The blog of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Jan 07, 2011

Top 8 for 2011

Posted by Dennis Scholl

By Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation VP/Arts and Miami Program Director

We're just one week into 2011 and it's already promising to be a banner year for arts, particularly in the eight communities in which Knight Foundation concentrates its arts funding. Here are some signature events in the eight cities, that I am looking forward to in 2011.

Akron. April's Knight-funded Porgy and Bess by the Akron Symphony Orchestra, accompanied by a 300-member chorus!

Charlotte. Can't wait to visit the Mint Museum's debut exhibition. The Mint's new space is part of Charlotte's new cultural center, which includes the Knight Theater, the Bechtler Museum and the Harvey B. Gantt Center.  I've been chatting with the Mint's new executive director, Dr. Kathleen V. Jameson, and she is ready to shake things up in Charlotte. Hope Charlotte is ready!

Detroit. Luis Croquer keeps doing the edgiest of shows, bringing the best in contemporary art to the Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit, including the ongoing Mobile Homestead project by bad boy visual artist, Mike Kelley. As the new Detroit continues to evolve, it has the makings of America's Berlin for artist—big spaces, low costs and a vibrant artistic community that artists from all over the world are migrating to.

Macon. I am looking forward to a tour of Macon's incredible architectural districts when I next visit. And, of course watching our program director, Beverly Blake, continue to inspire and revitalize Macon's College Hill Corridor with an arts-centric strategy.

Miami. We're only 30 days away from the opening of New World Symphony's new building and accompanying city park that is destined to become our community's new public gathering space.

Philadelphia. This one is still a secret, but the Opera Company of Philadelphia's plans for its next big Random Act of Culture are looking amazing. Think lots of singers, and I mean lots! Stay tuned. In the interim, relive the joy of the Opera's Oct. 30 performance of "Hallelujah" at downtown Philadelphia's Macy's.

San Jose. I can't wait to attend Opera San Jose's free performance of La Bohème, sponsored by Knight Foundation and available only to folks who have never been to the opera before. We did a free performance of Carmen with the Florida Grand Opera in Miami and got 11,000 requests for the 2,000 available tickets. Irene Dalis remains a force of nature out in San Jose!

St. Paul. In April, I will be front and center at the Ordway Theater to see the Minnesota Opera's debut of Wuthering Heights. The opera was written over 60 years ago by Bernard Herrmann, the composer of several Hitchcock soundtracks, including the shower scene in Psycho. Knight funding will help this opera to be filmed in HD and shown in theaters all over the world.

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