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Culture

"Her Own Little Paris In Miami"

Greenfield1.jpg
Marice Cohn Band
/
The Miami Herald

Ruth Greenfield was a music teacher and a maverick. In the segregated 1950s and 60s, she ran a Miami arts school that included students and teachers from all racial backgrounds–even if she had to teach in a Masonic lodge or in a funeral home.  She came from a privileged background and was able to study music in Paris, where people of all kinds interacted more freely.

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hU--wnfHuZI&feature=player_embedded

Her school, the Fine Arts Conservatory, expanded to six branches throughout Miami. For 25 years, students from different racial and socio-economic backgrounds came there to learn music, dance, drama and visual arts. The teachers were different races too. Before she was elected to Congress, Carrie Meek volunteered as a dance teacher there on Saturdays.Greenfield and her family hosted dinners and put on recitals.

For a while, Ruth Greenfield had created her own little Paris.

Khrista Rypl and Sammy Mack contributed to this story.