Since moving to the United States as a refugee at 15, Eduardo Padron has spent 41 years at Miami Dade College, working his way through the ranks at the only school he said would give him a chance after high school.
Since graduating from the college, Mr. Padron has worked as an assistant professor of economics, department chair, division director, associate dead, dean, vice president, campus president and now college president.
His goal is to ensure that all students, young and old, rich or poor, receive access to a quality education at a low cost.
“Opportunity changes everything,” he said, “and our concern is making sure that people who have the least opportunity are given a chance to get an education…Education is the passport to a better life and we’re worried about the low-income people and their ability to obtain a college [degree].”
As head of one of the most diverse institutions in the nation, in 2003 Mr. Padron pushed to receive state approval to offer bachelor’s degrees through the college. He has advocated on behalf of the Dream Act to provide those born outside of the US with cheaper tuition costs, and has been asked to serve on the White House Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanic Americans, where he works to provide educational opportunities to all nationalities.
“This institution has changed many lives,” he said, “and it’s demonstrated that you can have open access and excellent academic programs. The students who finish here are second to none and are able to compete in the best universities in the country.”
Mr. Padron discussed his plans to provide Miami-Dade residents with a quality education, how he plans to counter recent reductions in state funding and what the college is doing to better the community with Miami Today staff writer Ashley Hopkins at his downtown office.
The Theater Up Close series at the Adrienne Arsht Center's intimate Carnival Studio Theater looks like an interesting and eclectic season of plays, but don't take our word for it, just share a quick elevator ride with some of the creatives behind the productions.
Death and Harry Houdini
The Santaland Diaries
uVu begins a new feature, 3 Minutes With, and we kick it off with one of our favorite pundits.
Long time viewers of Washington Week will remember Juliet Eilperin as a frequent guest on that program, but her work for the Washington Post on the environmental beat opened the door on a chance to write a book on sharks. "Demon Fish" is the result and we had a chance to sit down with Ms. Eilperin before she spoke at the Fort Lauderdale Museum of Art.
In recognition of its 15th anniversary, the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami has broadened the scope of its annual Optic Nerve Film Festival featuring new short films and videos by artists. This year, in addition to selections from South Florida artists, films by artists from around the country will be screened.
Optic Nerve XIII will be presented on Saturday, August 27 with two screenings at 7 pm and 9 pm at the Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE 125th Street, North Miami, FL 33161. The program includes 18 films by 15 artists and 2 artist collectives, all less than five minutes in length and made within the last two years which were selected from an open call for submissions.
One of the films will be purchased for MOCA’s permanent collection. The selection will be announced by MOCA Executive Director Bonnie Clearwater at the conclusion of the first screening. Audience members will vote for their favorite film by ballot. A reception will be held at 8 pm between the screenings with wines provided by Rex Goliath.
Optic Nerve XIII is free with museum admission ($5 adults; $3 seniors and students with ID; free for MOCA members, North Miami residents). Seating is very limited and RSVP is required. For reservations, please call 305.893.6211 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OPTIC NERVE XIII FILMS
John Bonafede, 21 Gestures, 2:50 min, New York, NY
An artist ascends into the frame with the statement "I'm Emerging." in both English and Japanese, cuing her companion to do another push up which in turn enables the artist to add another gesture to a portrait she is drawing above her head. At the 21st attempt, she is finished and he is exhausted.
Brian Bress, Alone, 1:02 min, Los Angeles, CA
The artist uses a found photograph of a deserted, sparse landscape as the backdrop over which he video-collages his own totemic portrait as a woeful expression of loneliness.
Brian Bress, Its Been A Long Day, 2:13 min., Los Angeles, CA
What begins as care for an oozing wound turns into a lesson in painting and a portrait of deception.
Jennifer Campbell, Unbridled :18 min, Seattle, WAThe artist constructs images by posing with a variety of props in ways that de-contextualization of both the body and the object.
L. Ashwyn Collins, Remake, 3:50 min, Gifford, NH
Remake is a compilation of 16 distinct videos sourced from YouTube consisting of the original shower scene from Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 thriller, Psycho and 15 amateur recreations of the same scene.
Christina Corfield, Hot Circuit, 5:00 min, San Francisco, CA
This film uses a traditional narrative to mimic a penny arcade machine - even to the extent that the characters within the story are themselves robotic, endlessly repeating the same actions and same story, raising questions about our growing dependence on new technologies and myths.
Kasia Houlihan, Hold On, 1:39 min, Chicago, IL
With a nod and a knowing half-smile, a girl suddenly breaks into a spasmodic dance of disorienting leaps, jerky falls, and floating zigzags. As the camera tries to follow her sporadic dance, and keep its subject in the frame, it becomes a duet between camera and subject, subject and viewer.
Eunjung Hwang, Feature Creatures, 5:00 min, New York, NY
This film is part of a series of experimental animations, which explores the complexity of cryptic images from dreams and the subconscious. The main aspect of the project is to produce visionary narratives inspired by the illusion of fragmented realities and compile them into a usable pictorial catalogue.
Karlo Andrei Ibarra, Crossover, 3:11 min, Miami Beach, FL
This video which depicts random Puerto Rican citizens singing the Star Spangled Banner, amplifies the socio-cultural distance between Puerto Rico and the United States. Many long for statehood yet often do not know the language of the country in which they wish to assimilate.
Richard Jochum, Twenty Angry Dogs, Group Bark, :59 min, New York, NY
This one minute video is a single channel appendix to the sound and video installation “Twenty Angry Dogs", in which the artist asked 20 people to bark like an angry dog.
Jennifer Levonian, Her Slip Is Showing, 4:12 min, Philadelphia, PA
This cut out watercolor animation of a suburban bridal shower explores the persistence of traditional gender roles, social awkwardness and the way in which friendship has evolved over time.
Jillian Mayer, I Am Your Grandma, 1:03 min, Miami, FL
This autobiographical video diary log (vlog) which the artist created for her unborn grandchildren was posted on YouTube, inspiring copycats and creating fans. Envisioned as an authentic solution to fleshing out the detached model of the family tree, the artist hearkens to bygone times when ancestors could glimpse one another through a locket or lock of hair. By placing the video in a public forum, the film becomes a study of why people ultimately share their personal feelings with anonymous strangers, and whether this sharing effects the actual emotional significance of the piece.
Ruben Millares & Antonia Wright, Job Creation In A Bad Economy, 2:15 min, Coral Gables, FL
This new video series by the collaborative Ruben Millares and Antonia Wright, is a playful commentary on the somber issue of the devaluation of the arts and education in our society. The artists physically and metaphorically tackle the bureaucracy and walls that uphold these systems and leaving the viewer feeling sympathy for Millares and Wright, yet laughing at the ridiculousness of the situation.
Tara Nelson, Hull, 5:00 min, Jamaica Plains, MA
This film is a journey between layers of corporal consciousness, exploring the physical memory of trauma and the psychological repercussions of a surgical disaster.
Zachary Ordonez, Resistance - Release - Recover, Part II, 4:30 min, Cutler Bay, FL
Using strength, endurance and willpower, various men compete to see who can last the longest hanging onto a pair of ropes.
Carlos Charlie Perez, Billy The Kids, 4:40 min, New York, NY
Billy The Kids depicts a group of teenagers pretending to be famous actors questioning life's meaning through a quirky "Cat In The Hat" rhyme scheme.
Perfect Lives, Marfa, 4:57 min, Oakland, CA
Artists D. Sadja and S. Martinez fuses elements of narrative film, music video and performance art in this story about two unsuspecting cowboys. Marfa was shot in a single 18 hour period in Marfa, TX and is part of a larger body of video postcards depicting situations and narratives in various locations.
Sarada Rauch, Pile of Demon Heads, 1:51 min, Brooklyn, NY
This film is based on the 2nd episode of the Devil Mahatmyam Epic, and takes its aesthetic from the original Star Trek series. It is the last fight scene between Our Hero and the Demon. The world was under attack by the most powerful demon, who took many forms, including that of a buffalo. The gods, fearing total annihilation, endowed Our Hero with their powers and sent her into battle. During their long battle the demon changes forms many times, and each time our hero chops his head off. The heads that Our Hero has chopped off accumulated in a field of daisies and created pile of demon heads.
All films featured at this event will be available to view on uvuvideo.org.
Hoteliers watch out. One of the men in charge of pitching Miami as a vacation destination around the globe likes to get away in his own backyard.
“At least once a summer,” said Rolando Aedo, chief marketing officer and executive vice president for the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, I “squirrel away anonymously at one of the hotels and really enjoy it.”
In his position he drives marketing strategy leveraged by anywhere from $10 million to $12 million, funded publicly and privately, to promote Miami around the world.
At the moment, he said, Miami’s biggest source of visitors includes Brazil, Canada and Germany.
The agency is also working to allow Brazilians to visit the US more easily, through advocating for visa waiver and immigration changes with the US Travel Association, and is beginning to eye markets in Asia.
Many of those markets will require newer airplanes, like Boeing’s forthcoming 787 or the Airbus A380 that already services Miami, and the bureau is working to build the channels.
“We will be going to India in September to further develop those relationships,” he said. “So whether it’s Russia, India and China these are markets that we know have tremendous potential to bring more visitors, more money and [create] more jobs.”
Mr. Aedo discussed what’s being done to bring more visitors to Miami, particularly in the summer, the future of the cruise industry and what’s at stake at the Miami Beach Convention Center with Miami Today staff writer Zachary Fagenson.
Miami Circle Park, designated a National Historic Landmark to preserve a 2,000 year old archaeological find, is located at the mouth of the Miami River and Biscayne Bay.
Join the Miami Dade Public Library System as they celebrate their 40 year anniversary on Thursday, January 20 at the Main Library on 101 West Flagler Street. The celebration will kick off with the “Dancing through the Ages” dance party at 12:00 p.m. Wear your favorite outfit from the past four decades and boogie down at the dance contest. Enjoy music, giveaways, prizes and a performance by the Super Soul Steppers.
The celebration continues that evening at 6:30 p.m. with a reception and art exhibit featuring music from the Greater Miami Youth Symphony and a talk with Miami historian, Dr. Paul George. Assembling an Era, an art exhibit that commemorates the library’s history in the community, will open that night.
Both events are free and open to the public.
For more information, visit www.mdpls.org.
Have you ever caught yourself searching endlessly for new music to add to your library? Do you want to discover new artists and tunes? Well, Miami has a treat for you. The Miami Music Festival will be in town from Thursday, November 11 through Sunday, November 14. The event will showcase all genres of music from hip-hop to jazz and will feature acts from all around the world including emerging local artists.
There will be a special showcase on Saturday, November 13 at Flavour in Coconut Grove from 9:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. This showcase will be hosted by Jessy Schuster, host of Pulse, a WPBT2’s original production. New artists such as Mosiah, Honorebel, Mixed Culture, Jahfe and Fully Loaded Band will perform.
All access tickets to the festival are only $25 and can be purchased in advance. For locations, times and ticket information, visit miamimusicfestival.org. Isn’t it time you discovered that new tune you have been searching for?
But when he took over in late June, predecessors and superiors told him Miami is a “dynamic” sector and to expect to regularly deal with drug traffickers, immigrants looking to come to the US and pollution issues.