Theater / Film

ArtsLaunch on Sept 7: A place for everyone to celebrate the arts.

Written By Mike Hamersly
September 6, 2019 at 7:55 PM

Anyone interested in the upcoming arts season will want to circle Sat., Sept. 7, on his or her calendar, as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts will host ArtsLaunch 2019, its annual blowout celebration of music, dance and theater events scheduled in South Florida over the next nine months.

Not only is it a great chance to purchase tickets for many shows going on sale for the first time, but it is also a blast for the whole family, with more than 50 events throughout the day. And best of all, it’s free.

PHOTO MIAMI, FL – September 08: ArtsLaunch2018 at Arsht Center on September 08, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander / Eyeworks Production).

“It’ll essentially be an indoor street fair of arts organizations, and this just doesn’t happen anywhere else in Miami throughout the year,” says Andrew Goldberg, vice president of marketing for the Arsht Center. “ArtsLaunch has become the largest free community event in Miami that includes the performing arts and other arts disciplines. No Google search will get you this group all in one place: We’re going to have 120 arts organizations, so this is really a one-stop shop for information about new opportunities.”

The focus is not only on new opportunities offered by the Arsht Center – the event is meant to be all-inclusive.

“The specific goal is to kick off the arts season for Miami, and to help lift up the arts community,” says Goldberg. “Of the 120 arts organizations, not all of them have had a previous relationship with us. It’s not about preferential treatment for those that we know: this is meant to be a place for everyone to celebrate the arts. We really want everyone in the community to feel welcome here.”

Mission accomplished, judging from the turnout: Last year, more than 7,000 people attended, and Goldberg says they’re hoping for at least 8,000 this time around.

An abundance of events will increase ArtsLaunch’s drawing power. Sublime vocal harmonies will ring out all day from the lobby of the Knight Concert Hall, with seven local high school A Capella choirs singing 20- to 30-minute sets (“Last year we had this and the kids really sing their hearts out – it’s a lot of fun,” says Goldberg).

PHOTO MIAMI, FL – September 08: ArtsLaunch2018 at Arsht Center on September 08, 2018 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Sergi Alexander / Eyeworks Production).

There will also be free dance classes on the Knight Concert Hall stage, with hip-hop instruction led by the local company ShowStoppers and a flamenco class taught by world-renowned performer and choreographer Siudy Garrido (“She is fantastic and has been on our main stages before.”)

Broadway buffs will enjoy “Hamiltunes: An American Sing-Along,” the officially licensed “Hamilton” event that will feature Miami would-be vocalists belting out the Grammy-winning soundtrack to the popular musical; plus this year’s ArtsTalk will feature Ben Cameron, passionate theater fan and president of the Jerome Foundation, discussing the state of live performing arts (“It’s a real coup to get someone of his caliber to come and talk to our community about the arts industry”).

Foodies won’t want to miss James Beard Award finalist Brad Kilgore’s chef demos, where he’ll show how to make one of his signature dishes, and then offer samples to the audience.

There are plenty of attractions for the kids, including Miami City Ballet’s onstage workshop and the inaugural Youth Fair Showcase, plus arts and crafts, balloon artists and much more.

For those who want to let loose, check out the New Tropic Happy Hour from 4 to 7 p.m., with drink specials and music by DJ Le Spam of Spam All-Stars, plus appearances by visual artists from the neighboring communities Little Haiti, Overtown and Little Havana.

You don’t even have to stay at the Arsht Center to enjoy the day, as for the first time, Big Bus Miami will offer cultural tours around town.

“There will be excursions throughout the day that will leave from ArtsLaunch just as if you were in a port city on a cruise,” says Goldberg. “We’re the mothership, and you can take an excursion to our fellow neighborhoods Overtown and Little Haiti, and they’re preparing some arts experiences there. So it’s a way of really expanding the footprint of the arts outside of just our four walls, because we know that art exists all around the county and we want to celebrate that.”

ArtsLaunch2019 will begin at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 7, at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Admission is free, but please RSVP at is a nonprofit source of theater, dance, music and performing-arts news. Sign up for our weekly newsletter and never miss a story.




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