary: To foster dialogue within the Miami arts community, the Bass Museum of Art will create three one-year curatorial fellowships in contemporary art. This project will offer hands-on training to emerging curators or recent master of arts graduates. Among other activities, the fellows will conduct studio visits and gather materials to help the museum develop a complete archive on Miami artists. They will also help create an outdoor art program for Collins Park. In addition, the fellows will develop programming and contemporary artists' projects for display in the Bass' small-project room, called The Cabinet, and facilitate an educational lecture series for museum members.
Bio: Located in Miami Beach, the Bass Museum of Art offers a dynamic year-round calendar of exhibitions presenting contemporary art, works of art from its permanent collection of Renaissance and Baroque paintings, sculpture and textiles, and newly opened Egyptian Gallery. Artist's projects, educational programs, lectures, concerts and free family days complement the works on view. Founded in 1963 when the City of Miami Beach accepted a collection of Renaissance and Baroque works of art from collectors John and Johanna Bass, the collection was housed in an Art Deco building designed in 1930 by Russell Pancoast. Architect Arata Isozaki designed an addition to the museum that doubled its size from 15,000 to 35,000 square feet between 1998 and 2002.
Summary: To expose South Floridians to the mind of the Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer, Centro Cultural Brasil-USA da Florida will produce an interactive exhibit showcasing his creative process. The Niemeyer exhibition at Miami’s Freedom Tower will aim to enrich Miami culturally and enhance the city’s appeal as a global cultural destrination. A collaboration with the schools of architecture at the University of Miami and Florida International University, the project will feature lectures by professors to the architectural community and the general public. Middle and high school students will receive special tours of the exhibition.
Bio: The Centro Cultural Brasil-USA da Florida is a nongovernmental, not-for-profit organization established in 1997 with a mission to disseminate Brazilian culture in South Florida and strengthen the ties between Florida and Brazil.
Summary: In an effort to attract resident companies of high artistic quality, Friends of the Gusman will create the Theater Rental Subsidy Fund. Over one year, three to five resident companies working in a variety of genres will perform at the Gusman Center as resident companies. They will enjoy theater and equipment rental subsidies, regular rehearsal time and priority booking in advance for new users. The project will allow cultural producers in South Florida to gain access to an exceptional and competitively priced venue located in the heart of downtown Miami.Bio: Friends of Gusman is an independent, 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization affiliated with the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. With the oversight of a dedicated volunteer board of directors, Friends functions as a support organization to the staff of the theater. It works to advance and promote the theater through activities including preservation, restoration, operation, fund raising and marketing. Friends aims to preserve and promote this dynamic, historic community theater for the benefit of its resident companies, artists, patrons and surrounding community.
Summary: To enhance an exhibition on the role of art in vinyl record covers, Miami Art Museum will create an outreach series of performance, lectures and other events. “The Record,” to be presented in a 5,000-square-foot gallery and include work in a variety of media, will help the museum make contemporary art more appealing to a younger, music-oriented crowd. Related programs will embrace the range of musical cultures in Miami, from techno to Latin to hip-hop. On-site events will include gallery talks, performances, record swaps and other interactive sessions. The museum will collaborate with clubs, music stores and alternative spaces for off-site events, including DJ performances and artists who use music in their work.
Bio: Miami Art Museum is dedicated to collecting and exhibiting international art of the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on the art of the Atlantic Rim – the region from which most Miami residents hail, including the Americas, Europe and Africa. Miami Art Museum’s educational programming reaches more than 30,000 people every year. The new Miami Art Museum at Museum Park, designed by Herzog & de Meuron, is scheduled to open in 2013. In its new facility, MAM will have additional room to showcase the museum’s growing collections, an expanded exhibition space and a state-of-the-art educational complex.
Summary: To culturally enrich the region, Miami Hispanic Ballet will create the Miami Hispanic Cultural Arts Center, offering multidisciplinary programming in Little Havana. The ballet group will hire instructors to offer high-quality classes, including comprehensive and progressive training in classical ballet, modern dance, flamenco, jazz and lyrical dance for ages six through adult. The cultural arts center also will hold Spanish-language theater production and literary workshops, and host up to six visual arts and historical exhibitions annually, as well as provide after-school and summer programs to underserved Hispanic communities.
Bio: Miami Hispanic Ballet (MHB) was incorporated in July 1993, as a not-for- profit dance organization. The company’s mission is to encourage excellence in dance, support artistic and cultural diversity and increase the opportunities for people to experience classical and contemporary dance forms. The organization is committed to developing and educating audiences in the appreciation of dance through the production and presentation of high quality events and educational programs. MHB has produced and presented major ballet performances of proven artistic excellence, and has hosted for 15 years the Annual International Ballet Festival of Miami. In 2009, Miami Hispanic Ballet received funds from Miami-Dade County to purchase a property in the heart of Miami's Little Havana neighborhood. This facility will provide MHB with a permanent home, the Miami Hispanic Cultural Art Center that will be devoted to promoting dance and offering a variety of programs and activities throughout the year.
Summary: To foster understanding of Chinese culture, the PlayGround Theatre will produce the world premiere of a children’s production based on an ancient folktale. An estimated 16,000 children, teachers, family members and others will make up the audiences for 62 performances of The Red Thread, a play inspired by Chinese folklore. Study guides, available online and in the theater, will help teachers present pre- and post-performance classroom activities designed to maximize the play’s academic and creative impact. The theater also will conduct workshops with PlayGround actors in schools, parks and community events to introduce students to live theater and create interest in PlayGround productions.
Bio: The PlayGround Theatre creates high-quality, innovative theatre for South Florida’s children and their families. Founded in 2004, the company has produced nine plays that delight, provoke and inspire audiences of all ages and abilities. The shows reflect the international flavor of the South Florida community and expose audiences to the literature, art, and culture of England, Italy, China and beyond. The Theatre Inclusion Program ensures that performances are accessible to all children and adults, and workshops, classes and camps provide a variety of theater education opportunities in parks, schools and hospitals as well as at PlayGround’s own venue.
Summary: To provide new opportunities for jazz musicians young and old, WDNA-FM 88.9 Public Radio will create a venue for them to jam together both in front of an audience and on air. The WDNA Jazz Gallery project will focus on facilitating cross-cultural and cross-generational encounters in music, visual and audio arts, and will highlight the talent of Miami’s diverse jazz community. The gallery space will offer free or discounted admission to events, which can accommodate 50 to 100 people. The project also will host a monthly Latin jazz concert, listening sessions, high school jazz band projects, film screenings and fine arts concerts.
Bio: WDNA 88.9FM is South Florida's only independent public radio station providing quality music, arts and cultural programming for three decades. In an ever-changing radio landscape, WDNA remains committed to Jazz (America's classical music), to alternative voices and to the marriage of entertainment and enrichment. Community outreach initiatives include the Miami Jazz Film Festival, Fine Arts Concert Series, Jazz Encounters and other in-house humanities programs.
Summary: To increase exposure to innovative art, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County will commission a work annually as the poster image for its Masterworks Classical Music and Dance series. The limited-edition print will commemorate a series of concerts and performances that showcases the best in classical music and dance at the center. The project will generate a greater presence for visual art at the Adrienne Arsht Center and will help build its reputation as a dynamic arts destination, making the visual arts as much of a reason to visit the center as music, ballet or theater.
Bio: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues. Made possible by Miami-Dade County’s largest public-private-sector partnership, the center plays host to three resident companies (Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy), in addition to numerous South Florida arts organizations that perform in its theaters regularly. Since opening in 2006, the center has emerged as a leader in offering and presenting world-class programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, as a catalyst for development in Miami, and as a host of influential community and educational programs.
Summary: To raise the profile of the folk and traditional arts, HistoryMiami’s South Florida Folklife Center will create an artist-in-residence program where artists showcase their work and interact with the public. The residents will participate in monthly programs for the general public and school children. Recorded interviews, video and other documentation of the artists’ work will be preserved as part of HistoryMiami’s folklife collection. The project aims to strengthen the position of the center as South Florida’s leading organization dedicated to documenting, presenting and supporting the region’s traditional arts and culture.
Bio: HistoryMiami is the premier cultural institution committed to gathering, organizing, preserving and celebrating the elements that show how Miami has become the unique crossroads of the Americas. Through exhibitions, city tours, education, research, collections and publications, HistoryMiami advocates for helping everyone understand the importance of the past in shaping Miami‘s future. The South Florida Folklife Center, a division of HistoryMiami, documents, presents and supports the region’s traditional arts and culture.
Summary: To foster the appreciation and understanding of sound art, the South Florida Composers Alliance will create a publically accessible exhibition space at ArtCenter South Florida on Lincoln Road. The Listening Gallery, a 24-channel installation, will pipe sound art outside the ArtCenter to the seven million pedestrians who annually stroll Lincoln Road. The project will include curated exhibits and educational outreach programs, and will work in partnership with Art Basel, Sleepless Night and other cultural festivals. A new website will host a sound archive, list details about the exhibits and stream related audio files. The Listening Gallery aims to create opportunities for cultural exchange in the sound arts community worldwide.
Bio: Founded in 1985, South Florida Composers Alliance Inc. (SFCA) is a sound arts organization with the mission to support creative work with sound through projects like iSAW (interdisciplinary Sound Arts Workshop), and to nurture awareness and understanding of experimental music and sound art through programs such as Subtropics Experimental Music and Sound Arts Festival. In the past two years, the alliance has shifted its mission to one that makes sound art easily accessible to large audiences by staging high quality experimental music and sound art experiences where people already gather. In its first season, the alliance’s Frozen Music installation-performances were experienced by more than three times the audience of 20 years of Subtropics Festivals.
Summary: To recapture and promote Haiti’s cultural traditions, ArtSouth will create a youth training program in Homestead led by experts on Haitian art. Some 250 youths recruited from South Florida-based Haitian-American organizations will participate in after-school art classes and workshops on Haiti’s historic arts traditions. Haitian-American and Caribbean artists will guide the students as they learn about Haiti’s artistic heritage and use two- and three-dimensional media, techniques and tools to create their own art.
Bio: ArtSouth, founded in 2000 with a core group of less than 10 artists, has evolved into a landmark arts center in culturally underserved South Dade. In addition to providing artists with affordable studio spaces, the 3.5-acre facility features three galleries, an art school, a ceramic facility, a bronze foundry and a performing arts studio. ArtSouth provides extensive arts education programming for adults and youths, plus free public events year round, including art exhibits and cultural performances. It works closely with government, business and community leaders to enhance the appeal of the downtown historic district.
Summary: To foster the appreciation of poetry in South Florida, the Palm Beach Poetry Festival will produce its seventh annual, six-day series of events. The festival will attract poetry writers from across the country to participate in eight nationally advertised workshops led by critically acclaimed poets. The festival will feature craft talks and poetry readings, as well as a late-night coffeehouse and poetry jam. Year-round community outreach events, including visits to schools and performances at Morikami Museum, will generate interest in and awareness about the annual poetry festival.
Bio: The Palm Beach Poetry Festival is a nonprofit organization dedicated to fostering the writing, reading, performance and appreciation of poetry by presenting an annual festival and other poetry events in Palm Beach County featuring America's finest poets. Its goal is to provide a nationally recognized learning opportunity for writers of poetry and a world-class, life-enriching series of cultural events for our listening audiences. As a Florida nonprofit corporation, part of the festival’s mission is to organize educational outreach programs that bring the pleasures of poetry to the community year round.
Summary: To help arts groups expand their audience, the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs will partner with an online coupon site to offer a cultural “deal-of-the-week.” Every week, the site will feature an “unbeatable deal” on the best cultural activities to do and see in Miami. The county will brand CultureDeal and market it through social media and online advertising, offering high-value, income-earning deals for local arts activities. The project aims to boost local arts groups in their efforts to sell tickets and memberships, target younger audiences, convert occasional ticket buyers into subscribers and create a model that can be replicated nationally.
Bio: The Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the Cultural Affairs Council and the Art in Public Places Trust develop cultural excellence, diversity and participation throughout Miami-Dade County by strategically creating, improving and promoting opportunities for artists and cultural organizations, and residents and visitors. Three central goals serve as guideposts for their work: 1) securing more public and private resources to invest in and promote cultural development, 2) developing better cultural facilities in neighborhoods throughout Miami-Dade and improving the visual quality of the county's built environment and 3) making cultural activities more accessible for residents and visitors. The department promotes, coordinates and supports Miami-Dade County's more than 1,100 not-for-profit cultural organizations as well as thousands of resident artists through grants, technical assistance, public information and interactive community planning.
Summary: To expose and promote Miami artists globally, WLRN will create a series of original, collaborative videos for the Web. ArtStreetMiami.org, the project’s online platform, will broadcast original videos designed to promote the artists and enhance the image of Miami as an art center. The project will also produce an anthology of the videos in an hour-long documentary for distribution statewide.
Bio: WLRN is a public radio and television station in South Florida. WLRN Radio signed on in 1948 as a nonprofit, noncommercial broadcast station licensed to the school board of Dade County. WLRN-TV followed in 1955. Since then, WLRN has grown steadily to become an integral part of the community we serve, offering a rich and varied mix of news and information, arts and culture, childhood education and lifelong learning. ArtStreet is its locally produced half-hour program about arts, culture and entertainment in South Florida.
Summary: To expand and enhance the museum’s impact, the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum will integrate new media and technologies into exhibits. The project will enable the museum to reach broader audiences and engage them in the uplifting nature of the arts. The museum will build a technology infrastructure to facilitate the creation of online communities through video, podcasts, online chats, high-quality webcasts and mobile apps. Live feeds will be streamed to interactive kiosks at the museum entrance. The museum’s internal system will receive an upgrade so the staff can log in from anywhere in the world.
Bio: The mission of the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University is to enrich and educate local, national and international audiences through the language of art by collecting, preserving, researching, interpreting and exhibiting art from diverse cultures throughout human history. The Frost Art Museum, located within a large urban institution, provides an exceptional resource for scholarly research and interdisciplinary collaboration, augmenting the university’s educational mission as both a local and global center of knowledge and culture. Over 50,000 visitors have come to The Frost Art Museum since its opening its new building in November 2008. The Frost is accredited by the American Association of Museums and is a Smithsonian affiliate.
Summary: To engage South Florida in new contemporary art ideas and national trends, the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood will host a series of five interactive presentations featuring prominent guest speakers. The Hot Topics Discussions Series will focus on current issues influencing the direction of contemporary art in the United States. The project also will explore the role the arts play in community life and advance awareness of the center and its advocacy efforts.
Bio: The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood (ACCH) is an independent nonprofit that operates visual arts galleries in the 1924 Kagey House, an art school adjacent to the main facility and a 500-seat theater in downtown Hollywood. The center was incorporated on Aug. 31, 1978, and is one of just seven organizations in Broward County – out of 550 – to be designated a major cultural institution. Each year, ACCH presents more than a dozen contemporary gallery exhibitions, more than 70 arts-education program activities for children and adults, and a free or low-cost performance series for families.
Summary: To celebrate African rhythms and history, musician William Stewart will offer percussion classes for children and produce community performances. The project will involve at least 30 teenagers, ages 13-16, with limited musical experience, in an intensive program of music education in rhythm and percussion. The group will work with professional musicians and technicians, create and rehearse musical selections and ultimately perform for schools and general audiences, including the Parker Playhouse in Fort Lauderdale. The program will strive to create positive behavioral and cognitive impact through the children’s exposure to and intimacy with learning and making music. Another goal is to replicate the program throughout the region to reach more students, schools and communities.
Bio: Master percussionist Willie Stewart was born in England in 1953 to Jamaican parents who moved the family to Jamaica when he was young. For 23 years he was director and percussionist for the band Third World. Stewart has performed with Stevie Wonder, Eddy Grant, Carlos Santana and Bob Marley. In 1980, he coproduced a 12-hour concert during Nelson Mandela’s visit to Jamaica. A recipient of the United Nations Peace Medal, the “Reggae Ambassador” has adopted the mission to share his knowledge and experience with people of all ages. Working with children, teachers and corporations, he has created performances and workshops on musical techniques and worldwide cultural influences, emphasizing music’s universality and benefits for health, spiritual development, and character building. He remains active as a performer, assembling world-class musicians for concerts locally, nationally and internationally.
Summary: Through an affiliation with the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, the Scholastic Writing Awards Program will help identify and motivate young writers. The project aims to foster a South Florida network of talented teen writers, encouraging participation from more than 400 public and private schools serving grades seven through 12. In the fall, the awards program will issue a call for submissions to all middle and high schools and conduct a workshop for teachers. Best works will compete nationally as American Voices Nominees and Regional Gold Key finalists. Winners will participate in a summer workshop for teen writers and attend a national awards ceremony.
Bio: A native Miamian, Michael Bell has spent much of his adult life developing the literary talent South Florida’s teen writers. Bell’s journey started in 1979, as a special education teacher for Miami-Dade’s public schools, where creative writing opportunities helped to give voice to his students. Prior to his retirement from the Miami-Dade school district last year, Bell served in a variety of capacities for the school system, ranging from his early days as a classroom teacher to assistant superintendent of school choice programs. At each career juncture, Bell continued to volunteer his time to support the development and validation of local teen writers vis-à-vis the implementation of creative writing programs for the Miami-Dade County Fair & Expo (27 years) and the Miami-Dade Region of The Scholastic Writing Awards (six years).