HistoryMiami announced today that its South Florida Folklife Center will create an innovative artist-in-residence program to raise the profile of local folk and traditional artists. These artists practice a variety of cultural traditions, including West African Drumming, Trinidadian Steelpan, Afro-Peruvian Dance, Japanese Origami, Brazilian Capoeira and much more. Through performances, demonstrations, workshops and classes, the program will offer the public the chance to experience these art forms.
“For over two decades, the South Florida Folklife Center has identified an array of local traditional artists whose work reflects South Florida’s incredible diversity,” said Robert McCammon, President and CEO of HistoryMiami. “Most of these artists, however, create or perform within particular communities, making their work difficult to access by wider audiences. Through this program, we will be able to offer the public the chance to learn about and experience the region’s artistic traditions.”
A $90,000 grant award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation Arts Challenge, a five-year, $40 million initiative will provide funding to implement the program. “Diversity is Miami’s greatest strength. By learning about different cultures through art, we can bring people together and foster a greater sense of community,” said Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s vice president/arts.
Since 1986, HistoryMiami’s South Florida Folklife Center has worked to document, present, and support the region’s traditional arts and culture. The Center has conducted field research on music, dance, verbal art, handmade objects and other traditions practiced in the area’s African American, Anglo-American, Bahamian, Colombian, Cuban, Haitian, Nicaraguan, Peruvian, Puerto Rican, Trinidadian, Venezuelan and other communities. Folklife fieldwork has resulted in extensive additions to HistoryMiami’s collections of artifacts, photographs, sound recordings and other documentation of community life, and has provided a foundation for exhibitions, educational programs, festivals, concerts, publications and media products.
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