In January 2020, Fresh Art founder Cathy Byrd began to introduce podcasting and South Florida’s cultural landscape to a small group of students at the University of Miami. They explored the city to record and produce their own podcast: Miami Moves Me. At mid-semester, field expeditions came to an abrupt halt and classes went online due to the pandemic. UM podcasters met the challenge—producing eighteen episodes based on their research, field recordings, and interviews. Fresh Art’s Giselle Heraux and Jahné King introduce our Fall 2020 Student Edition, with six stories from the Miami Moves Me archive.

Art in the Time of Corona

In a prologue to our Fall 2020 Student Edition, University of Miami senior Melissa Huberman tells the story of Art in the Time of Corona. Recording with Fresh Art International founder Cathy Byrd, local artist Dana Musso, and team members from The Bass Museum of Art in Miami Beach, Huberman discovers how artists, curators, and educators are responding to the impact of the global coronavirus pandemic. Listen to hear the ways they are creating and implementing meaningful art encounters for their communities.

Black in MiamiThen and Now

University of Miami students Ben Vinarski and Reese McMichael venture to an abandoned hotel in North Beach to go behind the scenes of an immersive theater production. Inside a room designed as the well-equipped kitchen of an upper-class home, actress Maggie B. Maxwell has just rolled out a pie crust while introducing her visitors to the city’s Black history.

Immersive Theater individualizes each audience by extending the stage into their physical space. The Broadmoor Hotel in Miami Beach served as the setting for Juggerknot Theater Company’s 2020 Miami Motel Stories. This vivid example of the art form was designed to take audience participants back in time, to experience Miami in the 1960s. Maggie B. Maxwell, who studied theater and political science, plays the role of a domestic worker in the production. In this conversation, she talks about the realities of being Black in Miami then and now.

At Home in Miami's Little Haiti

University of Miami students Gretchell Cano and Luz Estrella Cruz explore the work of Haitian-born artist Edouard Duval-Carrié. They, along with the rest of the Miami Moves Me team, visit Duval-Carrié’s studio in the Little Haiti district. Listen to find out why the artist chose to call Miami home, and hear his views on how the Caribbean influences the city’s art and culture.

New Caribbean Cinema

University of Miami student Luz Estrella Cruz makes her way to the Third Horizon Film Festival at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex in Miami. She’s there to meet filmmakers Diana Peralta (De Lo Mio, 2019) and Michael Lees (Uncivilized, 2020), whose work she’s been researching. Interviewing them and watching their films, Cruz discovers the passion behind their stories and immerses herself in two diasporic experiences from the Caribbean.

The Miami-based Third Horizon film festival is dedicated to cultivating awareness of Afro diasporic and Caribbean filmmaking. In February 2020, the fourth edition of Third Horizon took place in the festival’s new home—Miami’s Little Haiti district, with a line-up of urgent new cinema from the Caribbean, its diaspora and beyond.

Diana Peralta’s film De Lo Mio, unfolds in the Dominican Republic, a country that shares the island of Hispaniola with Haiti. In this intimate family drama, siblings raised in the DR and the U.S. express the complexities of Latinx identity. Adventuring into the wild alone on a vision quest, Michael Lees endures a category 5 hurricane in his film Uncivilized. The Commonwealth of Dominica, a mountainous island in the Lesser Antilles, is the site of his reckoning with self and nature. Both tales reveal the resilient force of family and community.

Sacred Land Beneath the Skyscrapers

University of Miami students Diana Borras and Kurt Gessler discover sacred land hiding in plain sight at the heart of Brickell, Miami’s business district. Carib tribal queen Catherine Hummingbird Ramirez has come to meet them at the Native American site known as the Miami Circle, and she’s ready to share her concerns about encroaching urban development.

The Miami Circle was discovered in 1998, when an archaeological investigation at the mouth of the Miami River found evidence of a 2,000 year-old indigenous community on land once occupied by the Brickell Point Apartments. The Tequesta site consists of a circle over 35 feet in diameter with about 20 basins and hundreds of smaller postholes.

Making Good Time in Miami

University of Miami student Kristian Kranz heads to Books & Books in Coral Gables, Florida, for a conversation with Lynne Barrett, editor of the book Making Good Time, and two of the book’s contributors: author Les Standiford and poet-engineer Richard Blanco. Listen to hear their stories about getting around in South Florida.

The city of Miami is renowned for her beauty and often imagined as paradise. Yet many locals and visitors find South Florida’s highways and byways a challenge to navigate. In the 2019 anthology Making Good Time: True Stories of How We Do and Don’t Get Around South Florida, editor Lynne Barrett brings together thirty-one true tales inspired by transportation adventures in the southern realm of the Sunshine State.

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