The Miami Foundation Fuels The Continued Burst Of Creative Energy In Miami’s Arts Community With $300k In Signature Grants
Greater Miami is booming with arts, culture offerings and creative people crafting their own, unique livelihoods through a wide spectrum of pursuits. As they shape Miami’s cultural, social and economic vitality, The Miami Foundation recognized that helping artists build community has become essential. As part of its 50th Anniversary celebration on Wednesday, November 29, at the Adrienne Arsht Center, The Miami Foundation celebrated six arts and culture organizations that stand out for creating experiences that build community. The Foundation’s “Creativity” event showcased local talent and spotlighted nonprofits that received $50,000 each, or a total of $300,000, as part of The Miami Foundation’s 50th Anniversary Signature Grants. This investment provides resources to nonprofits developing spaces where “creatives” can pursue new ideas, products, technologies and social solutions. The event was the culmination of a year in which the Foundation has made $1 million of signature philanthropic investments in Miami nonprofits. Miami’s music scene was front and center as the 150 attendees enjoyed performances by the Miami Arts Studio student a cappella group, The French Horn Collective and Yoli Mayor of “America’s Got Talent” fame. Rick Schatz, The Miami Foundation’s board chair; Javier Alberto Soto, president and CEO of The Miami Foundation; and Jorge M. Pérez, chairman and CEO of The Related Group, gave remarks on how the arts shaped Miami’s past, present and future. “To create a truly prosperous community, we must strive to make equity a priority,” Soto said. “Each of our grant recipients were selected because they are using the arts and creative spaces to break down barriers in our community and to bring people together across geographic, racial, ethnic and economic lines. Doing this builds understanding and empathy in ways that are key to the development of an equitable and just society.” Soto announced the $300,000 in signature grants to the following nonprofits: – Adrienne Arsht Center: The Arsht Center leads Miami in tackling community challenges through the arts. As it enters its second decade, the Center is poised to magnify its impact on the Miami community, activating a public town square as a space where creatives can connect and dream together. – Guitars Over Guns: GOGO is building the lives of youth through music and the arts and mentorship. Since launching in 2008, they’ve served more than 2,000 local youth – 99 percent of whom have been promoted to the next grade and graduate on time. – Miami Book Fair (staff and board pictured above): For over 30 years, Miami Book Fair has been one of Miami’s flagship cultural traditions. As its motto says, it is “Building Community: One Reader at a Time.” Beyond the annual eight-day festival, the Fair hosts a variety of year-round programming in English, Spanish and Creole. – New World Symphony: Since its founding, New World Symphony has launched the careers of more than 1,000 musicians through its fellowship program. With the symphony’s outstanding programming and opening of New World Center and SoundScape Park, it has brought a new cultural vitality, contributing to Miami’s reputation as a world-class destination for the arts. – O Cinema: The community-based arts house has created a space showcasing films that would otherwise not be shown in Miami and opportunities for the city’s diverse communities to see themselves reflected on screen. – Pérez Art Museum Miami: A central destination on Miami’s cultural map, PAMM promotes progressive arts education, builds community and contributes to downtown Miami’s revitalization. Through its Knight Schools Program, all Miami-Dade County Public School students receive free admission. PAMM takes the museum experience beyond the museum’s walls and into the community with outreach programs countywide. In 2017, $1 million in 50th anniversary signature grants went to organizations with a legacy of innovation and success in both tackling Greater Miami’s most pressing challenges of the past and helping mold a prosperous future. In January, the Foundation announced grant recipients celebrating its Legacy; in June, recipients creating Opportunity for residents; and in October, recipients ensuring Greater Miami’s Resiliency – each nonprofit organization received at least $50,000 to continue expanding their work and the number of residents they serve.
Helping fellow man build the capacity to live through mindfulness. Leveraging 15 years of building community and education-based organizations, Aaron Kahlow believes that we are paving the way toward living with greater presence, purpose, and compassion (e.g. happiness) through a modern-day mindfulness practice. As a syndicated columnist, passionate motivator and globally renowned speaker, Aaron is one of the most dynamic emerging figures in the massive shift toward Mindful Living. The combination of his Zen practice, entrepreneurial success and real world approach to mindfulness is not only inspirational but also highly practical for all those trying to manage the chaos of living in today’s busy connected world.
Healthy habits build long-term happiness.
In fairy tales, Prince Charming meets a fair maid. They fall in love and live “happily ever after.” End of story. It’s interesting that the relationship only begins just as the fairy tale ends. What would happen if the story continued? We’d likely see that a lot of these so-called storybook romances aren’t as sustainable as the characters would like to think. And many of them that suddenly started with magical sparks would quickly end in a puff of smoke. Perhaps Prince Charming would no longer seem quite so “charming” to his not so fair maid who ends up falling for his best friend.
Okay, let us be clear that we are not against fairy tales or romance. It’s just that the way relationships are often portrayed in popular culture does disservice to most couples. There is no magic wand, glass slipper or fairy dust that we can rely on to give us our fairy-tale ending. And “happily ever after” doesn’t just happen.
In real life, lasting love takes some effort.
When our relationships don’t measure up to the impossible ideal we see promoted and heralded everywhere we may feel utterly deflated. We soon realize that our prince or princess charming is actually a mere mortal. Imagine that! Why is it that we often rely on unrealistic expectations and wishful thinking when it comes to matters of the heart? In every other domain of our lives we are taught that it’s work and effortful doing that lead to sustainable results.
In our professional lives, for example, we don’t expect that landing our first job will immediately lead to a flourishing career. Similarly, when it comes to our health we don’t presume that simply purchasing a gym membership and exercising one time will result in a toned and fit body overnight. With both of these endeavors we spend countless hours, days, months — even years — practicing and building new skills, and putting in the necessary work, whether that be taking training classes, or training at the gym. We regularly challenge ourselves by setting new work and fitness goals to enhance our performance. Many of us pair up with mentors in our professional lives who help us navigate corporate culture. And we hire personal trainers to take our fitness levels up a notch and guide us along the way. When we hit a plateau or feel bored — which of course at times we do — rather than give up, or switch jobs or gyms, we figure out novel ways to spice up our work and our workouts to keep us engaged.
So why when it comes to relationships — possibly the single most important factor to our well-being — do we seemingly leave the “ever after” to chance? Do we think that once we are married or committed to our wonderful partner, we will be able to coast merrily along on the initial burst of warm feelings and ride together into the sunset? We are never told the details of what leads to “happily ever after” in storybook romances, and since there is no manual that comes with commitment (if only there were!) many of us are left struggling in the dark wondering what went wrong when the relationship of our dreams just doesn’t happen.
So where can we turn to for advice on what makes a couple happy together?
While there’s no definitive list of dos or don’ts or twelve simple steps to achieve a perfect relationship, there are some promising findings based on the science of positive psychology to help build a healthy connection. We are pleased to introduce this inaugural blog based on an upcoming book we wrote on the same topic. Rather than fixing what’s wrong in relationships, our posts will focus on what’s going right in our relationships and the steps we take can take to further strengthen them. Specifically, we will discuss healthy habits that couples can cultivate to become happy together over the long term. Some of the topics we will address include:
- Distinguishing between a healthy and harmful passion
- Understanding and prioritizing positive emotions
- Savoring shared experiences with one another
- Identifying, building, and appreciating our strengths and those of our partner
We look forward to sharing latest research as well as real-life anecdotes from couples and attendees of the Romance and Research (TM) workshops we’ve presented internationally over the years. And we welcome your feedback and comments.
Imagine what would happen if we put a fraction of the work into our relationships that we do into other domains of our lives. We might just increase our chance of becoming happy together.
While we don’t believe in fairy-tale endings, we do believe in forging brave, new beginnings.