Every year, as part of the Knight Arts Challenge announcement, Knight also selects a group of Knight Arts Champions — community leaders in South Florida who have contributed to our region’s rich arts and culture scene. The Champions direct $10,000, provided by Knight, to South Florida artist or arts organization of their choice.
Meet the 2021 Champions, and their recipients, below.
The 2021 Knight Arts Champions
A journalist for over 15+ years, Esther Park has been a contributing writer for many reputable publications such as Vice, Spin, Miami New Times, and held the title of editor-at-large for the respected underground hip-hop magazine Elemental from 1999-2004. Her move to Miami in 2003 resulted in Esther becoming the Director of Public Programs for the Museum of Contemporary Art. There she programmed events, curated series in music and art and worked closely with the local community. After her tenure at MOCA, she became the Director of Programming at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. After five years there, Esther became Director of Alumni and Public Programs at the National YoungArts Foundation. Currently, Esther is the Vice President of Programming for Oolite Arts and oversees their robust programming portfolio, which includes ongoing exhibitions, public programs and the studio residency program.
Dr. Evonne S. Alvarez advocates for equity in education and seeks opportunities to ensure access and excellence for all students. Her vast leadership experiences over the past 25 years in Miami-Dade have given her an excellent vantage point in today’s educational arena to support underrepresented students and students in the arts. As the principal of South Miami Middle Center for the Arts, New World School of the Arts, and the Administrative Director for School Choice & Parental Options, she significantly impacted arts programs. Including the design of two K-8 STEAM magnet programs as the lead writer for $14.1M in federal grant funds that specialize in STEM, Dance and Kinetic Movement, and Visual Arts & Graphic Design in 2021.
Recipient: The De La Cruz Collection / Art & Tech Summer Workshops
Co-Founder, Director, Miami Film Festival (1984-2001); Director of Programming, Cinematheque (1973-1988), Gables Cinema (2014 – August 2021). Author, Dictionary of Latin Jazz (1998). Three-time Grammy and three-time Latin Grammy winning Music Producer. Co-Owner, Calle 54 Records.
Recipient: The Bill Cosford Cinema at the University of Miami School of Communication
Dr. Dorothy J Fields, Ph.D.
A native Miamian, in the late 1890's my maternal grandparents immigrated from Harbour Island, Bahamas to Key West, FL then in 1903 relocated to Miami's Coloredtown now Overtown. In 1977, I created The Black Archives Foundation, a repository for school children and scholars containing source materials about the Black pioneers who helped build Miami; and I saved the historic Lyric Theater and several other historic buildings from destruction. A Public Historian, Certified Archivist, freelance writer, meeting planner and consultant I encourage family and class reunions to write their own stories and help plan reunion vacations and other events in "Miami, the Magic City."
Recipient: Linkages and Legacies, Inc.
Karelle Levy is a Miami-based fiber artist specializing in tropical knitwear with her company KRELwear. Her large-scale site-specific fiber art installations accompany workshops with a focus on craft, sustainability and zero waste practices. A graduate of RISD and a YoungArts Design national reviewer and master teacher, Karelle has used her decades of experience to teach yarn arts to every age group.
Recipient: Pangea Kali Virga
Marilyn Holifield is a senior partner in the international law firm, Holland & Knight LLP. A native of Tallahassee and graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Ms. Holifield’s love of the arts extends back to her childhood when she studied to become a concert pianist and participated in arts programs offered by Florida A&M University. As a cofounder of the Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora, Ms. Holifield has embarked on a journey to leverage technology to create a platform that brings contemporary art of Africa and its Diaspora center stage, connects people and modernizes the museum experience.
Recipient: Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora a/k/a Miami MoCAAD
Christopher Robinson is a violinist, educator, and the Founder/Co-Artistic Director of VIA Academy, a free summer music program for young aspiring musicians from remote and underrepresented communities in classical music. Christopher has a passion for education while helping students use music for positive change in their communities. A recent alumnus of the New World Symphony, Christopher currently performs in the second violin section of the Louisville Orchestra.
Recipient: New World Symphony
Rene Morales was recently named the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago. He is the current Chief Curator and Director of Curatorial Affairs at Perez Art Museum Miami, where he has worked for 16 years, and where he organized nearly 60 exhibitions. Born in Cienfuegos, Cuba, and raised in Miami, Morales studied at Swarthmore College and Brown University.
Recipient: Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami
Jumaane N'Namdi is the former host of Art Loft on PBS as well as produces and host his own YouTube show titled Your Art Guy highlighting local and national artist.
Recipient: Stephen Arboite
Adrienne Chadwick is an artist and arts administrator who has reimagined public engagement and diversity in South Florida art museums for nearly three decades. Her studio art practice explores power and resistance in the built and natural world through mixed media installations.
Recipient: Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC)
Michel Hausmann is a Venezuelan-born theater director, producer, and writer. He is the Co-founder and Artistic Director of Miami New Drama, the resident company of the historic Colony Theatre on Miami Beach. Under his artistic leadership Miami New Drama has produced world premiere plays that are as diverse, multicultural, and multilingual as Miami's extraordinary community. He is a nationally-recognized award-winning director and producer, recipient of a Drama League Award, one of the oldest and most prestigious theatrical awards in America.
Recipient: Julius Wade and Jamel Booth ($5,000 each)
Edward Shumsky is the recent past Chair of the New World Symphony. He has served on the NWS board for 15 years and as its Chairman for the past six years. He and his wife Sue Kronick have been involved in the cultural life of Miami for the past 25 years.
Recipient: New World Symphony
Lillian Banderas crosses disciplines within the creative industry as an independent art book shop owner, self-publisher, art and wardrobe stylist and a community organizer. As a Colombian- American she roots her endeavors in a DIY approach to accessibility in arts and community education. Her focuses have expanded to include curating and exhibiting artists, particularly with a featured booth at NADA 2021.
Recipient: Dalé Zine
Edouard Duval Carrié
Edouard Duval Carrié is a contemporary artist and curator based in Miami, Florida. Born and raised in Haiti, Duval Carrié fled the regime of “Papa Doc” Duvalier as a teen ager and subsequently resided in locales as diverse as Puerto Rico, New York, Montreal, Paris and Miami. Parallels thus emerge between the artist’s cosmopolitan lifestyle and his artistic sensitivity toward the multifaceted identities that form his native Haiti.
Recipient: Haitian Cultural Arts Alliance
Commissioner Regalado currently serves as the Miami Dade County District 7 Commissioner. She is the proud mother of two amazing kids- Isabela and Sebastian. Before serving as County Commissioner, Raquel served as a Miami- Dade County School Board Member.
Recipient: Area Stage Company
Jessica Goldman Srebnick
Jessica Goldman Srebnick is the Co-Chair of Goldman Properties, a company that has revitalized numerous neighborhoods throughout the United States including Soho, Miami Beach and Wynwood. She is the Founder and CEO of Goldman Global Arts, an organization that brings artists and clients together to create groundbreaking creative projects. Projects have included Hard Rock Stadium, American Airlines Arena, Super Bowl 54, and a national art campaign for When We All Vote. Jessica is the Lead Curator for the Internationally acclaimed Street art museum, Wynwood Walls and co-authored of the book Walls of Change, The Story of the Wynwood Walls.
Recipient: Breakthrough Miami
Jane Wooldridge is an award-winning travel, arts and business journalist and long-time Miami Herald editor. She is passionate about the transformational power of arts and all things Miami.
Recipient: African Heritage Cultural Arts Center
Michael Tilson Thomas/Joshua Robison
Michael Tilson Thomas is Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the New World Symphony, Music Director Laureate of the San Francisco Symphony, and Conductor Laureate of the London Symphony Orchestra. Joshua Robison is his husband and musical partner.
Recipient: New World Symphony
Adolfo Henriques is the Vice Chairman at the Related Group, with over 20 years of experience in the banking industry and extensive leadership experience.
Recipient: Florida Grand Opera
Mitchell Kaplan founded Books & Books in 1982, now having five South Florida locations. He is also the co-founder of The Miami Book Fair which will be celebrating it’s 39th Fair in 2022.
Recipient: The Miami Book Fair
Nancy St Leger
Founder and CEO of Nancy St Leger NSL DANSE ENSEMBLE, Inc. Also a proud Special Education teacher at Coconut Grove Elementary who thoroughly enjoys promoting and preserving the Haitian Culture through music and dance.
Recipient: Tap Tap Tours & Transportation, LLC
Martin Z. Margulies
Martin Z. Margulies, a graduate of the Wharton School of Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, is a real estate developer who has been active in South Florida residential real estate for over 37 years. He is one of the worlds top art collectors and has opened his collection to the South Florida community for over 40 years. He is one of our communities long standing philanthropist. He built the Overtown Youth Center, and has made major contributions to the Lotus Village Shelter for homeless women and children also in Overtown, Miami.
Recipient: Lotus Village Shelter
Funding Arts Network
Funding Arts Network (FAN), a 501 (C) (3) non profit volunteer organization founded in 1996, has dedicated its member supported grants to provide, to date, 5 million dollars of funding to 113 Miami-Dade County visual and performing arts organizations for 625 programs presented to the public. Knight New Work Awards, initiated in FAN's second decade, enhanced that support pool. FAN's cultural arts related educational forums and programs for members are key to its fostering arts appreciation, awareness and furthering members' attendance and community involvement in the arts. Paula Finkle serves as FAN President.
To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Knight has contributed $25,000 to FAN