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									                                                                                                   ARTS & CULTURE
18      MIAMI TODAY                                                                                                                                                                                                                   WEEK OF THURSDAY, JANUARY 13, 2011

County’s arts taskforce spawns Kennedy Center partnership
BY Z ACHARY S. F AGENSON                                               One of the most tangible results of the                                 “It’s an opportunity for our groups to                                  2009 proposed zeroing out cultural af-
                                                                     taskforce’s work today is a partnership                                 showcase their work, make money, get                                      fairs department grant programs.
   While finding permanent funding for                               with the Kennedy Center in Washing-                                     prestige, and that all arose from the                                       That move would have spelled the end
the arts – the No. 1 suggestion of a                                 ton, DC.                                                                taskforce,” he added.                                                     of hundreds of arts groups across the
county-backed taskforce charged with                                   They’re “bringing faculty to Miami                                      In a previous interview, Mr. Spring                                     county, but a cultural community out-
examining the state of Miami-Dade’s                                  and are going to lead 60 cultural organi-                               said the department has followed the                                      cry led commissioners to restore 70%
cultural community – is as far from                                  zations through a year of workshops on                                  taskforce’s suggestion of creating an                                     of the $11.1 million plus $1.5 million
reality as ever, the group’s laundry list                            sustainability,” said Michael Spring, di-                               online database of spaces that cultural                                   from library district reserves.
of suggestions has been taken to heart                               rector of the county’s Department of                                    groups can use for exhibitions, perfor-                                     Despite preserving the grant program
by the Cultural Affairs Council and some                             Cultural Affairs.                                                       mances or rehearsals and is “aggres-                                      and putting new initiatives in place, the
are already being worked on.                                           Furthermore, the taskforce, which                                     sively pursuing new technical-assistance                                  top goal of Miami’s artistic community
   “It’s been incorporated into what we                              held a series of town hall-style meetings                               opportunities for our cultural groups,                                    remains its own source of funding.
are going to be doing, and quite frankly                             with cultural organizations of all sizes                                ways in which they can improve their                                        “I think the most important thing is
we’re following up on every element                                  from across the county, also served as                                  skills.”                                                                  that they, the policymakers, and we, the
there,” said Adolfo Henriques, chair of                              impetus for the cultural affairs depart-                                  The 19-member taskforce, the result                                     people who recommended it, under-
council who also chaired the temporary                               ment to pursue and secure the Perform-                                  of an initiative by Commissioner Rebeca                                   stood that it’s not possible to sustain
taskforce. “There was a whole list of                                ing Arts Exchange conference in 2012.                                   Sosa that produced that and other sug-                                    that commitment through time when
actionable items, and each one of them                                 “This is a conference where groups                                    gestions, was charged with examining                                      there are competing interests in a county
is being ticked off.                                                 perform and where the people that run                                   the sustainability of Miami-Dade’s more                                   budget as big as ours,” said taskforce
   “When we have our meeting in Febru-                               facilities book them,” Mr. Spring said.                                 than 1,000 cultural groups, trends in                                     member and local artist Xavier Cortada.
ary that’s where we’ll address what’s                                “Our department actually contacted Arts                                 public and private funding for the arts,                                  “That’s why the taskforce ultimately
happened, what we’ve done and where                                  South, flew down their conference team                                  and consolidation and collaboration strat-                                decided to recommend a direct source
we’re taking the rest,” he added.                                    and showed them our facilities.                                         egies arts after Mayor Carlos Alvarez in                                  of funding for culture in Dade County.”

2-year-old Frost Art Museum at FIU draws 60,000 visitors
B Y JACQUELYN W EINER                                                                                                                                                                                                                   Prize-winning Portuguese writer
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        José Saramago’s “The Tale of
   Just past its two-year anni-                                                                                                                                                                                                         the Unknown Island.” Photo-
versary at its Florida Interna-                                                                                                                                                                                                         graphs and sculptures make up
tional University facility, the                                                                                                                                                                                                         the exhibit, aimed at capturing
Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Mu-                                                                                                                                                                                                        the author’s literary symbolism
seum has established itself as an                                                                                                                                                                                                       and exploring “themes of
integral part of the school’s com-                                                                                                                                                                                                      memory and dreams, roots and
munity, its director says.                                                                                                                                                                                                              growth, death and notions of
   Since opening in December                                                                                                                                                                                                            renewal.” Ends March 13.
2008, more than 60,000 have                                                                                                                                                                                                                   ”As of 24-03-07" displays
visited the museum’s nine-gal-                                                                                                                                                                                                          the works of María Brito, a
lery facility, said Carol Damian,                                                                                                                                                                                                       Cuban-American artist and
director and chief curator.                                                                                                                                                                                                             Florida International University
   She attributes the success to                                                                                                                                                                                                        alumna. Ends April 3.
positive reviews, aggressive out-                                                                                                                                                                                                            ”Women in Motion: Fitness,
reach and impressed visitors.                                                                                                                                                                                                           Sport, and the Female Figure”
   “There’s no doubt that word                                                                                                                                                                                                          explores depictions of female
of mouth is really important,”                                                                                                                                                                                                          athletes in the first half of the
she said.                                                                                                                                                                                                                               twentieth century, examining
   And while funding continues                                                                                                                                                                                                          whether it conforms to
to be slim from the state and                                                                                                                                                                                                           society’s view of femininity.
other past sources, Miami-Dade                                                                                                                                                                                                          Includes posters, magazines,
County didn’t trim the arts as                                                                                                                                                                                                          fine art and other media from
much as feared.                                                                                                                                                                                       Photo by Marlene Quaroni          The Wolfsonian-Florida Inter-
   Ms. Damian said she expects                                                                                                                                                                                                          national University’s collection.
                                                       Italy’s consulate general here helped connect museum with auto manufacturer Fiat, says Carol Damian.
to receive about $135,000 from                                                                                                                                                                                                          Curated by the university’s
Miami-Dade County this year –                          ian automobile manufacturer                              Frost’s “Crossing the Boundaries:                         Contemporary Art” presents                                    Laurie Shrage, professor of
similar to past years.                                 Fiat for its upcoming “GRAN                              Art and Music” speaker series.                            work by a select group of                                     philosophy and director of
   In addition, Florida Interna-                       TORINO: Italian Contemporary                                Mr. Amram’s work includes                              Torino artists, introducing                                   women’s studies, and Dionne
tional University left the                             Art” exhibit, she said.                                  two operas, more than 100 or-                             trends in new Italian art. Curated                            Stephens, assistant professor of
museum’s budget – which cov-                              And the upcoming Robert                               chestral and chamber works and                            by Paolo Facelli and Francesco                                psychology and African and
ers operating expenses – un-                           Farber photography exhibit is                            scores for films “Splendor in                             Poliwill. Ends April 17.                                      African Diaspora studies.
touched, she said.                                     being sponsored by Canon cam-                            The Grass” and “The Manchu-                                    ”My Eyes Have Seen” cap-                                    The Patricia & Phillip Frost
   “That’s a vote of confidence on                     eras, Ms. Damian said.                                   rian Candidate.”                                          tures the timeless images of                                  Art Museum is at 10975 SW
their part,” she said. “They see the                      “The reality is that you need                            Following his talk is an intro-                        American photographer Robert                                  17th St., Tamiami, on Florida
museum as an integral part of the                      corporate, private sponsorship                           duction of the artists, curators                          Farber, whose signature style                                 International University’s main
university community.”                                 to do exhibits,” she said.                               and exhibits.                                             has influenced photographers                                  campus.
   The museum is also getting                             The museum’s newest set of                               “It’s a big night,” Ms. Damian                         for generations.                                                 It is open Tuesday-Saturday
creative with corporate spon-                          exhibits is to open with a recep-                        said. “It has really got an energy                             ”The Tale of the Unknown                                 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday
sorship, seeking companies that                        tion from 6-9 p.m. Jan. 26.                              all by itself.”                                           Island,” curated by Spanish art-                              noon-5 p.m. Admission is free.
have a connection to exhibits.                            The event kicks off with com-                            The five exhibits opening Jan.                         ists Esther Villalobos and Mar
   The Italian consulate helped                        poser David Amram discussing                             26 are:                                                   Solís, interprets “a journey into    Details: (305) 348-2890 or
connect the museum with Ital-                          his compositions as part of the                               ”GRAN TORINO: Italian                                the unknown” inspired by Nobel     http://thefrost.fiu.edu.

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