Amanda Smith

Throughout the coronavirus pandemic, many people in South Florida’s arts and entertainment world might have had to change lanes and slow down a bit — but they haven’t hit the brakes.

They’re adapting to a changed and challenging performance landscape they could not have foreseen a few months ago.

Screenshot from Zoom

Each spring, theater students at Miami Dade College write short plays. And then in the summer, they translate them from the page to the stage.

The summer class is titled “Theatre Problems,” honoring the challenges they have to work through to produce, direct and act in the plays. This year, the course really lived up to its name.

Make Music Miami Lives On – Virtually

Jun 17, 2020
Photo courtesy of Benoit Courti

Make Music Day – the annual international celebration of June 21, aka the summer solstice – is almost upon us. In normal, non-quarantine times, millions of people around the world would be encouraged to gather outside and perform music in a joyful welcome to the beginning of summer.

The shutdown due to the coronavirus pandemic hit musicians hard, with concert halls and rehearsal spaces shuttered and silent. But a new music initiative from the Library of Congress embraces the constraints of COVID-19. The series is a collection of 10 videos of 10 different original compositions that will premiere online starting Monday, June 15. It's called the Boccaccio Project.

Miami Songwriter Behind ‘Despacito’ Sings Of Quarantine-Relevant Themes

Jun 9, 2020
Courtesy of Erika Ender

Miami singer-songwriter Erika Ender penned her latest single, “Back to the Basics,” months before the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But the heartfelt ballad seems even more relevant since the quarantine.

Inspired by “observing how nowadays everything that you have is more valuable than who you are,” Ender says the song is about “the things we miss – the essentials of life, the real relationships, the real communication, connecting with others and understanding what we’re here for.”

Simon Soong

When the coronavirus pandemic started shutting down live performances throughout South Florida, it also put the kibosh on some shows meant to celebrate milestones.

Dance NOW! Miami was getting ready to go on stage with its 20th anniversary season finale when the pandemic struck. 

'By & For' Online Art Auction To Benefit Miami Artists

May 27, 2020
Photo courtesy of Philip Lique

When curators and friends Luna Goldberg and Laura Novoa saw the havoc that the COVID-19-related shutdown was causing within the arts community, they had to take action.

Inspired by the efforts of fellow curator Pia Singh in Chicago, who created the “By & For” online art auction to benefit artists, the two teamed up to co-curate their very own Miami edition.

Known as “By & For Ed. 2 | MIAMI,” the local auction will take place on the Instagram social media platform, running from 5 p.m. May 29 through 5 p.m. May 31.

Daniel Rivero / WLRN

On this Tuesday, May 26, episode of Sundial:

Felons Voting Rights

U.S. District Judge Robert Hinkle ruled on Sunday that the requirement by the state that all former felons must pay back all fines and fees before registering to vote was unconstitutional. As many as 800,000 felons across the state of Florida could be impacted by the ruling. The high profile court case has been followed across the country for the ramifications it could have on the November 2020 election — and beyond.

Palm Beach Dramaworks

Think about the last time you saw a Broadway blockbuster in a theater. Chances are that musical or play began its life as a reading.

The rehearsals were a true illustration of the COVID-19-inspired motto "Alone Together."

Through Zoom videoconferencing, two Miami City Ballet dancers and two MCB student dancers — from their respective living rooms in South Florida — could follow the movements of choreographer Durante Verzola, who is sheltering in place at his Kansas City home.

City Theatre's 25th Anniversary A Perfect Time To Look Back, Despite Pandemic Pause

May 6, 2020

Next month was to have marked a milestone anniversary for City Theatre co-founder Susan Westfall and the company’s much-admired Summer Shorts festival.

The event, set for June 4-July 5 at Miami’s Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, would have been City Theatre’s 25th annual summer presentation of short plays and musicals. But since COVID-19 altered the worldwide arts landscape, Miami’s included, the theater’s silver anniversary celebration has been pushed to June 3-July 3, 2021.


In early April, Tobi Baisburd logged on to Zoom for her music theory class at the University of Miami. Her professor, Laura Sherman, had said there would be a surprise that day.

GeoVanna Gonzalez

Along with countless other businesses, South Florida’s art galleries and exhibitions have had to shut down for the foreseeable future, in the face of the coronavirus pandemic.


Jessica Bakeman / WLRN

Tommy Strangie has played the drag character Shelley Novak at South Beach bars for decades. Now he’s performing karaoke songs from his kitchen, singing into a can of baked beans.

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How Will Miami's Arts Community Survive? Groups Answer Call For Help

Apr 7, 2020
Photo courtesy of Pulp Arts

In these dark days of social distancing and shuttered arts venues, doors are opening to help visual artists survive the economic onslaught of COVID-19.

Art is increasingly coming online for the viewers, and critical financial resources are coming online for the artists. Such online resources connect artists and culture-lovers virtually, producing both material and emotional benefits. But will they be enough for all or most of Miami’s arts community to survive when no one knows how long the crisis will last?