A Truly Transformative Year
MDC has continued carrying the American Dream forward in the past academic year, playing a significant role in shaping both the cultural agenda and higher education policy on the national stage while empowering its hundreds of thousands of students to seize opportunity.
MDC raised its already high profile as a cultural leader for South Florida with unprecedented successes in its arts programming. Its Miami International Film Festival brought A-list celebrities, including Rumer Willis, Rodrigo Santoro and Kevin Kline, for a week of educational events, screenings and parties, drawing as many as 70,000 attendees. And, as it does year after year, MDC’s Miami Book Fair International took Downtown Miami by storm, drawing hundreds of thousands of visitors to lectures and presentations by the most popular authors of our time, among them Harry Belafonte, Jeff Kinney and Michael Moore.
Embracing the new name MDC Live! on the 20th anniversary of the successful Cultura Del Lobo performing arts series, the College offered groundbreaking performances from diverse artists including Sofía Rei, Nora Chipaumire, Conor Lovett, Terri Lyne Carrington, John Jasperse Company and Pig Iron Theatre Company. Their contributions in theater, song and dance reflect the high caliber of art for which MDC has become famous.
The College’s respected Art Gallery System (AGS) saw another year of exciting exhibitions, showcasing the talents of renowned and emerging artists, as well as skilled faculty and students. Taking on the stewardship of the CINTAS Foundation Fellows Collection, AGS reaffirmed its role of preserving the artistic legacy of local and international artists.
Excellence in High Gear
The scholastic year ended on a high note with a clear view toward the future during the College’s recent representation at Harvard University by MDC Provost Dr. Rolando Montoya, who participated as a panelist in a discussion alongside Martha Kanter, under secretary of the U.S. Department of Education, and Hilary Pennington, former director of education, postsecondary success and special initiatives at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The focus: President Obama’s 2020 Goal of America, which seeks to double the number of college graduates, a mission MDC has wholeheartedly embraced in its MDC3 College Completion Initiative, with the help of the Gates Foundation’s important Completion by Design grant and the Pathways Fund.
College faculty, administrators and staff working on MDC3 met throughout the year in a remarkable, collaborative outpouring of input and constructive discussion to develop a concrete plan for improving MDC’s graduation rates and, in turn, serve as a model of success for institutions of higher education nationwide facing the same challenges.
MDC has also led innovation in developing funding sources, particularly with the creation of its state-of-the-art Miami Culinary Institute (MCI). Topped by its luxurious restaurant, Tuyo, which is led by world-renowned Chef Norman Van Aken and offers spectacular views of the Miami skyline and Biscayne Bay, the Institute opened its doors in the fall to great fanfare.
A hotspot for international dignitaries, local leaders and celebrities, Tuyo has already received honors from such prestigious institutions as the Network for Executive Women in Hospitality (NEWH), as well as rave reviews from critics and diners. It is a boon for MCI students, who benefit from the scholarships that are partly funded by the restaurant’s revenue.
Building upon this success, the year to come offers much to look forward to for the MDC community. Stay tuned as the College forges ahead to bring opportunity within reach for yet another generation.