Friends in northern climes need at least three weeks' notice for a social occasion, preferably offered up formally. Newcomers are chagrined to note Miami’s last minute commitment penchant, or complete lack of commitment thereof.
The Knight Foundation has an event custom-made for our humidity soaked sensibilities. Intrigued? Great, but I can’t tell you details because it’s a surprise; and no, you don’t really hate surprises. I can advise that it will occur the afternoon of September 1st on Lincoln Road. In an effort to fill in the rest of this article and offer a few hints in the bargain, let me give a bit of background.
Knight Foundation founders Jack and Jim Knight believe in engaging a community utilizing cultural activities. The idea behind their program titled A Random Act of Culture is to leave a curiosity for the arts in the wake of cultural pop-up moments in public places as one goes about the daily task of living. Eight communities over the past two years have been privy to the occasions. In 2010 Miami had a happy experience with a Random Act at the Dadeland Mall. http://www.knightarts.org/random-acts-of-culture
Stumbling upon an unexpected, entertaining occurrence can yank us out of our pre-planned distracted mind-set, allowing a reemergence of the realization that life is full of unanticipated moments of pure joy, no matter how much our techno-devices attempt to corral spontaneity. The suddenness can have the benefit of taking away our normal reserve, as onlookers often begin dancing, singing or otherwise behaving in a manner not as usual. Using local groups and talent, the Knight Foundation is shaking up the status quo, creating a fresh aesthetic experience, reinvigorating dormant brain cells by repurposing our thoughts of appropriate cultural venues.
Miami’s Lincoln Road September 1st happening will be one of four final performances to mark the Knight Arts' goal of 1000 Random Acts of Culture in three years, which they accomplished in two. (May I interject that we would all like this group to take up overseeing construction work of our kitchen projects).
Pssst. Don’t tell anyone, but I hear that over 200 performers from all over this land will break out in song. Spoiler alert: could be Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy”by Miami-based composer Sam Hyken. Normally info is carefully doled out, preserving the element of surprise, but the Foundation has been a bit more generous with pre-info of the last 4 program performances in the series. Sprinkle in a Cuban-Afro beat, a pinch of Gospel, a teaspoon of jazz and a classical influence and we’re moving and shaking on down The Road. Please feel free to unleash your own dulcet tones and tootsies. Participants are hinted to include the Miami Music Project, Frost School of Music, Miami Mass Choir and Master Chorale, the Ailey Camp/Miami Campers, Afro-Cuban Dance Company, Edwin Holland Dance Ensemble and Pioneer (Winter's) Dance School for a grand total of 236 performers.
A few weeks ago Detroit had a Random moment of performances as well as the Detroit Children’s Choir at Compuware World Headquarters in downtown Detroit. Hundreds of singers, dancers, musicians, roller skaters and children are participating in the final celebratory events taking place in Miami, Detroit and Philadelphia, paying tribute to the successful program.
"What's special about Random Acts of Culture is that each one is so unique. Surprisingly though, most people have the same reaction. First they are afraid, then they get kind of mad that this performance is interrupting their life. Finally, you see the joy spread across the crowd. It's a wonderful moment, and we can't wait to see it happen again Saturday in Miami," said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation.
Random Acts of Culture
Saturday, September 1st, afternoon
Time: A surprise