When the economic bubble burst, arts administrators saw the handwriting on the wall. Attendance at many concerts and benefits sagged and individual and corporate donations began to dry up. Whereas in the past, grants from local government and foundations often made up for lack of funds, that source suffered, too, leaving the future of many local arts organizations in question.
From big-haired and poofy dress-wearing beauty pageant queens to abandoned houses once frequented by a criminal element, Colby Katz has captured a world not often seen by the mainstream. Through her tinted lens, some of the most darkly lit landscapes shine bright. In fact, the odder the subject, the more she craves it for her collection.
It is this slightly skewed view of the world that has captured the attention of the journalistic community. She is not only on the staff of the newspaper New Times, but also has had her work appear in GQ, Spin, Time, Newsweek, Discover, Marie Claire UK, London Telegraph and The New York Times Magazine, among others.
"The exciting thing about being a writer is you have a front row seat to what happens next. I feel a great deal of joy in this act of creation," says Edwidge Danticat, the Haitian-born, award-winning South Florida writer and recipient of a 2009 MacArthur Fellowship, given to “individuals who have shown exceptional creativity” in their work.
Each MacArthur Fellow receives a $500,000, “no strings attached” award over five years. "I am overjoyed,” Danticat says. “I am humbled, thrilled with this extraordinary gift. It is an amazing honor." The fellowships are often popularly referred to as “genius awards.”
Chaos and confusion is welcome at the Lovewell Institute for the Creative Arts. With everyone tossing out ideas at the beginning of each new program, young people find a great outlet to help them realize everything that is bouncing around their heads.
"Making order of all the chaos is a key part of the Lovewell process," said Founder and Artistic Director David Spangler, Ph.D. "Kids learn to trust their creative capacity and their communication skills."
Created in 1989 and based in Fort Lauderdale, the Lovewell Institute has helped thousands of young aspiring actors work in a uniquely collaborative environment that encourages input and from everyone involved, right from the start.
Michele Guarino is interested in sharing the full spectrum of life – the sorrow and the beauty, and all that comes in between. She has photographed grandiose $100,000 weddings at the Breakers in Palm Beach, and documented Ground Zero, three days after 9/11. She has indulged in the splendor of the Caribbean Sea and the reality of United States military veterans’ hardships, as well as, the AIDS pandemic. “We are all united,” she says.
Like many artists, she has around the globe and traveled around her soul, in search of the right combination of creative fulfillment that pays the bills, in the field of her life long passion. It was a tall order, and a difficult one to to accomplish, until she arrived at the Artist as an Entrepreneur Institute (AEI), says Guarino.