An interview with FUNDarte founder & executive director, Ever Chavez

arts / Article

Ever Chavez, founder and executive director of FUNDarte, wants you to support Miami's diverse performing arts community during Miami On Stage, a multidisciplinary performing arts series featuring work by South Florida's most talented performing artists. Now in its second year, Miami On Stage is an innovative collaboration with the FUNDarte and Miami-Dade County Auditorium and its new  On.Stage Black.Box venue. The series will present four performances, featuring work from South Florida musicians, actors, playwrights, dancers, poets, filmmakers and visual artists. It will also include a number of complementary events, such as panel discussions, open rehearsals and post-show discussions. I spoke with Ever on the eve of FUNDarte's Benny Moré tribute concert where we discussed the upcoming season and FUNDarte's future programming.

Neil de la Flor: How did you select the performers for this season and was it a difficult process?

Ever Chavez: We chose from proposals received by Miami artists. We selected multidisciplinary artists to appear in Miami On Stage, and our goal was to identify innovative projects based on authenticity regardless of discipline. That way we get a balance in terms of programming. It is always a difficult process to select a project that will be of interest to the community, especially since these artists reflect, through their art, their own perspective of the town they live in.

ND: What was the biggest challenge putting together this year's program?

EC: To develop a unique program that fits with the mission of FUNDarte and the times we live in — and with local talent, too! It is always challenging, especially musically speaking,with projects such as jazz, to identify and select projects that are not otherwise supported by other cultural institutions. It is a big challenge — besides bringing all of these theater projects to light, such as Earth day Celebration: Jesus Hidalgo and The Pachamama Project, which will perform "Sistema Dos" (System Two), a multimedia project that integrates environmental consciousness with music.

ND: Tell us about the works FUNDarte commissioned for this year's event.

EC: This year we are promoting the production of the play "Asesinos por una Noche” directed by choreographer Alexey Taran of the Bistoury Physical Theater Company. "Asesinos por una Noche,” which is based on the play by Cuban playwright Jose Triana, is a multidisciplinary “physical theater” performance choreographed by Alexey Taran in conjunction with the filmmaker Carla Forte. This work, created in Miami, narrates a story through dance, theatre, music and video projections.

We will also feature work by Carlos Caballero and Elizabeth Doud. "If you're going to pull a knife, USAlo", which was recently presented during Miami Light Project's Here & Now festival, tells the story of a mermaid and a petroleum worker who grapple with the environmental consequences of the petroleum industry, relationships and unemployment. Sounds crazy, right? The performance will be directed by Carlos Diaz, a renowned director of Teatro El Publico from Havana. "If you're going to pull a knife, USAlo" combines found text from Samuel Beckett and original text from Caballero & Doud.

ND: What's one thing you would like people to know about FUNDarte and Miami On Stage that they may not know already.

EC: People should know that the productions presented by FUNDarte will (of course) be extraordinary. Miami On Stage reflects the artistic energy and diversity of our city. My hope is that Miamians will come out and support this work and Miami's unique cultural identity. I also hope that people will see the value of the works presented and reflect upon these performances.

ND: What's next for FUNDarte?

EC: An even bigger 2011-12 series! That means more challenges to overcome. But, it's worth it to bring the best works from the Hispanic world to public.

Miami On Stage 2011 runs March 18– June 24, 2011, at the On.Stage Black.Box Theater at Miami-Dade County Auditorium, 2901 W. Flagler St., Miami. Tickets: $20 per performance /$5 discount for students (-18) & seniors (+65); $50 Miami On Stage Pass (four events). To order tickets call 305-358-5885 or go to www.ticketmaster.com or www.fundarte.us. Box office hours: M-F 9:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. General information: 305-547-5414, [email protected] or 305-316-6165

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