arts

More and more, I eschew end-of-year best-of lists for the simple reason that they're arbitrary and imply a comprehensiveness on which they can never deliver. What works for me is to compile a list that reflects some of the enormous gratitude I feel for getting to enjoy other people's work and art — one that doesn't even pretend to define what is best, but simply to share some of the abundant good stuff I run into.

Not long ago, Kathleen Franz was sifting through the archives at the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History. Franz is a curator there, and she was working on an exhibit about the history of American advertising.

Art Basel Week Live Music: No Velvet Ropes

Dec 3, 2015
iii Points

Live music has been a part of Art Basel week since the early years, but often it's been a side dish of the visual art shows or served with a heap of art-world exclusivity.

Over the years, music promoters have built a music-festival component to Miami Art Week meant to welcome crowds regardless of their standing in the world of art collection.

Little Haiti's Street Art, Before The Wynwood Era

Nov 30, 2015
Maria Murriel / WLRN

Click through the slideshow to see more of Little Haiti's utilitarian street art.

Miami's Wynwood Arts District has been South Florida's street-art mecca for years. And as the neighborhood's rents rise and galleries migrate to its surroundings, news outlets and the art community itself have implied art is moving into Little Haiti.

But Little Haiti has been speckled with art since at least 1994. It may have just been mistaken as signage.

Nancy Klingener / WLRN

An international, but temporary, art installation is taking shape on the shore of Key West.

The International Sand Art competition winds up Saturday, with judging scheduled for the afternoon.

John O'Connor / StateImpact Florida

As soon as the fourth and fifth graders at Natural Bridge Elementary were handed the lyrics to "Amazing Grace," they were ready to sing out.

But first, they needed a lesson in the four voice types of a choir – bass, tenor, alto and soprano.

One by one members of the group added their part while the students waited to sing the melody. Finally, it was time to add soprano Sara Guttenberg.

“I really hope she sings the melody,” tenor Patrick Muehleise told the kids.

The students are ready. They join in before the conductor gives them their cue.

Richard Blanco's poem for President Obama's second inauguration, "One Today," just came out as a children's book, with illustrations by Captain Underpants creator Dav Pilkey (Little, Brown Books for Young Readers).

Blanco is a poet and a civil engineer and says in the right brain/left brain equation, he uses both sides in equal measure. He recently spent some time with us talking about his own childhood. 

Knight Blog

The Knight Foundation is letting South Floridians decide where their arts funding should go. 

The foundation provides funding to arts programs across the country. Each year it hosts an arts challenge based in South Florida in which local art projects compete for money.

For the past four years, the foundation has used a crowd-sourcing effort to give some of the finalists an extra financial boost.

There are four finalists for this year's Knight Foundation’s Arts Challenge "People’s Choice Awards".

Turkish Airlines Builds World’s Tallest Sand Castle

Oct 27, 2015
Audrey Armitage / For WLRN

Turkish Airlines unveiled its successful attempt to break the world record for tallest sand castle Monday at Historic Virginia Key Beach. The event was intended to promote the start of Turkish Airlines’ direct flight service from Miami to Istanbul, which began Sunday.

Turkish Airlines Chairman Ilker Ayci said the project reflects the optimism and success he sees in Miami, and “shows the innovative capacity and creative capacity of the people.”

John O'Connor / WLRN

Students at two Miami elementary schools got a lesson in singing together from choral group Seraphic Fire Friday.

The group is based in Miami but performs all over the country. It is providing music classes in local schools this year.

Most students at North Miami’s Natural Bridge Elementary had never sung an Israeli folk song before. Some are just learning English.

But Seraphic Fire singer James Bass had more than 100 students belting out the words to “Zum Gali Gali.”

How One Family Is Bringing Steel Pan Back

Oct 8, 2015
Lisann Ramos / WLRN

Henry Potter was a 10-year-old in the Virgin Islands when he was first captivated by a noise from a churchyard.

He remembers:

“I’m like, ‘What is that ting-ting-ting?’ so I looked in and I saw kids playing and I watched them. The next day I went back. And probably about the third day, the guy who was in charge of the band, he asked me, ‘Do you wanna play?’ I’m like scared but I said yes. He said, “Well no problem, you can come, you can come and learn to play.’”

Bobby Ramirez via www.jazzonian.org

After 16 years hosting and producing South Florida Arts Beat, Ed Bell has retired - he's been with WLRN for 38 yearsThis was his recorded message on the final episode of the program, which aired Friday, September 25th, 2015.

Rhythm Foundation, Perez Art Museum Miami, Winterfest, A Word On Food, Ed Bell Says Farewell

Sep 25, 2015
Bobby Ramirez via www.jazzonian.org

09/25/15 - This is the final episode of South Florida Arts Beat on WLRN. We visit with Laura Quinlan executive director of The Rhythm Foundation, also, it's time get our holiday spirit on with Winterfest. Regular contributor Judith Bishop chats with Leann Standish interim director of the Perez Art Museum Miami, Norman Van Aken with A Word on Food, and since th

Arthur Rothstein / Arthur Rothstein Archive

Arthur Rothstein was a young man in the 1930s. He originally wanted to be a doctor. But it was the Depression and he went to work for the Farm Security Administration, documenting American workers and the conditions they faced.

In 1938, that assignment took him to Key West. The city suffered more than most in the Depression, declaring bankruptcy and essentially handing itself over to the state. The state, in turn, brought in a New Deal administrator who decided the island should remake itself as a tourist mecca.

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