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Arts & Business Council Creative Happy Hour honors Bruce Levine’s 30-year legacy

Written By Josie Gulliksen
June 26, 2024 at 6:47 PM

(L-R) Renee Pesci, executive director of Arts & Business Council of Miami; Laura Bruney, president & CEO of Arts & Business Council of Miami and Karen Ladis, Esq. and executive director of Dade Legal Aid, flank honoree Attorney Bruce Levine. Photo by Rezia Hayes.

The Arts & Business Council recently hosted their Creative Happy Hour during the weekly Monday night Noche de Arte, hosted by collaboARTive at the InterContinental Miami.

Everyone gathered in a room surrounded by the work of artist Mariantonia Gutierrez, this month’s featured Noche de Arte artist.

Artist Mariantonia, Noche de Arte’s June artist of the month, chats with guests at the Arts & Business Council Creative Happy Hour at the InterContinental Miami in Downtown. Photo credit Rezia Hayes.

They were also there to honor Bruce Levine who retired from Dade Legal Aid and, that evening, was presented with a Proclamation from the Miami-Dade County Office of the Mayor and Board of County Commissioners naming Monday, June 10, 2024, as Bruce Levine Day by Karen Ladis, Esq., executive director of Dade Legal Aid.

Ladis hired Levine 30 years ago to work on the We Will Rebuild Grant awarded to Dade Legal Aid following Hurricane Andrew in 1992. Through We Will Rebuild, Levine was assisting victims of contract and insurance fraud and other issues while also helping with intake enlisting pro bono attorneys to help with various legal issues following the hurricane.

Karen Ladis, Esq. and executive director of Dade Legal Aid on left with Laura Bruney, president & CEO of Arts & Business Council of Miami, presenting Attorney Bruce Levine with his Proclamation naming June 10, 2024 Bruce Levine Day. Photo credit Rezia Hayes.

“I was working at a small firm doing family and criminal defense but when the opportunity with Dade Legal Aid came up, I took it,” Levine said.

Levine was the man of the hour, also presented with a Serving the Arts Award by Laura Bruney, president & CEO of the Arts & Business Council of Miami and with the Proclamation by Ladis.

During his years with Dade Legal Aid from 1993 to 2024, one of his pro bono projects was with the Arts & Business Council’s Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts.

“When I came on full-time as Dade Legal Aid’s Pro Bono Project attorney Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts was one of the pro bono projects I managed and how I came to work with Laura Bruney,” Levine said.

Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts assists individuals and organizations in the arts with assistance on bylaws, incorporation, becoming a 501C3, tenant issues, labor issues with employees and much more. When VLA first became part of the Arts & Business Council services attorneys provided individual representation and eventually as more attorneys became involved, clinics were offered around the city at co-working spaces and law firms.

“Clients would meet with attorneys who specialized in copyright and incorporation, and they would receive assistance right on the spot. If any client needed further assistance with a legal issue, we would refer them to an attorney that would continue to aid them pro bono,” Levine said.

Levine was also involved with Jump on Board where attorneys who served on non-profit boards would make presentations on the requirements of being on a board of directors. And 15 years ago, they received a grant from the United States Patent and Trademark Office to match patent attorneys with inventors seeking those types of services.

Multidisciplinary Artist Picardo, who painted the framed Serving the Arts Award and Laura Bruney, president & CEO of Arts & Business Council of Miami, flank Attorney Bruce Levine. Photo credit Rezia Hayes.

Although he is retired from Dade Legal Aid, Levine has no plans of slowing down, planning to dedicate his time fully to his other passion, filmmaking. He is now a production executive with Gold Entertainment Media Group, founded by his high school friend Danny Gold, a director, producer, and writer.

“Danny and I went to Beverly Hills High School, but I eventually moved moved to Hollywood, FL in 1993 because my wife, who I met in Los Angeles, was originally from Miami and she wanted to move back,” said Levine.

Even from Miami though, Levine kept working in the film production industry with Gold starting with a reality show on MTV, the documentary about legendary writer/comedian/producer Carl Reiner titled “If You’re Not in the Obits, Eat Breakfast” and on various other projects for Home Box Office (HBO).

He currently has a movie on Amazon Prime and Apple TV+ which he executive produced called ““Killing Me Softly With His Songs” about the composer Charles Fox who wrote many of the popular television show songs and jingles in the 1970s.

There is no denying that Levine will stay busy during his “retired” years, given his obvious passion for his career in film production.

To learn more about Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts, Patent Pro Bono and the many other programs and services of the Arts & Business Council of Miami, visit their website artsbizmiami.org.

ArtburstMiami.com is a nonprofit media source for the arts featuring fresh and original stories by writers dedicated to theater, dance, visual arts, film, music, and more. Don’t miss a story at www.artburstmiami.com.

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