Are you a musician? I get this and other indirect "what on Earth are you doing" questions from well-meaning colleagues and friends all the time. So why, you might ask, is a longtime faculty in kinesiology creating an art space and music studio in the Miami area? As our studio completes its second year of existence, I think this might be a good time to answer.
1. Forgetting where I came from just isn't feasible. Just spend a couple of minutes talking to anyone from my family of art promoters and you might walk away with a renewed conviction that you really should support the arts in this town. Surrounded by a budding cultural movement in fledgling Miami all my life, and in the company of art that both
defends cultural memory and challenges its time, I simply couldn't imagine my days without it. The constant communication with the art world, the opportunity to be close to new developments and new works is just integral to my duty, my culture, and my history.
2. Preparation matters. I've run programs in life sciences; I know what it takes to move learners, but I agree with other pandemic survivors that online interaction is not enough. We need to gather and celebrate the arts in every way we can. Besides, no matter how much I venture around the life sciences, it's been impossible to distance myself from dance as a practice. Not since college. Not since teaching college. Not since these last two years as a recovering academic. Approaching the arts disciplines with honesty should be a way of life for everyone, regardless of status.
3. Art is a core expression of wellness in the 21st century. Art develops identities, fosters self care, and enhances skills. I think the volume of support for this in the literature is frankly overwhelming, so I'll skip the explanations and get right to application as we produce 21st century projects that provide relevant interactions within the artistic disciplines.
4. Miami is home. The experiment is real. To the vexation of the rest of the country, this is where those aspirational pluralistic cultural cards are actually in play. This is where new immigrants thrive. We also need to create and protect spaces where freedom of expression is respected and encouraged, and where content itself is respected over content design or embellishment. Are we mature enough to embrace different styles of arts community-building in this city?
5. Time's arrow marks nothing. If it's twenty years, it's nothing. That's direct from the Argentine tango, turned Latin American saying, turned general daily utterance "veinte años no es nada". How about we add it to our convoluted "Miami dialect"? Yet twenty years of experience have taught me that there is a need to establish more spaces led by artists that build value for artists directly. Ergo, what is left for someone who might want to avail herself of old and new tools in the service of arts and arts education? Mutiny from a Titanic scale toward an entrepreneurial skiff seems the wisest option. I will be sharing related events, new productions, and the general vessel building process on this blog. Cheers and let's do this, Miami!