Early in the morning, South Florida’s movers and shakers filed into the Carnival Studio Theater, representing arts institutions large and small, from Susan Danis, CEO of Arsht resident company, the Florida Grand Opera, to rising choreographer Rosie Herrera, whose career has received a boost with commissions from the Arsht. At ArtsTalk2025, a capacity crowd of 200 shared a lively conversation on the direction of our cultural community over the next 10 years. Sitting in the audience, retired schoolteacher and sometime Arsht volunteer Beverly took in the exchange. What brought her out so early? “This is a major event in the cultural life of the community,” she sniffed, as though the reason were obvious. Hours later, Beverly was spotted sliding into a seat to watch the Made in Miami movie series. “I love the Arsht,” she explained.
The importance of the day was not so obvious to Brenda, a first-time visitor to the Arsht Center, who learned about ArtsLaunch in an email she received on the job at a Miami Dade College computer lab. She stopped by, she said, “Because I had nothing else to do.” Then suddenly, she had too much to do. She planned on joining the group of 150 people taking a walking tour of the Center, but when she saw a parade of folks in costume filing out of the Ultra Con Mini Comic Book Convention in the Peacock Foundation Studio to compete in a Cosplay Contest, she explained, “I got distracted.”
Resting between activities outside the Café at Books & Books, a young woman named Gina showed off the coveted yellow wristband that proved she was among the select group of 30 who took a Sound Lab tour of the Knight Concert Hall earlier in the afternoon. “It was really cool,” she exclaimed. “And I don’t even know what kind of music they play in there.” Gina usually sticks to the Ziff Opera House, which she first visited after finding a Groupon discount to see resident company, Miami City Ballet. Now she’s a season ticket holder for the ballet and the Broadway in Miami series. Why ArtsLaunch? “$20 bottomless mimosas and a Cosplay contest?” she marveled. “That’s enough for me!”
If you missed ArtsLaunch this year, you can still see the highlights here [VIDEO].