Broward Cultural Division Director
Photo by Jonathan D. Marcus
Throughout the history of the Broward Cultural Division, it has been our goal to raise the profile of local artists and arts organizations – and to celebrate the impact they make in our community. I am pleased to report that we have been given a rare opportunity to advance these efforts in the context of a significant milestone for the county.
The Cultural Division recently announced a unique partnership with the Greater Fort Lauderdale Convention & Visitors Bureau to develop a county-wide celebration for Broward’s Centennial and beyond. With help from our co-sponsors, the Community Foundation of Broward, the year-long event - Broward 100—Celebrating the Art of Community, is being developed with the plan to launch an ongoing annual Signature Event. The community Foundation of Broward awarded the Division a $400,000 grant with which we will work closely with our CVB colleagues to structure a 12-month celebration with numerous events and activities that utilize the arts to strengthen communities and build unity. This grant is the first of its kind awarded to the Cultural Division and the CVB; and will focus on the power of art to bridge, bond and build communities.
Every element of County government will play a role in the celebration, including Broward County's Port Everglades, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Parks and Recreation, Libraries, Transportation and, of course, the Historical Commission.
Broward 100, which will launch in October 2014 and culminate in October 2015, is expected to unite the entire County through a series of preplanned and sanctioned events. The four cornerstones of Broward 100 include:
· VisualEyes: A series of new public artworks that will create a legacy for the Centennial and pay tribute to Broward's past, present and future.
· Inside Out Broward, a visual arts project working with internationally-renowned artist JR, which encourages communities to reflect their diversity in large-scale portraits that are exhibited in public forums, such as in murals and video projection.
· Calendar 100: A yearlong program of Centennial events offered through County agencies, municipalities and community partners, which will be centrally located on a comprehensive, online Broward 100 calendar.
· Culminating Event: A large-scale celebratory event in October 2015, incorporating creative minds, which will launch an ongoing annual signature event in Broward appealing to the global community.
As Linda Carter, president/CEO of the Community Foundation, observes, “Our richly diverse community has much to celebrate on its 100 birthday- and what better way to do that than through the universal language of art. As Broward grows it becomes harder for all of us to stay connected with each other. Art builds bridges between groups, bonds people and communities and secures new partnerships in positive ways.”
We echo Carter’s sentiments and look forward to working collaboratively with the Community Foundation and our partner County agencies to plan and carry out a truly exceptional celebration of Broward County’s Centennial.
Speaking of planning, it’s the time of year when the Cultural Division invites members of the community to participate in an arts and cultural ideas exchange at our Annual Planning Forum. This annual update for the Broward Cultural Council will take place on Feb. 13. It will begin with a wine and cheese reception in ArtServe’s art gallery at 5:30 p.m., followed by presentations at 6:30 p.m. in the auditorium.
This year’s Annual Planning Forum features a special guest speaker - Arts for LA's Executive Director Danielle Brazell - who will talk about her involvement in transitioning an ad-hoc steering committee to a highly visible arts advocacy organization serving the greater Los Angeles region. Her presentation will serve to introduce the Broward Cultural Council’s advocacy initiative -- Arts 954 - Broward's Voice for All Creatives.
The evening will open with the DCA String Quartet from the Dillard School of the Arts that was commissioned to play at a gallery opening during Art Basel in 2013. Agenda highlights include:
· Broward Cultural Council's accomplishments in 2013
· Cultural Council goals for 2014
· Centennial event updates
· Guest speaker Danielle Brazell
· Special performance by dancer and choreographer Pablo Malco
We are pleased to note that this year’s forum takes place at a time when we anticipate having more resources with which to plan than has been the case in the past few years. For the second year in a row, state funding for the Broward Cultural Division has increased from the low point reached in Fiscal Years 2011 and 2012.
We are grateful to the members of the Florida legislature who made this increase a reality and to all of our friends who helped us make the case for support of the arts during the budget process.
We are looking forward to an exciting year in 2014.