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In exile, echos from Haiti and Cuba

April 3, 2004 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm

Barbara Gonzalez, Associate Director (954) 262-5354
Mara Kiffin, Assistant Director (954) 262-5350
Elizabeth Ninomiya, Coordinator (954) 262-5309


March 25, 2004

Night of Interdisciplinary Arts to Feature Dance-Theater, Visual Arts, Music, and Typical Food Benefiting Haitian Community in Exile

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL— The Miniaci Performing Arts Center at Nova Southeastern University will be turned into a haven for the Haitian and Cuban exile communities when three students of the Interdisciplinary Arts Program at the Fischler Graduate School of Education & Human Services present an engaging and timely piece, “In Exile, Echoes from Haiti and Cuba,” as their final Capstone Project at 7:00 p.m. on Saturday, April 3 at the Miniaci Performing Arts Center on NSU’s main campus, 3100 Ray Ferrero, Jr., Blvd. Members of the public are invited to attend.

The free performance, an original piece created by students Patricia Bencomo-Amaro, Shirley Julien, and Roxana Suarez-Gianantonio, will feature dance-theater, visual arts and music, and will address the critical issue of the arrival of undocumented Haitian and Cuban immigrants to Miami, and the resulting social impact on our community. All five human senses will be touched, with works of art from the Cuban and Haitian communities on display and available for sale, along with typical foods from both communities, with proceeds going to members of the Haitian community in exile. An open dialogue and Q&A between the audience, artists and directors will follow the performance.

In creating the piece as the final requirement to graduate from the Interdisciplinary Arts Program, Bencomo-Amaro, Julien, and Suarez-Gianantonio are working towards raising awareness of the plight of both communities. They seek for participants to walk away from their performance with a refreshed sensitivity to both cultures, and a renewed sense of responsibility for ensuring America is a productive and compassionate place where everyone can pursue the American Dream. “We are a professional and highly motivated team of graduate students united by the same passion, which is our desire to serve and educate out community through the arts. We believe art is the most powerful and effective tool to entertain, heal, educate, transform and grow. In short, art bridges cultural divisions and helps people reach self-actualization,” they said jointly. “As graduating master’s degree students of the Interdisciplinary Arts Program, we are joining efforts to use this tool to promote international cultural exchange in a multiethnic community.”

A special mural, “We Are on the Same Boat,” created by artist Xavier Cortada in coordination with Hands on Miami and senior citizens from the Haitian and Cuban communities, will be exhibited at the performance. Posters of the mural will be available for sale at the event, with Xavier Cortada on hand to sign the posters. The following activities also are planned:

  • Galerie d’Art Nader presents a Haitian Art Exhibit and Silent Auction
  • Gingerbread Design Group presents a Haitian Art and Handicraft Sale
  • Artists Marcy Grosso & Humberto Benitez present a Cuban Art Exhibit and Sale

For tickets and information about “In Exile, Echoes from Haiti and Cuba,” please contact Roxana Suarez-Giantonio at (954) 262-8680, or at suarez@nsu.nova.edu .

“In Exile, Echoes from Haiti and Cuba” has been made possible by the following sponsors: Nova Southeastern University, the Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services, the Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center, Miami artist Xavier Cortada, Galerie d’Art Nader, Gingerbread Design Group, Diaspora Vibe, Construction Catering-Cuban Cuisine, Broward Division of Cultural Affairs, artists Marcy Grosso and Humberto Benitez, and Carl & Priscila Swanson.

The Master of Science in Education with a specialization in Interdisciplinary Arts degree program is offered through the Graduate Teacher Education Program (GTEP), although the program is equally geared toward non-educators interested in the arts. The program’s mission is to educate, nurture and facilitate visionary and conceptual artists by offering a nurturing learning environment, resources and tools to expand their knowledge, skills, experience, and entrepreneurship in the arts. The IA program fosters inquiry, research, and creative professional development by uniting faculty and students in acquiring and applying knowledge in professional, educational, community, corporate, cultural and other interdisciplinary settings. For more information on the Cinematherapy course and the Interdisciplinary Arts Degree Program, contact Program Administrator/Artistic Director David Spangler at (954) 262-8363, or visit http://fgse.nova.edu/iap.

NSU’s Fischler Graduate School of Education and Human Services, based at NSU’s North Miami Beach campus, is the largest accredited graduate school of education in the United States with more than 12,000 students annually in more than 50 sites in the U.S. and abroad, and via a variety of distance education technologies. FGSEHS, a leader in graduate distance education for educators, organizational leaders, and trainers throughout the world, has more than 7,000 students in graduate education programs in Florida alone, including both online programs and live classes at NSU locations statewide.



April 3, 2004
8:00 am - 5:00 pm


Rose & Alfred Miniaci Performing Arts Center
Nova Southeastern University
Fort Lauderdale, FL United States
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