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Two New Members Join Broward Cultural Council
The Broward Cultural Council recently welcomed Linda Houston Jones and Georgia D. Nwamaka-Robinson as members.

Jones, founder and president of Ashanti Cultural Arts, a not-for-profit organization that provides cultural arts, literacy, wellness and after-school programs to Broward County, was appointed by Commissioner Kristin Jacobs. Robinson, an attorney and founder of a number of not-for-profit organizations, was appointed by Commissioner Ilene Lieberman.

The Broward Cultural Council, created in 1977, is a 23-member advisory board of the Broward County Commission. The council is dedicated to enhancing the cultural environment of Broward County through the development of the arts.

More information : Linda Houston Jones | Georgia D. Nwamaka-Robinson, Esquire

National Arts and Humanities Month, October 2009
There’s more to celebrate in October than just Columbus Day and Halloween! In fact, thousands of arts organizations and communities across the nation will observe National Arts and Humanities Month throughout the month.

Robert L. Lynch, president and CEO of Americans for the Arts and national coordinator of Arts and Humanities month, says, “Everyone recognizes the creative and cultural value of the arts and humanities. National Arts and Humanities Month offers us a chance to celebrate the often overlooked economic, educational, and civic engagement values that the arts impart in our daily lives.”

The country’s largest annual collective celebration of the arts and humanities, National Arts and Humanities Month, is coordinated by Americans for the Arts - the national organization working to empower communities with the resources and support necessary to provide access to all of the arts for all of the people.

Broward County Cultural Division is celebrating National Arts and Humanities Month. In addition to the Division’s Natural Forces: Broward County Public Art & Design ’06 – ’09 exhibit which continues at the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood until November 1; the 2009 Broward County Arts Teacher of the Year Award Ceremony will be held at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts on October 21.

More information : Americans for the Arts | National Arts & Humanities Month

Arts Consultants Chosen for Broward County’s 2020 Community Cultural Plan
The Cultural+Planning Group has been selected for an 18-month consulting assignment to develop Broward County’s 2020 Community Cultural Plan. This 10-year strategic plan will encompass diversity and will produce three component plans focused on the creative economy, cultural tourism, and public art and design.

The 2020 Community Cultural Plan will incorporate a comprehensive needs assessment, vision, draft legislation, policy framework, recommendations, strategies, funding requirements, funding sources, evaluation instruments and benchmarks. The planning process will be supported by prominent volunteer leaders in the community. A Steering Committee is chaired by Jarett Levan, president of BankAtlantic.

The Cultural+Planning Group works with leading government arts agencies, philanthropic foundations, and arts and cultural organizations to strengthen them and their communities. Its client roster includes the California Community Foundation; Kentucky Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts and Association of Performing Arts Presenters, to name just a few. A number of local consultants also will assist with the project.

David Plettner and Jerry Allen, principals of The Cultural+Planning Group, each have more than 25 years of experience in the nonprofit arts and cultural sector. Plettner was a senior management consultant at ARTS Inc. in Los Angeles for six years. He is the chair of Americans for the Arts’ Cultural Planning Interest Area. Allen’s career includes stints as executive director of the King County Arts Commission in Seattle and director of cultural affairs for the City of Dallas.

More information : Broward County Cultural Division 2020 Community Cultural Plan

Broward Cultural Division Receives Economic Stimulus Grant
The Broward Cultural Division received a grant of $250,000 for salary assistance from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA), through President Barack Obama’s economic stimulus package – the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

The division was one of only 17 communities in the U.S. to receive the $250,000 award. Eligible arts organizations had the opportunity to apply for funds to support the preservation of jobs that are threatened by declines in funding during the current economic downturn. “This is a direct example of funds being channeled to retain jobs of cultural workers in Broward County and stimulate the economy,” County Administrator Bertha Henry said.

Nationally, a total of $29.78 million was allocated to 633 grantees including 12 recipients in Florida.

Even before President Barack Obama signed the ARRA into law on February 17, Broward County staff mobilized to respond. A Broward County Stimulus Grants Coordination Office, , was established for the purpose of centralizing the identification, development, review, approval and tracking for grants and contracts resulting from ARRA. It is staffed by Linda Ross, stimulus grants coordinator.

To date 32 applications were received and reviewed. Final recommendations will be approved by the Broward County Board of County Commissioners and the results will be posted on the Cultural Division’s website at

Young At Art Children’s Museum and the Fort Lauderdale Children's Theatre also were approved to receive grants of $25,000 each through the Florida Arts Recovery Program from the Florida Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Florida Grand Opera and Miami City Ballet each were awarded a $50,000 grant through the National Endowment for the Arts.

More information :

New Chairs Confirmed for NEA and NEH
In August, the U.S. Senate confirmed Broadway producer Rocco Landesman to serve as chair of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach to chair the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).

"Senate confirmation of Rocco Landesman and Congressman Jim Leach marks a moment of great opportunity for our nation's cultural agencies,” said Americans for the Arts President and CEO Robert L. Lynch. “Landesman embarks as chair of the nation's arts agency with a robust agenda, an upward trajectory of funding, broad Congressional approval and a White House committed to attracting national attention to the value of the arts and integrating them into broader domestic policies.

"Through his service in Congress, Jim Leach proved himself to be a strong leader and strategist on behalf of both the arts and the humanities” Lynch continued. “I am certain he will lead the NEH to support the innovative and critical work of the nation's humanities groups."

According to, Landesman grew up in St. Louis, where his father and uncle owned the Crystal Palace cabaret, giving young Rocco an early introduction to stars like Barbra Streisand, Mike Nichols and Lenny Bruce. With a doctorate from the Yale School of Drama in hand, Landesman taught at the school, owned several racehorses and ran a small hedge fund before teaming up with the production company Dodger Theatricals.

With Dodger, Landesman co-produced the retro musical Pump Boys and Dinettes in 1982 and the Tony-winning Big River in 1985. In 1987, he became president at Jujamcyn Theaters, the owner of five Broadway venues (the St. James, the Eugene O'Neill, the Al Hirschfeld, the Walter Kerr and the August Wilson) and the third-biggest Broadway theater owner behind the Shubert and Nederlander organizations.

The play that established Jujamcyn as a force to be reckoned with, wrote, was David Henry Hwang's M. Butterfly, the Tony winner for best play in 1988. Since then, Landesman produced numerous plays and musicals under the Jujamcyn banner, including hits like 42nd Street, City of Angels, Angels in America, Grease, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, Kiss Me, Kate, Proof, Urinetown and Tony Kushner's Caroline, or Change.

More information : National Endowment for the Arts

Paul L. Rodensky Foundation for the Arts Presents Creative Arts Enterprise
An exciting opportunity for talented high school students in Broward County with an interest in musical theater began in September - a free, audition-based workshop for teens at the University Center for the Performing Arts in Davie. The Paul L. Rodensky Foundation for the Arts is sponsoring the program with funding from the Minto Foundation.

After successfully completing an audition, students were selected to join the performing arts center’s staff in creating a musical theater presentation that will be performed for need-based organizations throughout the community. The students will help in creating marketing material, costumes and simple set design in addition to performing in the show. Students also will receive a number of community service hours to fulfill their high school requirements.

More information : Karen Rassler at 954-336-3847 or

Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale Earns Accreditation
Officials of the Museum of Art | Fort Lauderdale, Nova Southeastern University were pleased to receive word in August that the museum has received “subsequent accreditation” from the American Association of Museums (AAM) Accreditation Commission. Accreditation recognizes a museum’s commitment to excellence and professional standards of operation, based on completion of a rigorous process of self-study and reviews by a visiting committee of its peers, which took place in May of this year, and the Accreditation Commission. The review for AAM accreditation occurs every 10 years.

“The museum has made tremendous progress since its last accreditation review and has demonstrated innovative ideas in responding to the current economic crisis,” wrote Accreditation Commission Chair Bonnie W. Styles, director of the Illinois State Museum. “Your recent merger with Nova Southeastern University sets the groundwork for yet a new beginning for the institution.”

More information : Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale | Nova Southeastern University

Whole Foods Market Partners with Museum of Discovery and Science
Whole Foods Market’s Fort Lauderdale store partnered with the Museum of Discovery and Science this summer in an effort to bring good health and environmental awareness to the residents of South Florida.

During the museum’s Camp Discovery, Whole Foods Market donated reusable lunch bags for the “No Trash Lunch” to encourage children to create a “trash less” lunch with as many reusable items as possible. Each camper received a Whole Foods Market/Camp Discovery T-shirt, while Whole Foods donated one healthy snack every day for the 11 weeks of the camp. Team members also visited Camp Discovery throughout the summer to teach children how to make peanut butter and other healthy snacks, and to talk with them about the importance of recycling.

Whole Foods Market also is supporting the museum’s sea turtle conservation efforts by providing bottled water and chips to participants of eight turtle walks throughout the year. The water bottles will then be recycled by Museum staff.

The Museum of Discovery and Science provides experiential pathways to lifelong learning in science for children and adults through exhibits, programs and films. Founded in 1976 as The Discovery Center, the nonprofit facility serves approximately 450,000 visitors annually.

More information : Museum of Discovery & Science Partnerships

Someone To Watch Over Me - Eddie Higgins Trio

In Memoriam: Eddie Higgins