Local and Industry News

Broward schools have proposed using $2.5 million of its $303 million capital budget to buy musical instruments.

This would be the first time in seven years that the district has made a major investment in musical equipment. Two years ago the district restored hundreds of music and arts teachers whose positions had been eliminated the previous year.

The AFM has made progress in the African Ivory issue but more work is needed. In February, the US fish and Wildlife Service issued an order meant to curb African rhino and elephant poaching and illegal trafficking, but which made it extremely difficult for musicians to travel with musical instruments which contain ivory. An amendment issued in May relaxed the restrictions for musical instruments. Instruments with ivory must still have been legally acquired prior to February 1976 and must not have been sold for profit since February 2014, but musical instruments must still be accompanied by at CITES musical instrument certificate, which often is difficult to obtain. The AFM continues to reach out to Congress and the White House on this issue.

Michelle Obama and a number of top stars hosted a week of events promoting the importance of music education. The events spotlighted the Turnaround Arts initiative, which is a pilot program that helps low-performing schools improve. Part of the festivities included a White House talent show featuring students from Turnaround Arts schools and renowned performers.

State funding for the arts in Florida will increase 384 percent this year. The Florida legislature approved $43.3 million in funding, up from last year's $8.9 million and a low of $1.2 million in 2010-11. Funding prior to the recession, in 2006-7, was at 33.9 million. The arts are a $3.1 billion industry in Florida and support 88,000 jobs.

The Arsht Center has launched miamiartsjob.com. The new website is a free portal for listings of jobs in the arts and culture industry in South Florida.


The Miami City Ballet has hired Michael Scolamiero as executive director. Scolamiero, a trained clarinettist, served as executive director of the Pennsylvania Ballet for 17 years.

Atlantic Classical Orchestra has hired Alan T. Hopper as President and CEO. Hopper has served as president of the Baton Rouge Symphony as well as executive director of the Jacksonville Symphony, general manager of the Florida Orchestra, and instructor of bassoon and saxophone at the University of South Florida.

Palm Beach Opera has received a grant from Opera America. The Building Opera Audiences grant will fund an app to accompany its December waterfront concert. The app will allow users to write comments about the show, ask questions, and respond to surveys, as well as receive fun facts and aria translations. The free waterfront concert is partially underwritten by an $80,000 Knight Foundation grant.

The Southwest Florida Symphony (Fort Myers) has hired Nir Kabaretti as music director. Kabaretti has served as music director of the Raanana Symphonette in Israel and is currently in his eighth season as music director of the Santa Barbara Symphony.

The Orlando Ballet has hired Jim Mitchell as executive director, the Ballet's fourth director in four years. Mitchell has served as executive director of the Arkansas Arts Council and has managed major events such as "Baryshnikov and Friends" and Zubin Mehta and the Israel Philharmonic."


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