There has never been a day in miamiartzine.com's 15-year history that the online magazine's wheels stopped turning. Its mission, to support the South Florida arts community, one so rich with performances, visual art shows, book fairs, festivals, continues.
We didn't need to go dark because of COVID-19.
The arts community kept going, and so did we. Like everyone, we are working with a reduced staff and maybe have slowed just a bit in our usual hectic pace – out and about, reviewing, photographing, and our usual multiple new stories posted daily. We "pivoted," too. Our weekly newsletter changed to become a #stayhome, #staysafe guide to what's happening every Friday. And we still have plenty of stories.
We have been doing more profiles of artists and others we've been wanting to spotlight in the arts community, but hadn't had the time because of so many other pressing previews and reviews previously.
When the arts are in full swing, in season usually this time of year, there's a strategy we have to come up with when the arts are in full swing. Nights where we all divvy up where we will go when there's so much happening around town – spread out so that miamiartzine.com is present everywhere!
But we adjusted with the rest of the arts world. We previewed Zoom performances when some of the dance and theater companies turned to that platform to stay connected to their audiences. Our live photo galleries continued as our photographers covered a few events that were livestreamed and, where those involved in the production were practicing safe protocols and social distancing.
Our 15th anniversary celebration would have been one of our usual parties – like the ones that were so graciously hosted by the Miami Beach Botanical Garden, Miami Beach Woman's Club, and at Miami Beach's Liquor Lounge.
This year, we're celebrating the anniversary with something useful and appropriate for 2020, commemorative 15th anniversary hand sanitizer sprays that, when we're out and about, we're giving to our supporters.
We'll be back soon enough gathering for our parties, seeing you all at the Arsht Center, Actors' Playhouse, GableStage, Colony Theatre, Broward Center, Fillmore, Sandrell Rivers Theater, the list goes on and on at so many places in one of the most dynamic tri-county corridors for the arts.
And with that, we quote, appropriately, the incomparable Stephen Sondheim from our favorite Sondheim show, "Follies."
"Good times and bum times, we've seen them all, and, my dears, we're still here.
Plush velvet sometimes, sometimes just pretzels and beer, but we're here!"
We've received some incredibly wonderful congratulations on our 15th years. We shared some last week. Here are some more:
"miamiartzine is my go-to site for arts and culture, my BIBLE!" -Kimberly Chmura, KCC Productions.
"As a person who loves the arts, what better way to support it by covering this creative industry. As one of its events photographers, I am extremely proud that miamiartzine is now turning 15 and I am proud to be part of its development. miamiartzine.com has been a great source of arts around Miami-Dade. Here is to more years of providing great news and information of our art community to the world! Congratulations, miamiartzine!" – Betty Alvarez, photographer.
"I have happily been a part of the maz team for many years. As an art reviewer I get to poke around in the corners of Miami's art world more deeply. Reading other articles in maz gives me an excellent overview of what Miami has on offer at any given time. Many thanks to Harvey and Michelle for their commitment." – Irene Sperber, arts reviewer.
Congratulations Harvey and Michelle on the 15th Anniversary of miamartzine. Your interviews, photo galleries and arts information are top notch and have made miamiartzine a premier source for what’s happening in the Magic City for all of us who live and work here. —Sheryl Feuerstein, EastWest Media
We've had so many wonderful writers, photographers, reviewers and contributors in our 15 years. Here are some of our regulars that are itching to get back to painting the town:
- Roger Martin, theater critic
- Cameron Basden, dance writer
- Marj O'Neill-Butler, theater critic, photographer
- Cameron Basden, dance writer
- James Cubby, former editor and arts feature writer
- Mary Damiano, former editor and theater critic
- Jan Engoren, arts feature writer
- Ed Fisher, restaurant reviewer
- Charlotte Libov, arts feature writer
- Jo Manning, book reviewer
- Ruben Rosario, movie critic
- Irene Sperber, art reviewer
- Betty Alvarez, photographer
- Mitchell Zachs, photographer
- Michelle F. Solomon, editor, critic
- Harvey J. Burstein, founder and publisher, miamiartzine.com
Our emeritus: Steve Gladstone, classic and jazz reviews, Anna Collins, columnist, A View From A Broad, and the late Manny Meland, Manny About Town.
In closing, here's a poem written by Manny's grandson in tribute and the letter he wrote to our publisher.
I’m Jared Meland, Manny’s grandson. Zaida always spoke fondly of you, and Chris still does; hence, sending this to you came up in conversation. Zaida read this piece a few days before he died and said to me, “I’m going to tuck your poem in my heart and take it with me to eternity.” This poem hasn’t been published anywhere yet, so it’s all yours if you want it.
Oh Zaida, my Zaida the roots of our tree Your soul is the wind that flutters us leaves We dance on a branch like you showed us all how Full of love and zest for the here and now Oh Zaida, my Zaida when you float out to sea take a piece of my heart until next time we meet Hold it tight in your palm as you part from the shore Let the tide be your ride and your love be the lore Oh Zaida, my Zaida Thanks for loving us, and go in peace, my dear Zaida our name is safe in my hands.
Stay safe, our beloved arts community and we will see you soon. As our dear friend Iris Acker would always say, "See you at the theat-er!" And, of course, all around the cities and towns of this great cultural gem of ours, South Florida. Here's to at least 15 more years.