Plus, how you can see their new work for yourself.
The New Tropic

🎨 Here’s how Miami creatives are reimagining art in the time of COVID-19

Plus, how you can see their new work for yourself.

Happy Tuesday, New Tropic readers.

My name is Adam Ganuza — I’m an arts program officer at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and I’m stepping in for Zach today. I’m excited to be taking over the New Tropic to talk a little bit about how the performing arts have innovated in the time of COVID-19 and how creative uses of technology may just help us better connect with one another and our larger community. I also want to formally invite you to join me on Friday, April 30 at 6 p.m. ET for “A Night of New Work: Celebrating Miami’s performing artists.”

Read on for more…

🗣 What Adam & Knight Foundation are talking about 

Meet the Knight New Work 2020 winners. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @knightfdn)

If necessity is the mother of invention, then constraints are the no-nonsense caretakers of creativity. The truth is, whether you’re an artist or not, we’ve all had to get creative over the past year. We’ve been required to reconfigure most parts of our lives, often having to fit a square peg into a round hole and other times just making due the best we can. And for better or worse, the massive disruption of the pandemic has prompted serious self-reflection, from re-prioritizing what matters most to reminders of what’s actually important to us. 

Consider one of the principle conceits of the performing arts: There is a particular electricity in the air when a performer is on stage in front of a rapt audience. It can be an actor delivering a moving soliloquy, a dancer lost in the precision of their movements, a musician following the intuition of their instrument and improvising, or even a DJ sorting out the next song that’ll make a crowd lose their minds. Whatever the medium, there’s nothing quite like the interplay between an artist and the people watching them at work. It’s a sensation unlike any other, and it’s something that’s sadly been missing from most of our lives over the last year.

The pandemic has forced us to wonder what happens to that electricity when audiences can’t be together in the same place. Can this magic be conjured remotely? We’re all pros at navigating Zoom by now, but the jury is still out on the creative potential of digital tools and video services like it: Can they create connections and elicit emotional reactions that run deeper than staring at ourselves in a little box on the corner of our screens?

We launched Knight New Work 2020 last year in an effort to answer such questions. This open call sought ideas from Miami artists to create new works that reimagine how the performing arts are created and experienced during the pandemic and into the future of our brave new world. 

During “A Night of New Work,” we’ll celebrate the innovation and creativity of the 18 Knight New Work 2020 winners. We’ll also chat with prominent Miami artists Pioneer Winter, Portia Dunkley, and Carmen Pelaez about the future of the performing arts in South Florida and beyond. And we’ll get to see the world premiere of cinematic excerpts from new works by Teo Castellanos, Dimensions Dance Theatre of Miami and Seraphic Fire, commissioned as part of the Knight New Work 2018 program. 

Join the watch party, chat with the artists, and most importantly, enjoy the show.

RSVP for Friday's event


😋 Serve up a special Earth Day edition della bowl at home during this cooking class with Chef Julie Frans and Debris Free Oceans (Online)


🎨 Tune in to Oolite Arts' first Ellies Connect of the year featuring artists Reginald O’Neal and Terence Price II, who'll discuss their ongoing Ellies projects, previous collaborations, and how their practices use personal experiences as a source of inspiration (Online)


💅 Forget the deadpan number callers you've experienced at other game nights — check out the fierce Athena Dion for bingo at Time Out Market Miami(Miami Beach)


🎉Celebrate the 18 Knight New Work 2020 winners at a virtual watch party by registering here (Sponsored)

🎂 Wish the City of Miami a very happy 125th birthday during this virtual tour hosted by HistoryMiami Museum(Online)


🍝 Join Curious George on a fun-filled journey to learn about Rome, meatballs, and much more during the brand-new musical "Curious George and the Golden Meatball"(Cutler Bay)

🎸 Enjoy a stage-to-screen concert sharing classical guitar music from Latin America performed on the electric guitar (Liberty City)

🤗 Engage in acts of connection to build empathy, increase understanding, and refocus on our shared humanity at the 10 Days of Connection 2021 taking place May 1 through May 10 (Miami / Online)


🇭🇹 Start Haitian Cultural Heritage Month with a virtual performance by singer-songwriter Beethova Obas and much more (Online)

👑 Level up your life and learn from masterclasses by inspirational Miami women during Women for Success Virtual Conference 2021 taking place May 2 through June 6(Online)


⚖️ Get legal aid with criminal civil rights issues, voting rights, and more during this free legal clinic at the Black Police Precinct & Court House Museum hosted by the Florida Justice Center(Overtown)

Tuesday, May 4

🚀 Get inspired and take your next professional steps forward during Teal's free Career Growth Summit taking place on May 4 through May 6 (Online)

Promotion from Fountainhead

🎨 Fountainhead presents Artists Open

On May 8, explore 250+ artist studios across Miami-Dade. Download a digital guide to easily navigate and plan your visits. Masks required.

Learn more and sign up here
Promotion from Teal

🚀 Thinking about your next career move?

Explore new possibilities, expand your network & jumpstart career growth at Teal’s Career Growth Summit - a free, virtual event May 4-6.

Sign Up For A Session Today!

☝️ One more thing… 

Be sure to follow Knight Foundation on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to see all of Miami’s latest arts news. You can also sign up to our arts newsletter (The New Tropic can’t be the only worthwhile Miami newsletter in your inbox 😉) for further information. Also be sure to visit for our latest investments in the arts, including two recent reports — “Digital Readiness and Innovation in Museums” and “Adapting in Crisis: Case Studies of Resilience in the Arts.” 

For more on Knight New Work 2020, check out my blog post from last December. 

Thanks for reading today’s takeover — we hope to see you at “A Night of New Work” and wherever local creative endeavors can be found.


Adam Ganuza

Program Officer | Arts

John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

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