To conclude this three part exploration of innovative performance expereinces in South Florida the spotlight is going to a new program on the block. The National YoungArts Foundation has been recognizing and awarding young artsits in South Florida for three decades. Founded by Ted and Lin Arison the organization's headquarters is at the former Barcardi complex located at 2100 Biscayne Boulevard. Throughout the year on the campus you can catch Outside the Box, a multi-sensory extravaganza sponsored by ArtPlace America on the YoungArts Plaza, outside of the Jewel Box building. That’s the basis for all of the Outside the Box programs. From there it’s up to the artists to create and bring to Miami something to experience. This has been accomplished by bringing together artists from difference disciplines to explore together for a one night only free public performance/experience.
Photo by World Red Eye featred on the YoungArts Blog about Outside the Box
This season featured The Langston Hughes Project bringing together literary arts and jazz music. A piece of interdisciplinary performance art featuring classical music, hip hop dance, and more led by YoungArts alum and Grammy nominee Dave Eggar. The Borscht Film Festivals (founders include YoungArts alums Andrew Hevia and Lucas Leyva) edition that featured screenings of films and virtual rides and games. And an interpretation of Romeo & Juliet (more below). Each event completely different from the other offering the Miami community to come and explore something new created by artists challenge to think outside the box on beautiful Miami nights outside of a unique box structure on the YoungArts campus. It is an incredible example of a national organization based in Miami creating unique site specific work that highlights their artists and local Miami artists for the community it's based in.
The last event of the season brought home the idea of Outside the Box with an interpretation of Romeo and Juliet created and directed by YoungArts alumni and South Florida natives Tarell Alvin McCraney and Andrew Hevia. Miami Herald’s Jordan Levin review of the evening claimed the experience, “created an event to remember, utterly particular to this city. The performers were richly representative of Miami talent (and of YoungArts, with several winners of the foundation’s annual program), and they were electric with energy. The audience was one of the most diverse I’ve ever seen in Miami, all ages and colors, hardcore art-goers and newcomers. By halfway through they all seemed entranced, united by the experience. Afterwards people lingered, hugging and greeting the performers, talking to each other.
You can read the full review here: http://www.miamiherald.com/entertainment/ent-columns-blogs/jordan-levin/article20587113.html#storylink=cpy
For a little look into what makes innovative programming tick Esther Park-Clemetson, YoungArts Director of Campus Programming, gave the following insight for this blog post:
Where did you get the inspiration for Outside the Box?
THE INSPIRATION FOR THE PROGRAM AND THE NAME CAME FROM THE ICONIC JEWEL BOX THAT SITS ON THE YOUNGARTS CAMPUS. I WANTED TO CREATE A STATEMENT. SO WHEN COMING UP WITH NAMES FOR THE PROGRAM, I IMMEDIATELY THOUGHT OF THE TERM “OUTSIDE THE BOX” – A PLAY ON WORDS: THE LITERAL SENSE THAT THE EVENT TAKES PLACE OUTSIDE THE JEWEL BOX AND IN THE THEMATIC SENSE THAT WHAT WE DO IS OUTSIDE-THE-BOX PROGRAMMING.
How do you want the audience to engage with the series?
WE WANT TO SHOWCASE THE MULTITUDE OF COLORS HERE IN MIAMI; NOT FOCUSING ON JUST A SPECIFIC STYLE OF DANCE OR MUSIC BUT TO REALLY DO SMART AND INNOVATIVE PROGRAMMING THAT INCORPORATED THE CLASSICAL AND THE NEW AS WELL AS HIGHLIGHTING THE DIFFERENT CULTURES THAT MIAMI SO EMBODIES. TO ME, THAT’S HOW YOU ENGAGE ALL TYPES OF AUDIENCES – WE WANT TO PROGRAM EVENTS THAT IS, AT TIMES, FAMILIAR TO ONE’S LIFESTYLE BUT AT THE SAME TIME, PUSHING HIM OR HER TO EXLORE OTHER THOUHTS AND IDEAS.
What’s an experience you look forward to creating in the future that will blow Miami’s mind?
I’M ALL ABOUT THE SUB CULTURE … OR IN SOME CASES, THE SUB-SUB CULTURE. GROWING UP, I DEFINITELY WOULD CONSIDER MYSELF AND OUTCAST, THE “WEIRDO” OF THE GROUP AND I HAVE ALWAYS HAD THIS INNATE ATTRACTION TO CULTURE THAT IS FAR FROM THE NORM. THIS UNDERGROUND CULTURE BRINGS FORTH A SENSE OF REBELLION AND HONESTY – TWO QUALITIED THAT MAKE FOR SOME AMAZING AND NEW ART FORMS!!! I WANT “OUTSIDE THE BOX” TO BE A PLATFORM FOR THIS SUB-CULTURE … FOR ALL CREATIVE REBELS TO COME FORTH AND SHOW-OFF WHAT THEY GOT. ALONG WITH THAT, I WANT TO BRING IN SOME STRUCTURE AND POISE AS GUIDEPOSTS – WHICH, IN SOME CASES, MAKES THEM MORE CREATIVE AND HELPS SHAPRE THE
The next season of Outside the Box will kick off in November. To become a YoungArts member (there are perks!) or to simply signup for updates on performances and events like Outside the Box from YoungArts visit their website: http://www.youngarts.org/events.