I’m thrilled that my project, #AfroOchoDance, has been selected as a winner of the 2018 Knight Challenge, on the 10th Anniversary since this funding project was launched “to help Miamians bring artistic ideas to life.” A project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge funds “the best ideas for bringing South Florida together through the arts.”
For both Miamians and visitors to Miami, the #AfroOchoDance Project during Black Heritage and Hispanic Heritage months will deepen awareness of Little Havana’s murals, monuments and public spaces while also building appreciation for (Afro-)Cuban historical and cultural contributions. As the producer, I will collaborate with a nationally recognized Little Havana-based choreographer Marisol Blanco to produce site-specific Afro-Cuban dance performances throughout Little Havana’s heritage district, also documented via social media and online. Each performance will commemorate people of African descent, especially Afro-Cubans, connected to Little Havana sites and history.
The grant I received, for $25,000, requires another $25,000 in matching funds, so I am currently fundraising. I am one of 43 winners from across South Florida, sharing in $2.5 million of funding.
The Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. It invests not only in arts but also in journalism and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. The goal of the foundation is to foster informed and engaged communities, which I agree are necessary are essential for a healthy democracy.