A big boost for Miami artists

ArtCenter South Florida announced a major new artist grant program Wednesday, the most striking product yet of the possibilities created by the $88 million sale of one of its Lincoln Road properties in 2014 and the first major initiative of new CEO and president Dennis Scholl. The Ellies, named for ArtCenter founder Ellie Schneiderman, will…

Don’t Get Weary – Alvin Ailey’s leader on Dancing in Troubled Times

(Photo – AAADT in Robert Battle’s Mass. Photo by Paul Kolnik.) In what has become a beloved Miami tradition, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater returns to the Adrienne Arsht Center today through Sunday, marking a full decade of regular seasons here. This year the highlight is work from the company’s two Miami-bred members, artistic…

#HerToo – Pioneering Performance Artist Karen Finley Takes Miami

Listen up kids. One of the raddest and baddest female performance artists ever is playing Miami tonight (Friday). Before #metoo, before mansplaining was called out, before performance was “time-based art,” Karen Finley was shocking our cultural system. Calling out the patriarchy? Finley took her challenge to the Supreme Court. Finley was one of the most…

It’s Our Party – Celebrating Miami and the Knight Arts Challenge

Let’s call it an all-Miami house party. For locals, the celebration of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge winners that kicks off Miami Art Week is their best party. It’s the time when the city’s own artistic community gets to feel like the center of the glittering art/celebrity/marketing marathon that…

Art Goes Boom – Massive ICA sculpture falls from crane

Art is supposed to have an impact, but not like this. On Monday a 20,000 pound sculpture fell from some fifteen feet in the air as it was being lifted into the sculpture garden at the new ICA, the lavish contemporary art museum in the Design District. The giant granite work, a ridged rectangular cube,…

Miami Motel Stories – Wild History in Little Havana

(Actor Charles Sothers hosts Timeline Live 305. Photo Jordan Levin.) Miami Motel Stories, the marvelously inventive blend of theater, history, and neighborhood invocation running in Little Havana’s deliciously dilapidated Tower Hotel, is a hit. Good reviews and lots of buzz mean that tickets to the second floor, and its intimate room by room scenes, are…

An Our Town for our town.

The moment during Saturday night’s opening of Miami New Drama’s rendition of Our Town, the quintessentially American Thornton Wilder play, that felt most familiar was the one you might have expected to be the most “foreign.” Mrs. Gibbs (the charismatic and marvelously vital Chantal Jean-Pierre) and Mrs. Webb (the formidable Carlotta Sosa), stood side by…

Miami’s Cultural Godmother is Leaving

(Photo – Mary Luft performing in 1979) Performance art? We got that. Contemporary dance? Check. Musical experiments? Yup. Shows in warehouses and other non-theater spaces? Absolutely. A spot on the U.S. cultural map? Sure. That we do owes much to Mary Luft, Miami’s cultural godmother. In 1979 she launched Tigertail Productions to present the radical,…

Invented Icons – Irene Williams, the Queen of Lincoln Road

(Eric Smith next to the Annie Leibovitz photo of his adored Irene Williams, the “Queen of Lincoln Road,” at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU. Photo by Jordan Levin.) Irene Williams, the fierce, elderly fashion iconoclast being celebrated in the show Irene Williams: Queen of Lincoln Road at the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU this summer, was…

Bread, Roses, and a Declaration of Joy

[Photo – Jennifer Kronenberg and Carlos Guerra of Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami] This is a cultural blog, but celebrating culture often feels difficult these days. Politics is so enraging and frightening. The abuse, lies, stupidity and nastiness of President Trump; the meanness of politicians who seem determined to decimate support for the environment, health,…