June 2011, Volume 15, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight

For the Love of Art

The arts scene in South Florida received a big boost this spring with popular events at MDC’s North and Kendall campuses.

Festival of the Arts

North Campus recently held its annual Festival of the Arts, a week-long celebration that featured stellar work by MDC students as well as major artists.

Among the highlights were exhibitions by Brazilian photographer Renato Freitas, Haitian artist Kristo and sculptor Rafael Consuegra.

There were also captivating performances by Miami City Ballet principal dancers Carlos Miguel Guerra and Jennifer Kronenberg; the Falcon Jazz Band; the North Campus Chamber Singers; the Pen Players Improv Troupe; and a searing new translation of Jean Cocteau’s masterpiece play, The Human Voice. Filling the Carrie P. Meek Entrepreneurial Education Center were the uplifting sounds of hip-hop and classical music.

“There is a renaissance of the arts here at the North Campus,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, North Campus president. “The Festival of the Arts was perhaps the best reaffirmation of our commitment to the arts. It’s an integral part of education and personifies the cultural life of our unique community.”

Arts and Letters Day

Meanwhile, MDC’s Kendall Campus recently held its 19th annual Arts and Letters Day. The two-day celebration featured music, lectures, art exhibitions, workshops and sessions focusing on spoken-word and open-mic performances.

Marta Magellan, the event’s program director, said attendance goes up every year and the performances keep improving as well.

“The most colorful event was the chalk art contest,” Magellan said. “It had a section of the plaza bursting with drawings by students and other talented artists.”

Iggy Pop, the controversial and edgy punk-rock icon, was the event’s keynote speaker, and there were performances by Miami City Brass and award-winning musician Daysi Cecilia, among others.

Another highlight was the Re Fashion Show, which promoted sustainability awareness by showcasing students modeling designer garments made from recycled materials.

In addition, romance and mystery novelist Annette Blair discussed her work; there was a film presentation of La Grande Bouffe; and the Kendall Campus Debate Team engaged its audience.

“The event kicked off with serious lectures, but Arts and Letters Day itself happens in one frenzied day of performances, plays, contests, workshops and flash mobs,” Magellan said. “There is truly something for everybody.”

— WV

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