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Getting into a true holiday spirit can be tough in South Florida, where palm trees, expansive beaches and balmy skies signal perpetual summer. Ever-earlier store décor and the incessant push to buy presents – more about commercialism than celebration – can make many of us feel more anxious than festive. Not to worry. Just squeeze in a trip to Miami’s Arsht Center, where City Theatre h..

One of the centerpieces of this year’s Art Week is not a static art work, and it is also one of the most sensuous and disorienting. Lebanese performance artist Tania El Khoury is producing her “Gardens Speak” for the week, courtesy of MDC Live Arts, a piece that has been applauded in cultural capitals throughout Europe and the United States. “It is a work,” she says, “that can only co..

Since its founding in 1996, City Theatre has been an important part of South Florida’s theatrical landscape, though the company’s visibility has always been highest in the month of June. That’s when its popular Summer Shorts festival takes place; for more than a decade, its high-profile venue has been the Carnival Studio Theater at Miami’s Arsht Center. Though the company founded by S..

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“Miami Motel Stories: Little Havana” written by Juan C. Sanchez, directed by Tamilla Woodard, and produced by Juggerknot Theatre Company, is a site-specific, immersive theater experience that interweaves narrative, performance, history and architecture. Nine short plays take place in nine hotel rooms on the second floor of the Tower Hotel, right off Calle Ocho on Seventh Street. Sanchez, ..

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We humans do love our rituals. When an extended family gathers for the holidays, familiar traditions promise a comforting respite from an increasingly complex, chaotic world. Still, realistically, troubles and fears refuse to be left behind. They surface like unwelcome guests. So do resentments and stinging remarks born of deep knowledge. With Thanksgiving on the horizon, you wonder: ..

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It happens every year, right around Thanksgiving, productions of the Nutcracker pop up from coast to coast, marking the start of the holiday season. But on Saturday, Miami audiences have the ..

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Everyone remembers a lost weekend, binge reading a novel whose ending had to wait because the body just gave out. No matter how compelling the story somewhere around the 30th hour the brain s..

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Climakaze Miami: arte y activismo de la mano

Photo: Courtesy FUNDarte
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Bajo agua. Así se estima quedará Miami Beach a fines de siglo si no se toman medidas drásticas.

De ahí que la organización artística sin fines de lucro FUNDarte y el grupo activista sobre sustentabilidad de vida Earth Learning, hayan tomado la iniciativa de compartir con el público la urgencia de los problemas ecológicos que afectan la región mediante un evento de tres días llamado Climakaze Miami, del 10 al 12 del mes en el Miami-Dade County Auditorium y otros puntos.

Mediante diálogos, presentaciones en tarima, charlas, y otras actividades, se darán cita artistas, científicos, activistas y todo aquel interesado en esta temática durante un simposio que busca informar a la vez que entretiene.

“Como artista, hace tiempo empecé a hacer trabajos con ese enfoque, sobre fenómenos del medio ambiente, el colapso, mezclados con narrativas para poder abordar esta crisis de una manera provocativa”, dice Elizabeth Doud, creadora de Climakaze Miami.

Para la también consultora artística y de desarrollo de FUNDarte, era imperativo entablar una conversación sobre un tema que, sobre todo entre la comunidad hispana, no se discute lo suficiente.

“Veo a Miami como una comunidad con poquísima información, con poquísimo activismo, con un gobierno que no está informando al público o que tiene muy pocos programas para enfrentar estos problemas”, considera Doud. “Y junto a eso, estamos en una región súper vulnerable donde el problema es urgente”.

Sembrando la semilla

La urgencia de Doud la comparten otros artistas del área, dice la actriz y productora, conscientes de la necesidad de hacerle cara a tan magnos problemas a través de sus correspondientes disciplinas artísticas. Y por supuesto, ese sentido de emergencia lo llevan siempre consigo los grupos y organizaciones de activismo que luchan por el medio ambiente y la calidad de vida.

“Elizabeth siempre ha tenido esa inquietud, y el año pasado nos presentó la idea, sembró la semilla”, dice Ever Chávez, fundador y director ejecutivo de FUNDarte.  “Aunque no tenemos la infraestructura para un gran festival, sí podíamos hacer una pequeña serie que de repente despierte conciencia en la comunidad a través del arte – porque los artistas son de alguna manera comunicadores – en relación al cambio climático y a todo lo que está pasando”.

El ecologista, granjero, educador, y activista fundador de Earth Learning Mario Yánez coincide plenamente con el rol que los artistas pueden desempeñar para divulgar el mensaje de que hay que actuar ante la crisis ambientalista que afecta al planeta.

“Hace falta de todo para llamar la atención de la gente, y eso es algo en lo que los artistas pueden ayudar mucho”, dice Yánez, quien como participante de Climakaze Miami, tendrá a su cargo una excursión al Everglades National Park el sábado de 8 a.m. a 3 p.m.

“Esto es algo que he tenido el placer y la suerte de hacer con frecuencia”, dice Yánez sobre esa visita al parque. “Vamos a ver por supuesto lo que normalmente se ve, pero más allá de eso, vamos a buscar las formas en las que podemos conectarnos a ese tipo de lugar”.

Alianzas entre el arte y el activismo

Conectar el arte con esfuerzos activistas y educativos para crear alianzas es algo que Doud vio ella podía hacer tras asistir a campañas de concientización del medio ambiente y notar que, con una chispa más creativa y menos didáctica, se llegaría a nuevos públicos.

Que es justo lo que busca evitar Climakaze Miami con la participación de artistas como el bailarín, coreógrafo, y actor mexicano Antonio Salinas , y la bailarina, coreógrafa, videoasta, escritora, y dibujante Michelle Ellsworth.

Cada uno tiene a su cargo dos de las presentaciones claves del simposio. Salinas ofrecerá su espectáculo en solitario La fiebre del oso polar, que incorpora danza, elementos teatrales, canto, y video, mientras que Ellsworth le echará un vistazo humorístico a la extinción del sexo masculino en su Preparation for the Obsolescence of the Y Chromosome.

Habrá además varios manifiestos de ocho minutos cada uno en los que los participantes compartirán su perspectiva sobre la crisis y qué hacen al respecto. De Canadá, por ejemplo, vendrá Peter Kulchyski , académico que se especializa en pueblos aborígenes y sus derechos.

A largo plazo

La misión de Climakaze Miami no terminará con estos tres días, sino que se vislumbran más eventos de esta índole, a manera de ciclo de tres ediciones, para ver si la iniciativa puede ser modelo con posibilidad de exportarse a otras ciudades de Estados Unidos y a otros países.

“Desde mi perspectiva, esto es algo mucho más grande que un evento o tres eventos. Hay que seguir con actividades todos los años. Porque no hay nada más apremiante en estos momentos que la crisis climática que confrontamos”, sostiene Yánez de Earth Learning.

“Lo que queremos es crear una agenda juntos, tocar en el nervio de la cuestión”, dice Doud. “Esto para mí es esencial para que podamos crear comunidad, una red de artistas que se ayuden y se propongan cosas nuevas, colaboraciones, ideas, presentaciones, diálogos, sobre el cambio climático”.

 Climakaze Miami, 10 al 12 de abril, en el On.Stage Black.Box del Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W Flagler St., Miami; en Everglades National Park; y en la playa, Miami Beach. Entrada: Admisión general $20, $15 estudiantes (18-) y adultos de la tercera edad (65+), $130 por todo el simposio. Para boletos:(800-745-3000; informes 305- 547-5414 o 305-519-6877.

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Journalist, arts writer, instructor of English and Spanish

A bilingual journalist and writer for over 20 years, Juan Carlos studied Communications at Fordham University in New York. He holds a Master&rsquo..

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