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Miami-Dade Cultural Class Trips Go Online Amid Pandemic

Black Violin_PC Mark Clennon.jpg
Mark Clennon
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South Florida-based duo Black Violin (Wil Baptiste and Kev Marcus) will be among the scheduled performers on Miami-Dade's list of virtual cultural field trips for kids.

Four Miami-Dade arts organizations are joining forces to focus on cultural enrichment for K-12 students.

Many of us can remember the times we got on a crowded school bus with our teacher and classmates — and headed off to spend the day at a museum or theater to watch a live show.

Sadly, the COVID-19 pandemic has pulled the plug on such art and culture school trips.

But now four Miami-Dade arts organizations have teamed up to arrange virtual field trips — until students can get back to the real thing again.

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"When kids are exposed to the arts, it gives them a different way of seeing things. It gives them the opportunity to see life through a different lens," said Christina Tassy-Beauvoir, projects administrator for Miami-Dade's Department of Cultural Affairs.

The agency has joined forces with the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Miami Theater Center and South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center to form the Miami-Dade Arts Education Collective. The group will focus on providing arts education to Miami-Dade's K-12 students.

The performance schedule features an eclectic mix of cultural experiences for kids, from a play about racism to a show that combines circus acts and science. Although they will be viewed online, the virtual field trips will include lesson plans and Q&As that offer the children a chance to interact with the artists.

The odds are good that the virtual field trips will continue well after the COVID-19 pandemic turns a corner. Tassy-Beauvoir says the program benefits students who live in more remote parts of Miami-Dade County, who perhaps don't have easy access to cultural centers.

"It has given us an opportunity to reach a broader audience," she said.

Upcoming performances on the field trip schedule include:

▪ “A Kids Play About Racism,” now through May

▪ Air Play, Jan. 4 through 15

▪ Black Violin, Jan. 19 through Feb. 26

▪ “Emil and the Detectives,” March 1 through 12

▪ Ballet Hispánico, April 12 through 23

▪ Inez Barlatier – “Ayiti – Stories and Songs from Haiti,” May 1 through 31

For more information, please send a message to education@arshtcenter.org.

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This story is part of “Intermission,” WLRN’s series looking at how South Florida’s arts community is coping during the COVID-19 pandemic.

We’ve also been hearing from people who are NOT artists by trade, but who are tapping into their creative side during COVID isolation.

If you’ve got a story for us, please send an email to talktous@wlrnnews.org, with the word “Intermission” in the subject line.