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Puppet Network Wins $40,000 Knight Foundation Grant

Hamond and friend
Hamond and friend
Shelly Bradshaw

It was basically raining money -- well, money that really creative people had to work really hard for -- at the New World Center in Miami last night as the Knight Arts Foundation gave away a whopping $2.72 million in grants to 49 local artists who are going make South Florida much, much more interesting!

Here are some of the winners with Broward and Palm Beach connections, info taken from Knight:

The Puppet Network is getting $40 K to expand what is perhaps the coolest event in Broward County -- its Day of the Dead parade:

Puppet Network $40,000

For the past four years, Puppet Network has presented a local celebration of the Latin American tradition of Dia de los Muertos, or Day of the Dead, combining traditional and modern interpretations of the event in a community spectacle: Giant puppets and skeleton-clad revelers parade in the streets, mask workshops are taught while kids and artists work collectively, families design exquisite memorials to loved ones, and much more. With challenge funding, Puppet Network will expand its ofrendas, exhibitions and community arts workshops to additional locations beyond downtown Fort Lauderdale.

Puppet Network is South Florida's premier design and fabrication firm specializing in puppet arts for the live entertainment and media industries with an emphasis on educational and community development arts programming.

The Upper Room Art Gallery is bring a dugout canoe event to Fort Lauderdale:

Event celebrates the craft of Florida's dugout canoes Upper Room Art Gallery $30,000

As a way to help preserve the art form of dugout canoes, the gallery will organize a seasonal "Paddle Up" featuring Seminole and Miccosukee canoes. The event on the Himmarshee Canal in Fort Lauderdale will highlight the heritage of the land and waters, inviting members of the Seminole, Miccosukee and other tribes to bring their canoes and wear traditional attire. Seminole artist Pedro Zepeda will demonstrate how to create a dugout canoe from a cypress log in downtown Fort Lauderdale where passersby can watch. The events will be tied to a neighborhood revitalization project called Las Olas Village, where indigenous design will be used throughout in cooperation with the tribes and the community.

The Upper Room Art Gallery is a nonprofit global collective of artists and designers whose artwork specializes in organic and recycled materials and who are concerned about social justice, global poverty and environmental issues.

Awesome New Republic is band that was way popular in these pages a couple of years ago. Last night they won $40,000 for a new project:

Bringing together the city's artists, musicians, dancers and filmmakers, Awesome New Republic plans a multimedia performance that tells the story of South Florida's evolution from swampland to modern metropolis. "The Humid Body" will be performed live and later recalibrated for the Internet to create an immersive experience reflective of South Florida's modern existence.

Awesome New Republic, founded by Michael John Hancock and Brian Robertson, is a decade-strong music project focused on utopian ideals through community collaboration

Joey Bargsten is an FAU professor who makes trippy music:

meme - media experi mental ensemble $2,500

To explore the fusion of art, music and technology, a new multimedia opera written by Florida Atlantic University Professor Joey Bargsten will be presented. "MelanchoLalaLand" integrates traditional elements of opera with past works on melancholy into a futuristic spectacle that showcases an experimental fusion of live performance, interactive video and animation.

Media Artist and Composer Joey Bargsten teaches Multimedia at Florida Atlantic University, and has created live multimedia performances with his media experi mental ensemble (meme) throughout South Florida since 2009.

Miramar got in on the action:

Conversation series demystifies the arts Miramar Cultural Trust $12,000

What inspires artists? What is the value in owning an original piece of artwork? What is the best way to build an artistic career? These and other issues will be explored during Art Speaks, a conversation series that encourages artistic expression and appreciation. Jo Marie Payton, a singer and actress who starred in the sitcom "Family Matters," will host the series. Guests will include artists of all genres and will be given time to perform and answer questions from the audience. Participants gain insight into the world of the arts by interacting with artists in a setting that promotes conversation and the exchange of information.

The Miramar Cultural Trust strives to endow, support and advocate for the arts in Miramar.

The Palm Beach Opera got cash to put on free concerts:

Palm Beach Opera goes al fresco Palm Beach Opera $80,000

To bring opera into the community, Palm Beach Opera will offer a free community concert with full orchestra and chorus in partnership with the city of West Palm Beach. Opera @ The Waterfront will be launched in December at the Meyer Amphitheatre, a popular outdoor venue in downtown West Palm Beach, where audience members will be able to spread out their blankets to watch and listen or enjoy from the comfort of their homes via a live broadcast on the Internet.

Palm Beach Opera is dedicated to producing live opera at an international standard of excellence and to enriching the life of the communities it serves with a diverse offering of educational programs.

Send story tips to Deirdra.Funcheon@BrowardPalmBeach.com




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