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  • Writer's pictureGined Lopez Ganem

5 Revelations of a Higher Ed Mutineer

Updated: Jun 24, 2023

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.

the author holding a white rose and a guitar case in front of painting
Our studio turns two, with work by Demi

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.

young woman with painting by Cuban modernist in background
contributing to Art Miami, circa 2002

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.

group of artists backstage at the Frost School of Music
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

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.

the author at an exposition with husband Alberto and catalog she helped write
With musician Alberto Puerto, contributing to catalog for Cesar Trasobares expo, 2018

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?

the author at art gallery with urban photograph behind her
Urban photography at Art Labbe Gallery, 2019

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!

woman with glass of wine in front of painting by Arturo Rodriguez
With work by Miami-based artist Arturo Rodriguez

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1 Comment

Jun 22, 2023

Growing up it was hard finding a space that encouraged freedom of expression and enhanced skills I wanted to improve on. Being apart of Alberto Puerto Music School has helped me grow so much as an artist. I attended my first opera, concert, and recital. I have met other amazing artist all because of Gined and Alberto. I will be taking a masterclass soon and am excited. This space means everything to me and the Miami area

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