From the Knight Foundation to fund annual international, cultural field trips for college visual artists.
MIAMI --- New World School of the Arts (NWSA) visual arts students seeking a Bachelor of Fine Arts will take an international trip during their senior year, with $500,000 in new support from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
"So many of Miami's best artists are born and raised here, and often attend New World School of the Arts. We want them to ultimately make South Florida their home. But it's important that they see the greater world of art beyond our borders, as these cultural field trips allow them to do," said Dennis Scholl, vice president for arts at Knight Foundation.
Knight’s funding is part of $23 million in new support recently announced for South Florida’s diverse and dynamic cultural community, bringing the foundation’s total to $86 million in six years.
Created by NWSA faculty and Miami galerist Fredric Snitzer with support by Miami art collectors Carlos and Rosa de laCruz, the international travels gives students the opportunity to experience the artistic wonders and vibrant cultures of other countries in order to augment and enhance their own artistic outlook.
“The trip, which offers the students the opportunity to immerse themselves in the culture of other countries, allows them to experience, first-hand, much of the art they have only learned through books. This enables them to expand their artistic awareness and understand that art does not have boundaries and does not discriminate – it is a global and ever-growing fusion of concepts and ideas,” said Maggy Cuesta, dean of visual arts at New World School of the Arts.
Among the art-enriched cities that NWSA BFA students have visited in years past as part of the BFA journey is Venice, where they visited Palazzo Ducale in Piazza San Marco, La Fenice Opera House and the world-recognized Guggenheim Collection and Francois Pinaiult Collection. They also attended the 54th Venice Biennale housed in the historical Pavilions of Giradini. In Berlin, the students toured historical museums and sites in the area of Mitte and enjoyed the prominent Boros Art Collection and Hoffman Art Collection.
“New World’s emphasis on professional training is brought to a stunning apex for these BFA graduates with the opportunity to meet theleading collectors, gallerists and museum directors around the world. We are so thankful to Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz and the Knight Foundation for their visionary support. The world view gained in this travel directly translates back to Miami as our graduates join the ranks of young professional artists in our community,” said Jeffrey Hodgson, Provost of New World School of the Arts.
In addition, New World School of the Arts alumni also received significant grants to help propel their art endeavors in South Florida, as part of the Knight Arts Challenge, a community-wide contest to fund the best ideas for the arts. David Hemphill (theater BFA, 2009) received $25,000 for Project [theatre], which hasbeen producing progressive theatre events since January 2010 and features agrowing number of NWSA alumni actors. The Project [theatre] will use challenge funding to expand efforts to redefine the local theatrical experience. To attract both new and existing theatergoers, the Project will create large-scale immersive theater events in which the audience literally follows and experiences a story throughout its environment. The organization will also expand its Beer & Cigarettes project that blurs the line between spectator and spectacle. During these immersive, site-specific performances, the audience acts as voyeurs and stories unfold throughout a bar over the course of a night.
Likewise, Lucas Leyva (theater high school, 2005) received $500,000 for the BorschtFilm Festival. The company's focus is telling Miami stories, which transcend the city's exterior and stereotypical misrepresentations in mainstream entertainment and commissions, produces, and showcases film/video works by emerging artists. The homegrown festival has put Miami into the national conversation on independent filmmaking, with works shown at 40 international film festivals. New support will help the festival expand its efforts and create more “only in Miami” stories. The Borscht Film Festival’s shorts have been shown at SXSW in Austin (four short films in 2012 alone) and the Sundance Film Festival.
Thought Loom, the brainchild of choreographer Letty Bassart (dance high school, 1992) will pair South Florida choreographers with national and international dance artists for season performances supported by a $50,000 award.
About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit knightfoundation.org and knightarts.org.
NWSA is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art, Dance, Music and Theater, and provides a comprehensive program of artistic, creative and academic development. NWSA grants the four-year Bachelor of Fine Arts and Bachelor of Music degrees, as well as the high school diploma. New World School of the Arts was created by the Florida Legislature as a center of excellence in the performing and visual arts. It is an educational partnership of Miami Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and the University of Florida. For more, visit www.mdc.edu/nwsa .
New World School of the Arts: Maggy Cuesta, Dean of Visual Arts, 305-237-3597;
Knight Foundation: Andrew Sherry, Vice President for Communications, 305-908-2677;