June 2012, Volume 16, Number 3

Cultural Spotlight

The Arts Blossom at MDC

Joyfully ushering in the spring, Miami Dade College once again brought a burst of excitement to the region’s cultural life with two annual events that create an important local forum for music, literature, art and dance.

Arts & Letters Day

Students and faculty converged with some of the region’s most renowned authors, musicians and artists for Arts & Letters Day at Kendall Campus.

This two-day event, now in its 20th year, featured art exhibitions, lectures, a literary competition, an art fair and musical and dramatic performances.

Among the notable events was keynote speaker David Liebman, a multiple Grammy Award nominee and jazz world heavyweight who delighted audiences with an insightful presentation on his life in the arts, as well as a performance with the Kendall Campus Jazz Band.

Other highlights included an appearance by Ricardo Pau-Llosa, author of six published books of poetry, short fiction pieces and art criticism. The classics came alive during an intense stage evocation of Emily Dickinson by Broadway actress and author Barbara Dana. Two of her books focus on Dickinson, and her performance reflected her long study and deep appreciation of one of America’s foremost poets.

Students put their personal imprints on events at the Sidewalk Chalk Art Festival, in a juried art exhibition and at open-mike performances.

“Arts & Letters Day is so important to our students,” said coordinator Marta Magellan. “Some live way out in West Kendall, and 20 years ago we decided we’d bring the arts to them instead of sending them across town. I’ve always wanted this to be an event for our students, but of course the entire community enjoys it as well.”

Festival of the Arts

The educational renaissance under way at MDC’s North Campus marked a renewed emphasis on the arts with the presentation of the 11th annual Miami International Festival of the Arts (MIFA). 

The Festival featured four days of visual arts, concerts, dance recitals, theatrical presentations, book readings and movies all highlighting the outstanding talent of MDC’s students and faculty and special invited guests.

MIFA (formerly known as Festival of the Arts) is a signature arts program of expanded scope and visibility.

“The important role the arts play in the development of individuals and societies is well documented,” said Dr. José A. Vicente, president of MDC’s North Campus. “We’re proud of our institution’s place as an important convener of arts and culture in South Florida.” 

MDC has long been considered the region’s cultural catalyst with its rich and diverse arts programming that includes Miami Book Fair International, Miami International Film Festival, The Center for Literature and Theatre at MDC, MDC Live!, MDC’s Art Gallery System and others.


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