New Contemporary Opera Wins $50,000 Grant

from Funding Arts Network and Knight FoundationMiami-based Funding Arts Network (FAN) and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation presented the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts with the $50,000 Knight New Work Award, the largest single grant in FAN’s 10-year history, for the production of Macandal. Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of Knight Foundation, presented the grant for Macandal, a new contemporary opera commissioned by the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts. The $50,000 Knight New Work Award is the first of two such awards, totaling $100,000. Macandal won over FAN and the advisory panel with its high artistic merit and its broad appeal within the Miami-Dade population. The presentation was made at FAN’s annual awards luncheon on May 8th, 2007 at the Radisson Miami Hotel. Twenty-seven additional FAN grantees were also announced, making this year’s pool one of the largest in FAN history at $270,000. In 2008, the second $50,000 Knight New Work grant will be awarded after another selection process. The Macandal production is inspired by the book The Kingdom of This World by Cuban novelist Alejo Carpentier about Haiti’s first slave revolt and the legendary folk hero who led it, Macandal. Carl Hancock Rux, a multidisciplinary artist, is the lead creator working with the Miami-based Haitian American composer Daniel Bernard Roumain and Miami-based Haitian American artist Edouard Duval-Carrie on a contemporary opera that links the story of different ethnic groups over two centuries of history. The music for the piece will be an acclaimed blend of funk, rock, hip-hop and classical music. Both live actors and digital animation designed by Duval-Carrie will be used to portray Macandal and other members of the Afro Haitian and Afro Cuban religious pantheon included in the work. The world premiere is slated for December 2008 with three performances. The Carnival Center is convinced that the subject matter of heroics, freedom and the desire to escape oppression will speak profoundly to a broad section of Miami’s population, cultivating a diverse audience for all performances. The winning applicant was selected by FAN with the assistance of an advisory panel including Charles Cinnamon, publicist and arts activist; Dr. Ruth Greenfield, former chair of the music department at Miami Dade College and founder of two concert series; Helen Kohen, former art critic for the Miami Herald; and Michael Spring and Deborah Margol of the Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs. The Knight New Work Award is open to all arts organizations that have previously been FAN grantees. For more information, please call: 305.908.2610

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