Conductor Judd receives $1 million grant to start Miami music project

By Lawrence A. Johnson

Thirty-one cultural organizations, including several local music groups, are among the winners in the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s announcement of $8 million in grants to local arts projects.

 Most striking is the $1 million awarded to the Miami Music Project, an initiative that marks the local reappearance of conductor James Judd, left, former music director of the Florida Philharmonic Orchestra.  Judd, who has kept a low profile since moving back to Fort Lauderdale several years ago, and Richard Harris, a former trombone player for the New World Symphony, have proposed a three-year musical outreach program to public schools. The project will culminate in a two-week arts festival of professional musicians and students to be presented at the Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in Miami.

 The largest award, $1.8 million, went to the University of Miami in collaboration with real-estate developer Craig Robins to support an international arts residency project in Miami’s Design District.

 Other winners include $750,000 to the Miami World Cinema Center; $684,750 to Seraphic Fire to create a “little league-type network of choral ensembles” in Miami-Dade County; $600,000 to NFAA youngARTS; $500,000 to Young at Art of Broward; $400,000 to O Cinema; $400,000 to Legal Art; $250,000 to Miami City Ballet for its collaboration with the Cleveland Orchestra; $250,000 to Classical South Florida, the  region’s classical radio station; $200,000 to the Adrienne Arsht Center; $200,000 to Miami Light Project.

 Thought not big in terms of amount, the most heartening award for local music fans is the $40,000 awarded to the Miami Lyric Opera, Raffaele Cardone’s fledgling company.

 Here are the details on all 31 grants, as released by the Knight Foundation:


Recipient:  Miami Lyric Opera

Award:  $40,000

Summary: Like any major city, Miami needs an alternative opera company to foster local talent.  Miami Lyric Opera fills that role. This grant will provide general operating support, to allow the organization to continue preparing young artists for careers at major opera houses while presenting quality productions. 

Applicant: Created in 2004, Miami Lyric Opera has successfully produced 14 operas from the Italian and French repertoires in addition to several gala opera concerts. The organization’s mission is to promote the knowledge of opera, with a particular emphasis on younger generations. By creating opportunities for new artists to learn from experienced performers, Miami Lyric Opera contributes to the musical culture of its community.


 Recipient:  The City of Miami Beach Department of Cultural Affairs

Award:  $150,000

Summary:  Launched in 2007, Sleepless Night presents 13-hours of free cultural events, including art installations, dance, theater, music, slam poetry and acrobatics, at more than 80 venues to mark the last night of Daylight Savings Time. In its first year, more than 150,000 people attended. This grant supports continuing the festival, which the City of Miami Beach aims to offer annually with private and corporate sponsors.  

Applicant: Miami Beach’s Cultural Affairs program sustains, develops and supports the arts in Miami Beach for the enjoyment and education of residents and visitors.


 Recipient:  Gean Moreno         

Award:  $30,000

Summary: Gean Moreno will create the first nonprofit publishing house for South Florida-based art books.  A writer and curator, Moreno’s organization will produce and distribute its own collection of titles and work with local institutions to produce high quality catalogues and thematic volumes. The publications will archive South Florida’s cultural happenings, leaving a legacy for future generations. Also, the work of local artists will be exposed to a larger audience. 

Applicant: An artist and writer based in Miami, Gean Moreno’s work has been exhibited at North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art, CCA Glasgow, Frost Art Museum, Bass Museum, Moore Space, Cuarto Nivel Foundation, Haifa Museum, Institute of Visual Arts in Milwaukee, and Künstlerhaus Palais Thurn & Taxis in Bregenz, Austria. Moreno was awarded the Leo and Raye Chestler Contemporary Visual Arts Award in 2006 and the Emilio Sanchez Visual Artists Award given by the Oscar B. Cintas Foundation in 2007. Moreno, a contributing editor for Art Papers and ArtUS, has written for various publications and catalogues. He was closely involved with Locust Projects, an alternative exhibition venue in Miami, between 2002 and 2006. In 2008, Moreno founded [NAME] Publications. 


 Recipient:  NFAA youngARTS

Award:  $600,000

Summary: Though it is a Miami-based organization, the National Foundation for Advancement of the Arts has focused its programs on a national audience. This grant will create a regional program that will train and support local artists in their senior year of high school, a critical juncture. YoungARTS/Miami will provide promising local artists with master classes taught by renowned artists, along with financial support and networking opportunities. Top-scoring applicants will receive cash awards at a local awards ceremony.  Their teachers will be honored, as will the recipients’ schools.  Also, all applicants – no matter their score – will receive detailed feedback on audition materials.  The foundation hopes to use this program as a national model for other major cities.

Applicant: youngARTSTM is the core program of the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA). youngARTS identifies the nation’s most talented high school seniors in nine different disciplines. The program offers unique educational opportunities as well as scholarships and awards to artists who demonstrate extraordinary talent. Each year youngARTS hosts a week of exceptional master classes, performances and exhibits for up to 150 students. Since 1981, youngARTS has facilitated more than $80 million in scholarships for higher education institutions throughout the country and has given over $6 million in awards. youngARTS is the exclusive nominating agency to The Commission on Presidential Scholars for the annual selection of the Presidential Scholars in the Arts; the selected few receive their awards at the White House each summer. Alumni include Broadway actors, award-winning playwrights, published authors and numerous esteemed musicians and visual artists. 


 Recipient:  Miami Music Project

Award:  $1 million

Summary: The Miami Music Project is a year-round, intensive classical music outreach program that also produces a two-week festival headed by Conductor James Judd. The project will create an “educational ensemble” that will perform and lead seminars at Miami-Dade middle schools. Students will be encouraged to create their own music, which will be presented at the festival. In its first year, the program will reach 2,000 Miami-Dade students, a number that will quadruple by year three.

Applicant: James Judd, creative director of the Miami Music Project, is music director emeritus of the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra. He was music director of that orchestra and the Florida Philharmonic. He has made guest appearances with the Berlin Philharmonic, the Leipzig Gewandhaus, the Vienna Symphony and all the major British orchestras. In Asia he conducts regularly in Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong. He assisted in the foundation of the European Union Youth Orchestra, Gustav Mahler Youth Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

Juvenal Correa-Salas, executive director of the Miami Music Project, is a pianist, conductor and lecturer. Correa-Salas has been involved in developing outreach programs and music festivals in the Caribbean, Latin-America and the United States. He co-founded the center of arts for children Centro Amati and has been secretary of the Latin-American Music Center at Indiana University, director of the Tampa Opera’s outreach program and director of the Pro-Arte Children’s Series.  A graduate of the Music Conservatory of Puerto Rico and the Indiana University School of Music, Correa-Salas was awarded the Robert Feldman Grant and the Harvey Foundation Award for his work and performance excellence. 


 Recipient:  Artformz, LLC        

Award:  $90,000

Summary: Giants in the City will place ten large, inflatable sculptures in Bayfront Park. The sculptures will be created and designed by ten celebrated artists, including Jose Bedia, Michelle Weinberg, Gustavo Acosta and Alette Simmons-Jimenez. Expected to attract international spectators, local art enthusiasts and people who don’t typically visit art exhibits, the project strives to be an annual event that creates a visual experience while building a sense of community.

Applicant: Artformz is an experimental venue providing artists and curators the space and means to exhibit and advance innovative work without the pressures of the market. Artformz encourages artists to develop a strong artistic vision, ambitious approaches to the creation and presentation of their work and the willingness to be experimental. Artformz is interested in supporting projects of a collaborative nature that encourage dialogue and foster creative exchange while enriching the arts in South Florida.


 Recipient:  Frost Art Museum

Award:  $25,000

Summary: The Frost Art Museum, which opened an expanded facility this year, will create an interactive kiosk to offer year-round, virtual access to its permanent collection.  Visitors will be able to view the works, ranging from contemporary pieces to African wood carvings. At the same time, they will have access to catalogue information and maps. Beyond the 38,000-member university community, the kiosk will benefit Southwest Miami-Dade School children and other visitors.

Applicant: The Frost Art Museum opened in 1977 on the University Park campus of Florida International University. It has been designated as a Major Cultural Institution by both the State of Florida and Miami-Dade County and in 2001 became an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institution. In November, the Frost Art Museum opened its new 46,000 square-foot facility, which will better serve the university and greater South Florida.


Recipient:  University of Miami                         

Award:  $1.8 million

Summary: Art + Research is a fellow residency program for emerging artists that strives to enrich South Florida’s intellectual life. Established by the University of Miami in partnership with developer Craig Robins, the two-year program will invite prominent international artists to mentor the residents who will live in the Design District. The international scholars will be key to the program, emphasizing Miami’s role as an art-world center. Also, the program will be thematically based, with a new concept focused on contemporary art and society introduced every two years. Art + Research will be an incubator for innovative arts projects that also contributes to South Florida’s reputation as an arts center.

Applicant: The University of Miami is the largest private institution of higher learning in the southeastern United States and the only private research institution in South Florida.  The “U”, as it is affectionately known by students and alumni, is a private, non-sectarian institution, currently enrolling 15,670 students. Alumni live in all 50 states and in 148 countries and total close to 155,000. Since its founding in 1925, the University of Miami has grown from its main location in the City of Coral Gables to include the Miller School of Medicine campus located in downtown Miami and the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science campus based on Virginia Key. With more than 10,000 full- and part-time faculty and staff, UM is the second largest private employer in Miami-Dade County.


Recipient:  Design and Architecture Senior High                                   

Award:  $40,000

Summary: Inspired by Joni Mitchell’s lyrics, “They paved paradise and put up a parking lot,” students at Design and Architecture Senior High plan to turn a black-top expanse into a botanical refuge. Using the talents of architecture and environmental science students – and the expertise of local designers – the school will create a space much like an outdoor classroom. Ultimately, it will be conducive to discussion, research and botanical inspiration.  By restoring an urban eyesore, the school will create a visual splendor where students and community members can have a multi-sensory experience.

Applicant: Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH), the premier design school in the country, provides top-notch students with a specialized program in architecture/interior design, industrial design, film and entertainment, graphic design, fashion design and fine art.  Principal Stacey Mancuso is an accomplished artist who has shown in galleries and museums throughout the world and teaches sculpture to seniors at DASH.  Mancuso earned her bachelor’s at Syracuse University, master’s degrees at Ohio State University and the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a doctorate from Nova Southeastern University.


Recipient:  Young at Art of Broward, Inc.                    

Award: $500,000

Summary: Through a partnership with Broward County, Young at Art is constructing what will become Florida’s first art museum for children. In five galleries, the museum will explore art as it relates to history, the environment and diverse cultures, among other topics. It will also include an art institute for painting, printmaking, digital photography and ceramics. Offering an experience for babies through teens, the museum strives to transform the way children view the arts and turn them into future patrons. 

Applicant: Since 1989, Young At Art Children’s Museum has been dedicated to shifting the paradigm of arts education from learning about art to using art for learning. Through exhibitions, artist residencies, school tours, programs for at-risk children and studio classes, the museum has brought art to the forefront of education. The museum is the #1 ranked youth museum in Florida and was named the Best Children’s Art Museum in the Nation by Child magazine. The museum is the recipient of an Institute of Museum and Library Services National Leadership Award, NEA Artistic Excellence Award and Promising Practice Award from the Association of Children’s Museums. The new art museum for children is scheduled to open in 2011.


 Recipient:  Upper Eastside Garden                               

 Award:  $25,000

 With this grant, the Upper Eastside Garden will transform into a botanical park with sculptures and educational and ecological programming. The park will be designed by Edwina von Gal, who recently worked on the Parque Botánico in Panama with architect Frank Gehry.  The organization will also continue to operate the City of Miami’s only miniature golf course in the sculpture garden, but with a twist. The sculpture that is part of the ninth hole will be redesigned monthly by kids. The garden will also launch a rotating two-wall mural, curated by Emmanuel Perrotin, a Miami and Paris gallerist.

 Applicant: The Upper Eastside Garden strives to create affordable vehicles for artistic expression, increase people’s accessibility to the arts and sciences and promote new ways of thinking about art through interdisciplinary programming. The garden features outdoor sculpture on its nine-hole mini golf course, a rotating mural project, weekly film series and live musical performances.


 Recipient:  Gold Coast Jazz Society                             

 Award:  $18,000

 Summary: First Friday Jazz Jams will provide students of all ages and skill levels a chance to perform with veteran jazz musicians. A live rhythm section, comprised of professional jazz musicians, will be provided at Fort Lauderdale’s ArtServe facility. Open to middle school students and up, this intergenerational event will provide a chance for the community to witness the development of young jazz talent.  And young musicians will be able to hone their musical skills, network with others of all ages and have fun playing great music. 

 Applicant: The nonprofit Gold Coast Jazz Society was founded in 1992 by Frederick Ruffner and a group of jazz enthusiasts to perpetuate and advance the cultural art form of jazz through performances, education and outreach activities.  The organization’s activities include a mainstage concert series at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts of classic jazz, big band and the Great American Songbook featuring local, national and internationally renowned artists; Jazz is Elementary, a series of free jazz education programs in local schools; jazz education concerts for middle and high school students; Jazz for Wee Ones at local child-care sites;  free jazz performances in the community and scholarships to deserving and aspiring jazz students through the Jeanette Russell Jazz Scholarship Program.


 Recipient:  Miami Light Project, Inc.                             

 Award:  $200,000

 Summary: Miami Light Project’s Here & Now Festival presents bold, local and original performance art. This grant will expand the festival to deepen opportunities for local artists, while building audiences for new work. In addition, Miami Light Project will establish an annual residency and retreat program for the commissioned artists. 

 Applicant: Founded in 1989, Miami Light Project presents live performances by innovative dance, music and theater artists from around the world; supports the development of new work by South Florida-based artists; and offers educational programs for students of every age. Since its inception, Miami Light Project has reached a diverse cross-section of communities with an extensive outreach effort that includes partnerships with other arts organizations, universities and social service agencies. Miami Light Project is a cultural forum to explore some of the issues that define contemporary society.


Recipient:  LegalArt

Award:  $400,000

Summary: The Studio Initiative will provide 13 affordable live/work spaces for artists in Wynwood. The selection process for awarding them will be highly competitive, aiming to bring together promising artists who will collaborate in ways only a residential model can offer.  A 14th studio will be reserved for visiting curators and scholars who will mentor the artists and critique their work. The building also will house LegalArt, which will continue to offer legal aid and provide its signature professional development series for artists on marketing, business development and other topics. The unique center will be a place where artists from all over South Florida will seek guidance, resources and a greater sense of community with their peers.

Applicant: LegalArt provides artists with legal services, monetary and educational grants and professional development workshops. In 2009, when LegalArt launches The Studio Initiative, the nonprofit will expand its programming beyond visual artists to all creative disciplines. By empowering artists with vital resources and information, the organization creates unique opportunities and protections for Miami’s art community. All LegalArt programming helps artists by fostering a community both dedicated to and invested in their success.


Recipient:  The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts                          

Award:  $100,000

Summary: Launched in February, Free Gospel Sundays is a monthly concert series that features some of the area’s best gospel soloists and choirs, many affiliated with churches. In its first, four-month season, the event attracted 3,000 people, with audiences increasing each month. With this grant, the Arsht Center will institutionalize the series and expand it to a total of eight free performances with free parking. WMBM 1640 AM will help identify and coordinate the performers. Free Gospel Sundays will build awareness of the Arsht Center while also celebrating the city’s diversity.

Applicant: In 1994, cultural arts, government and business leaders conceptualized a world-class performing arts center for downtown Miami. The center, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, opened its doors in 2006 and includes the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the 200-seat Carnival Studio Theater, the Peacock Education Center, the restored Carnival Art Deco Tower and the Thomson Plaza for the Arts. This year, national business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht donated $30 million and, in recognition of the gift, the former Carnival Center for the Performing Arts was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Currently in its third season, the Arsht Center has welcomed over 850,000 patrons and served over 25,000 children through its outreach programs.


Recipient:  Haitian Neighborhood Center Sant La                                 

 Award:  $80,000

 Summary: Haitian Neighborhood Center Sant La will create a music series to introduce the best Haitian jazz artists from around the globe to South Florida audiences. The concerts will showcase the complexity, versatility and sophistication of the Haitian musical tradition by introducing the work of performers who have created new sounds by infusing traditional Haitian rhythms with jazz standards. Through their creations, these artists have enjoyed a significant following, and are striving to extend the reach and impact of Haitian music globally. 

 Applicant: Sant La strives to empower, strengthen and stabilize South Florida’s Haitian community by providing free access to information and existing services to ensure its transition from a struggling immigrant community to a successful and stable one.


 Recipient:  Seraphic Fire                                  

 Award:  $684,750

 Summary: The Miami Choral Project will create a little league-type network of choral ensembles throughout Miami-Dade County, at no cost to participants. With an emphasis on low-income areas, the project will be based on two models: Venezuela’s National System of Youth Orchestras, with 250,000 participants, and Pop Warner Football, which requires consistent academic improvement of its players. Eventually, a regional chamber choir will bring together the most gifted young singers. The project’s long-term goal is to see large-scale participation in free choral ensembles nationwide, with local and national honor choirs creating a sense of unity across the United States. 

 Applicant: Founded in 2002 by Artistic Director Patrick Dupré Quigley, professional chamber choir Seraphic Fire has garnered critical acclaim both locally and nationallyCalled “one of the best choirs anywhere,” by the Miami Herald, Seraphic Fire brings together the most talented young singers from across the country for concerts of rarely heard classical music. The group has rapidly gained a reputation as “the smartest, most creative and consistently excellent classical music ticket in South Florida,” according to The South Florida Sun-Sentinel.  International classical music magazine Gramophone called Seraphic Fire “one of the most exciting and unexpected developments on the local scene . . . chamber choir Seraphic Fire . . . has quickly become one of the top attractions in the region.  No group programmes more adventurously,” On Dec. 21, 2007, Seraphic Fire made its debut at the Knight Concert Hall at Miami’s Carnival Center for the Performing Arts, with a sold-out performance of Handel’s Messiah.


 Recipient:  Miami City Ballet    

 Award:  $250,000

 Summary: In a rare artistic collaboration between a major orchestra and a major ballet company, the Cleveland Orchestra and the Miami City Ballet will perform together on Jan. 29, 2009 at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. The orchestra will play works by Stravinsky and Bizet, while the ballet dances to the compositions with choreography by Balanchine. The project will allow the organizations to assess the demand and financial support for future artistic joint ventures that could include commissioning new works.

 Applicant: Founded in 1985, Miami City Ballet continues to receive acclaim under Founding Artistic Director Edward Villella as one of the nation’s top ballet companies.  The ballet performs throughout South Florida and has toured to more than 100 cities in the United States.  Among several distinctions, Villella is a recipient of a National Medal of Arts and a Kennedy Center Honor. 

 In 2007, The Cleveland Orchestra launched its landmark Miami Residency designed to serve the Miami-Dade community through subscription concerts and education and community outreach activities. Ranked by Gramophone Magazine (2008) in the Top Ten Orchestras in the World, The Cleveland Orchestra’s long tradition of international acclaim continues with high demand for its concerts under its current music director, Franz Welser-Möst.


Recpient:  ArtCenter/South Florida      

 Award:  $150,000

 Summary: ArtCenter/South Florida will create an ADA-accessible Computer and New Media Center so that all artists have access to the digital technology now prevalent in art-making. This grant will support building, equipping and staffing the Media Center, to be located at the center’s Lincoln Road facility. Supervised “open labs” will be available for more advanced artists who wish to work independently. By providing access to software and digital tools, low-income artists and students will have a level playing field for career advancement.

 Applicant: ArtCenter/South Florida advances the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture in South Florida through education, exhibition and public outreach programming. It also provides affordable work-space for outstanding visual artists in all stages of career development.


 Recipient:  New World School of the Arts                                

 Award:  $90,000

 Summary: ARTSEEN will be a center in Wynwood with studios for New World School of the Arts seniors and spaces for workshops, exhibitions and lectures. There, New World students will be able to create their work for their senior projects while interacting with other artists. ARTSEEN also will also house a gallery space for monthly exhibitions. Open to the public, ARTSEEN will foster a dialogue between New World and the community at large and provide a focal point for Wynwood and a destination for South Florida.

 Applicant: A Florida center of excellence in the visual and performing arts, New World School of the Arts provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative and academic development through a curriculum that reflects the rich multicultural state of Florida. With programs accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, New World offers four-year college degrees and the high school diploma. Through its rigorous curriculum and conservatory-style teaching, the school empowers its students to become leaders in the arts.


Recipient:  Twenty Twenty Projects                             

 Award:  $20,000

 Summary: The cost of participating in premier art fairs often forces artists to compromise the integrity of their art, hampering experimentation. Twenty Twenty Projects will provide a free booth at a fair for artists to present their most creative work, without having to worry about its commercial value.  The display will highlight two experimental exhibitions by emerging artists over as many years, and expose Miami artists to an international audience.

 Applicant: Twenty Twenty Projects is an alternative exhibition space located in Miami´s Wynwood arts district that was created to fuel the careers of local emerging artists who have chosen to work outside of the traditional gallery system. Since its founding by Scott Murray in 2006, the gallery has hosted 18 shows and has been written about in publications such as the New York Times, Art Papers, ArtUS and The Miami Herald.  Murray earned his high school diploma from New World School of the Arts in 1998 and his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 2002, where he worked for the Meyerhoff Gallery.  After moving back to Miami, Murray worked for the Fredric Snitzer Gallery as well as the Kevin Bruk gallery before starting Twenty Twenty. 


 Recipient:  Classical South Florida                                

 Award:  $250,000

 Summary: For six years, South Florida was the largest U.S. urban area without an all-classical public radio station. This grant will help the recently-launched Classical South Florida 89.7 fill that void and build a base of support. Knight Foundation will match listeners’ donations up to $250,000, providing a compelling incentive for supporting the station. Classical South Florida also will help local arts organizations with promotions, shared advertising and outreach.

 Applicant: Under the leadership of Douglas C. Evans, vice president and general manager, Classical South Florida 89.7 Miami/Fort Lauderdale and 101.9 in the Palm Beaches began broadcasting in October 2007.  It is the only nonprofit member-supported public radio station in South Florida dedicated to broadcasting classical music in the region. The station is dedicated to providing a vibrant – and uniquely regional – classical music service. Classical South Florida is proud to partner with local arts organizations to offer live broadcasts of the Cleveland Orchestra at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts and present nationally renowned classical programs including Performance Today, SymphonyCast, Pipedreams and Saint Paul Sunday.


Recipient:  Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs                         

 Award:  $30,000

 Summary: Over the past 35 years, the Miami-Dade Art in Public Places program has installed more than 600 works of art around the county. This grant will create a Web site to catalogue the collection.  Visitors to the Art in Public Places Web site will be able to take a virtual tour of the collection, create custom public art walking tours and explore the works by location, media or artist. Artists interested in participating in the program will be able to apply online and upload digital images of their work for jury presentation. Also, the software developed will help track the pieces and their condition and provide specialized instructions for care and artwork appraisals. The site will help the public appreciate its “county-wide museum of art.”

 Applicant: Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places is a program of the Department of Cultural Affairs and is overseen by a citizens’ trust appointed by county commissioners.  The program improves the visual quality of the built environment by creating outstanding and enduring artworks that transform public spaces from ordinary civic areas to sites that can lift the spirit and enhance civic pride.  Established in 1973, Art in Public Places allocates 1.5% of the construction costs of new county buildings for the purchase or commission of artworks.  The collection is among the largest, most innovative and prestigious public art programs in the nation.


 Recipient:  Naomi Fisher Performance Works

 Award:  $40,000

 Summary: Artist Naomi Fisher will create a series of performance art pieces outdoors in South Florida’s subtropical landscape. Through her work, Fisher will explore the relationship between nature and modern civilization. Fisher will do three to five performances over the next four years. The pieces will be videotaped and documented for a wider audience.

 Applicant: Born and raised in Miami, artist Naomi Fisher has exhibited internationally including at the Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Pinchuk Art Center, Kiev; Halle fur Kunst, Luneburg; Kemper Museum, Kansas City; Kunsthalle Wein, Vienna; Kunsthaus Baselland, Basel; Deste Foundation, Athens; and the New Museum, NY.  Fisher graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in Photography from the Maryland Institute College of Art in 1998, was New World School of the Arts’ Alumni of the Year in 2001 and received the South Florida Cultural Consortium Grant in 2000.  She also co-founded and jointly runs the Bas Fisher Invitational, an alternative art space.  Fisher is represented by the Fredric Snitzer Gallery, Miami.


 Recipient:  Bas Fisher Invitational                     

 Award:  $150,000

 Summary: Founded four years ago, the Bas Fisher Invitational is an independent gallery offering artists unrestricted freedom. As the gallery’s reputation has grown, its programming has expanded to include collaborative shows with local artists. This grant will support the gallery’s operational costs and the creation of its website to attract a broader swath of artists and aficionados. The founders want the space to become a self-sufficient institution that will inspire and galvanize Miami’s creative consciousness.

 Applicant: The Bas Fisher Invitational has earned a reputation as a thought-provoking, independent, nonprofit gallery.  It has provided the community with fresh and exciting new art work and given artists unrestricted freedom to make challenging new shows. So far, 23 artists have had solo shows there. The gallery, run by Naomi Fisher and Jim Drain with Kathryn Marks, also has hosted curated shows such as ‘CoOperate’, featuring 41 local artists, and ‘Mod 11′ which consisted of work inspired by artist interactions with incarcerated teenage girls. 


 Recipient:  The Miami World Cinema Center    

 Award:  $750,000

 Summary: Miami World Cinema Center will be dedicated to transforming South Florida into a hub of global cinema. The non-profit center will facilitate motion picture production by promoting local talent through networking and assistance with production and finding financing.  It also will enhance the programs of local educational institutions by creating specialized seminars with industry professionals, in addition to lectures and workshops for the public

 Applicant: With over 30 years of experience in both the film industry and the marketing and advertising agency worlds, Chief Executive Officer Patrick de Bokay draws on his expertise in film and entertainment as well as consumer marketing, branding and media placement. At Fox and Turner, he worked on the releases of over 150 movies and has strengthened his relationship with filmmakers as executive director of several film festivals.

Chief Artistic Officers Joshua Miller and Sam Rega’s passion for filmmaking brought them to the University of Miami (B.S. ’08) where they formed Good Cop Bad Cop Productions. Under their company, they produced, directed, wrote and edited their feature documentary, “Miami Noir: The Arthur E. Teele Story,” which premiered in the 2008 Miami International Film Festival. Miller and Rega’s other producing credits include the award-winning independent film, “The Room.” 


 Recipient: O Cinema, The Independent

 Award:  $400,000

 Summary: O Cinema, The Independent will be an art-house cinema in Miami’s Upper East Side specializing in independent, foreign, art and niche market films. It will also offer lectures and discussions around its cinematic programming. O Cinema will strive to provide intriguing and entertaining high quality films at prices that are accessible to the widest audience possible.

 Applicant: O Cinema is the brainchild of Vivian Marthell and Kareem Tabsch, co-directors of Living Arts Trust.

 Vivian Marthell is a visual artist and collaborator working across multiple mediums.  As an arts and non-profit administrator, she has formerly served as co-director of Lab6, project manager for Tigertail Productions, arts administrators for Working Classroom and former executive director for Pridelines.

 Kareem Tabsch is program director of the Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, one of the leading LGBT film festivals in the world. He is co-creator of Merge Miami, a queer film and media conference funded by The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences (Oscars). As a freelance writer, he has written about arts and entertainment for local and national publications.


 Recipient:  Just Ripe Events                              

 Award:  $30,000

 Summary: Leggo My Demo is a monthly demo competition for electronic music that now has the support of thousands of artists and producers around the word. Each month, participants submit their newest demos. The winners are featured at an event in South Florida and on the group’s MySpace page. Participants also have access to Leggo My Demo affiliate artists, with whom they can network and communicate about the industry. This grant will help the organization expand and better connect with local artists through promotions, forums and press releases furthering South Florida as a place to develop electronic music.

 Applicant: Chris Chrebet started Leggo My Demo in 2006 when he found himself with a pile of new electronic music demos given to him at the Winter Music Conference in Miami Beach.  He decided to choose the most artistic demos, post the results online and hold an event featuring the best from around the world.  When thousands of DJs and producers joined Leggo My Demo’s MySpace network, Chrebet was inspired to produce the monthly awards and events in Miami Beach.


Recipient:  Miami Poster Project

 Award:  $75,000

 Summary: The project will create an annual competition to capture the spirit of Miami in a poster. The idea is to go beyond the superficial notions of South Florida and create substantive images that reflect the region’s soul and spirit. Project creator Philip Brooker aims for the poster to be a piece of community interest that will help forge a sense of connection among the region’s disparate population. It will be distributed for free in both a digital and hard copy.

 Applicant: Founder Philip Brooker is an artist, art director, illustrator and filmmaker. He was an illustrator and art director at the Miami Herald for 25 years. His illustrations have appeared in numerous publications including the Washington Post, New York Times, New York Times Sophisticated Traveler, Atlantic Monthly, U.S. News and World Report and Business Week. His paintings and photographs have been exhibited at galleries in the U.S. and abroad, including shows in the past year at Bordas Studio in Paris and Paris Photo. He has recently started working on film projects. Brooker lives and works in Key Biscayne.


 Recipient:  Miami Downtown Development Authority

 Award:  $150,000

 Summary: This grant will support a live music series rotating through unique venues and public spaces in Miami’s Downtown area. The series will generate activity and commerce and strengthen the sense of place and community pride in Downtown, which is rapidly transforming into an urban destination. The monthly daytime concerts will take place during the peak winter season of October through April.

 Applicant: The Miami Downtown Development Authority is a quasi-public agency of the City of Miami that is dedicated to making Downtown Miami a more livable community and strengthening its position as an international center for commerce, culture and tourism.


 Recipient: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts


Award: $100,000

 Summary: For all the vitality of its cultural and entertainment scene, Miami has never played host to a great, comprehensive, annual international festival of the performing arts. The Arsht Center strives to create and produce one, and this grant will support its planning efforts.  The festival will be anchored by the uniqueness that is Miami – a blend of Latin American, Caribbean and North American arts and influences, highlighting Miami’s unique position in this hemisphere.  What Art Basel is to visual arts, Hemisphere Festival will be to the performing arts, attracting audiences around the block and across the globe.  The Festival will offer a wide range of presentations across cultural categories including music, theater, dance, film, comedy and spoken word.  The Arsht Center will produce the Hemisphere Festival in cooperation with select Miami-based arts organizations and promoters.  The festival will be developed through a three-year plan to build from a four-day weekend in year one to a full week-long celebration in year three.

 Applicant: In 1994, cultural arts, government and business leaders conceptualized a world-class performing arts center for downtown Miami. The center, designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli, opened its doors in 2006 and includes the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the 200-seat Carnival Studio Theater, the Peacock Education Center, the restored Carnival Art Deco Tower and the Thomson Plaza for the Arts. This year, national business leader and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht donated $30 million and, in recognition of the gift, the former Carnival Center for the Performing Arts was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Currently in its third season, the Arsht Center has welcomed over 850,000 patrons and served over 25,000 children through its outreach programs.


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2 Responses to “Conductor Judd receives $1 million grant to start Miami music project”

  1. Posted Dec 02, 2008 at 6:00 am by Robertson Adams

    Thanks for bringing this important news to the eyes of South Florida classical music fans. Would you please consider including a link to the site? Some may wish to see the videos or follow the winners’ site links posted there.

    IN fact you might be interested in research published by Knight Foundation on classical music audiences, which involved the New World Symphony as one of 16 orchestras collaborating on audience development research. “The Search for Shining Eyes” is the title which recaps 10 years of effort and is the place to start:

    Thanks and please let me know if there is anything I can provide to support your coverage of the arts and Knight’s Miami grantees.
    – Robertson Adams,
    webmaster, John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,

  2. Posted Dec 02, 2008 at 7:02 pm by Jung

    Unfortunately (for us up in South Florida’s Broward county), these wonderful grants are all for worthy causes in Miami. Broward County; but it is still a cultural wasteland.

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Mon Dec 1, 2008
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