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The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance Among 73 Knight Arts Finalists

Nadege Green

The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance in Little Haiti is one of the 73 Knight Arts Challenge finalists announced yesterday.

The community-wide contest funds ideas that bring South Florida together through the arts.

Eduard Duval Carrier, cultural director at the alliance, says the group plans to host visual artists from across the Caribbean while exploring what it means to live and create in multiethnic communities such as Miami.

"We’ve realized that the Caribbean has produced such a diaspora," he says, "not just Haiti -- but the whole Caribbean."

He says Miami, with its close ties to the Caribbean, is the perfect city to launch a collaborative that will link contemporary visual artists with Caribbean roots.

The Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance, along with the other Knight Arts Challenge finalists, must now present a full proposal to the Knight Foundation. Winners will be announced Nov. 30.

Here are the 2015 Knight Arts Challenge finalists, with descriptions from the foundation's announcement:

A Greener Miami: Expanding audiences for music by hosting mini-concerts in South Florida farmers markets, preceded by a short explanation of the composer’s inspiration

Amir Baradaran: Bringing interactive art to Miami’s neighborhoods with a large public installation of digital mirror triptychs that reacts to and incorporates the faces of passing pedestrians

Andy Harlow: Bringing jazz by seniors to seniors through visits of small ensembles of retired professional musicians to community centers, parks and more

Art and Culture Center of Hollywood: Expanding arts education in the region by buying new telepresence equipment so that the center’s staff can interact directly with students in its distance learning arts programs

ArtCenter/South Florida: Exploring climate change through the arts by creating a one-month artist residency aboard a sailboat where participants will be commissioned to create work inspired by Miami’s relationship to water

Artefactus Cultural Project: Instilling an appreciation for theater in West Dade’s children through workshops that lead them through the process of staging a play

AugustinaWoodgate: Creating playful encounters with poetry through “Walk on Poems,” where local poets write pieces about neighborhoods that are then placed on sidewalks with Scrabble-like tiles

Bakehouse Art Complex: Bringing Art Hack Day to Miami – an international event, where groups of hackers and artists create an instant exhibition that blends art and technology

Barron Sherer: Preserving legacy media, such as 35 mm slides and archival motion pictures, through an archive that serves as a resource for artists, designers, filmmakers and researchers

Brian Butler: Drawing attention to Miami’s vibrant music scene, with the goal of encouraging more bands to play here, by creating a series of illustrations of local performances to be published in print and online

City of Miami Gardens: Expanding the city’s successful Jazz in the Gardens event with a music, film and art conference that fosters a deeper exploration of the additional artistic mediums

City Theatre: Developing the next generation of playwrights through a contest where high school students from Palm Beach to Miami-Dade create, rehearse and present short plays

Delou Africa: Celebrating dance of the African diaspora in Miami by creating a heritage festival in partnership with the international group DanceAfrica

EXILE Books: Celebrating Miami’s literary culture through the launch of a Miami Zine Fair that highlights alternative print culture and then asks participants to donate material to the University of Miami’s archives

Fernando Landeros: Bringing classical music to new audiences by hosting Brahms and Brews, a chamber music series in local breweries and restaurants that pairs songs with an appropriate craft beer 

FilmGate Interactive: Strengthening the annual FilmGate festival that connects transmedia artists with new technologies and experts in the field

Florida Keys Council of the Arts: Bringing art into the streets by placing the work of Keys artists on billboards along the 120-plus miles of the Overseas Highway that connects Key Largo and Key West

Friends of the Bass Museum: Infusing a library with art through a series of solo artists projects and education programs at the Miami Beach Regional Library while the Bass’ own building is under renovation

Fringe Projects: Helping South Floridians explore Downtown Miami’s less conventional spaces by expanding this site-specific public art series to six months

FUNDarte: Bringing attention to Miami’s hidden musical talents, many of whom have immigrated to the city and have not yet made it to mainstage venues, through a collaborative series with established companies and artists

Gay Men’s Chorus of South Florida: Increasing the visibility of South Florida’s LGBT arts scene through joint programming between the chorus, Island City Stage and Stonewall National Museum and Archives

Greater Miami Youth Symphony: Creating cultural exchanges between Miami and Havana students through joint rehearsals and concerts with Cuba’s AmadeoRoldan Conservatory Orchestra

Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance: Creating an artistic dialogue between Miami and Caribbean artists through programs and exhibitions here and abroad that explore the realities of living and creating in these diverse, multiethnic communities

Hans Morgenstern: Giving South Floridians an insider’s peek into Miami’s growing indie film scene through a website that covers the local industry

III Points Presents: Challenging the conventional way of seeing live music through an October event that presents vanguard talent and artist installations in non-traditional venues

IlluminArts: Engaging audiences with a mash-up of music and the visual arts by presenting an award-winning composition in the galleries of Florida International University’s Miami Beach Urban Studios

Isabel Cuervo: Creating community through film by launching an independent cinema in Doral

Jonathan Cane: Exploring how the human brain interprets music through a film series and exhibit that will graphically illustrate a person’s neurological reaction to listening to a composition

Kenny Riches: Strengthening the indie filmmaking community through a screenwriter roundtable where participants can get feedback on new material

Kip Eagen: Engaging transit riders in art by creating a series of artistic billboards along the TriRail tracks that would appear to be an animated flipbook as riders fly by

Las Olas Village: Celebrating the art of postcards by having an artist recreate iconic Florida postcards, enlarging them and digitally displaying them in the Las Olas Post Office

Leadership Prep Foundation: Preserving Bahamian culture by teaching Miami youth to make traditional Bahamian festival junkanoo costumes and instruments, which are used during Coconut Grove’s annual Goombay Festival

Locust Projects: Exploring how fear is used in the media by creating sculptures of headless chickens, called Withervanes, that change colors to reflect the prevalence of fear-related keywords in news stories

Mad Cat Theatre Company: Promoting discussion about the impact of censorship by presenting a banned play and then producing a new work examining censorship in South Florida

MarjoryStoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center: Helping inspire South Florida artists through a residency program at the waterfront center in Crandon Park

Miami Center for Architecture and Design: Promoting the work of local designers, architects and artists through a shop that commissions and then sells limited editions of their work

Miami City Ballet: Reimagining a classic by presenting a uniquely Miami rendition of George Balanchine’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” during the company’s 30th year

Miami Dade College’s Koubek Center: Cultivating emerging Latino artists through an artist-in-residence program that provides them the space to produce work that reflects and engages the surrounding Little Havana neighborhood

Miami Dade College’s Teatro Promoteo: Fostering Hispanic theater in Miami, and raising its prominence nationally, through a partnership with the national Latina|o Theatre Commons where the college will host a prominent Latino playwright in residency

Miami Dance Futures: Bringing attention to the water supply through National Water Dance Miami, a county-wide celebration of site-specific dances – involving both professionals and local students –along the region’s shore

Miami Girls Rock Camp: Promoting creative expression in young girls through an annual camp where participants are grouped into bands and learn to write and perform an original song

Miami Industrial Arts (MIA): Expanding a hub for Miami’s makers by constructing an onsite classroom and offering subsidized classes in topics such as ceramics, wood, metalworking and 3-D technologies

Miami Light Project: Providing a space for developing new work and new techniques by piloting a contemporary performance residency program at The Light Box at Goldman Warehouse in Wynwood for international and local artists

Miami Music Club: Providing a space for producing indie music and literary and fine arts programming through a partnership with Asocial Media in a Design District space

Miami Music Project: Helping 100 Miami-Dade students push their own artistic limits through a series of orchestral boot camps taking place on teacher planning days throughout the school year

Miami Symphony Orchestra: Offering visibility to pianists under 12 through a competition, where the finalists perform with the orchestra at a high-profile concert

Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs: Providing a space for books in Spanish and other languages at a bookstore in the lobby of the Miami-Dade County Auditorium

Morikami Museum and Japanese Gardens: Engaging the community in film through a Japanese film series and festival at the gardens in Delray Beach

NC-office: Activating a public space through culture by presenting concerts and films in a new plaza in Sweetwater adjacent to Florida International University

Orlando Garcia: Exploring the complexities of sea level rise in South Florida through an interdisciplinary performance featuring electronic sounds, orchestral musicians, video and dance in partnership with five prominent local artists

Overtown Youth Center: Preparing teens for careers in the music industry through The Beats Academy, which will teach a range of topics from music theory to remixing

Performing Arts Center Trust (Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts): Igniting passion for the arts in the next generation through a $20 ticket program for college students

Prizm: Promoting the works of artists of color who reflect global trends in contemporary art through an annual fair that takes place during Art Basel Miami Beach

REVA Development Corp.: Transforming an historic West Palm Beach neighborhood through the arts by creating an artist residency program in shotgun-style houses

Rise Up Gallery: Creating a space for artists that engages the surrounding neighborhood at an artist residency program and exhibition space in a former laundromat in Little Haiti

RudduR Dance: Providing unique opportunities for young dancers by creating a piece that roves throughout the Deering Estate, in partnership with Thomas Armour Youth Ballet

Science Friday Initiative: Examining the intersection of science and art by having the acclaimed public radio program do a multimedia project focused on South Florida

Secret Celluloid Society: Preserving cult films by expanding the society’s efforts to screen and provide programming around these movies

Seraphic Fire: Celebrating the group’s 15th anniversary, and championing living artists, by commissioning 15 pieces from 15 composers that will be performed as part of every concert during Seraphic Fire’s 15th season

Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency: Celebrating Overtown’s culture through a music festival featuring national and local recording artists

Sweat Records: Supporting the local indie music scene by providing low-cost rentals of audio equipment for independent promoters and nonprofit event producers

The alt Default: Helping teens find their musical voice through a residency for this ensemble at the Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center in Miami Beach where students will create an original song

The Betsy-South Beach: Celebrating Ibero-American literature and culture through Escribe Aqui/Write Here, a multi-day festival with readings and performances

The Blue Starlite Drive-in: Bringing community together through film by launching an outdoor film festival in Coconut Grove

The Inertials: Celebrating South Florida sounds by creating new ones, with contemporary sound artists and musicians making live overdubs onto vintage recordings of South Florida-based artists, resulting in a montage of historical and actual performance

The Rhythm Foundation: Providing a home for world music by strengthening the annual TransAtlantic Festival at the North Beach Bandshell – bringing more attention to the bands performing and expanding the event into the adjacent public park

The Studios of Key West: Providing a new way to explore Key West’s history and culture through an event called Lost at the Beach, where participants use maps and apps to discover performances and installations hidden throughout Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park

Tigertail: Creating new artistic experiences through a month-long performance series that explores water and fire as elements that give and take through tragedy and regeneration

Tom Austin: Celebrating Miami Beach’s 100th year by publishing a cultural history of South Beach in zine form with accompanying exhibitions that explore how art fuels this iconic resort city

Tom Virgin: Preserving the art of letterpress by creating a space where the community can learn and practice this handmade form of communication

Village of Pinecrest/Pinecrest Gardens: Bringing the arts more deeply into communities by inviting acclaimed American environmental artist Patrick Dougherty, who creates sculptures from community-sourced saplings, to create new site-specific works in the gardens.

88.9 FM WDNA Public Radio: Bringing jazz to more Miamians by launching the Miami Downtown Jazz Festival, which will take over several blocks in Downtown and continue in various venues.

Zoetic Stage: Expanding opportunities for early-career performing artists by offering paid, onstage performance opportunities to local college students.