From the Ground Up

SoBe Institute of the Arts Continues to Grow

Tucked away in a charming nook adjacent to the Miami Beach Convention Center and Miami Beach Botanical Garden is the SoBe Institute of the Arts (SoBe Arts) located in the historic Carl Fisher Clubhouse, Little Stage Theater and neighboring park.

This little gem, which is supported by the City of Miami Beach, is a fine example of Miami Beach’s commitment to the artistic growth of Miami-Dade County as a whole. Headed by Executive Director Carson Kievman, the organization has focused upon the long-term need to develop opportunities for quality performance events and arts education. SoBe Arts offers group lessons in music and acting as well as private classes.

“Miami’s artistic evolution has to begin from the ground up,” said Kievman. “We can have fantastic performance halls and venues, but if the community as a whole is not educated in the arts, who will support the programs that perform there? Arts education is paramount for this community’s cultural growth.”

Kievman obtained his Master’s degree from California Institute of the Arts and, in 2003, a Doctoral degree in Music from Princeton University. Kievman founded Mystery Park Arts in 1989 as a nonprofit artistic and educational organization and has successfully administered an international New Music competition, recorded symphonic and piano works, organized performance projects, and developed music education programs. He subsequently organized SoBe Music Institute in December 2005.

The centerpiece of the 2009-10 season is a succession of 24 free events in the heart of Miami Beach’s cultural arts district: fall and spring Open Friday series with eight events each and a series of eight monthly Music Unites! family concerts. The fall Open Friday series (Sept. 25 to Dec. 4) will progress from music of Shakespearean times to the modern age. The spring series (March 5 to May 28) explores humanistic themes such as “Music and Transcendence.” Each Open Friday series includes common elements:

Art Speaks. Each series begins with an engaging, thought-provoking multimedia lecture and discussion introducing themes in upcoming concerts. Executive Artistic Director Carson Kievman, Ph.D. aims both to entertain and educate audiences, and will integrate short pre-concert lectures throughout the season to enhance music appreciation regardless of the attendees’ prior exposure to classical works. Other Art Speaks events may introduce an outside expert or noted guest artist to expand on historical, musical, or artistic themes related to each concert series.

Inside Music. Most concert events will explore musical ideas in various chamber configurations, from solo, duet, and trio musical performances up to quintet, sextet, or septet works. Generally, musical themes or historical periods are introduced with relatively small-scale works that gradually become more involved.

SMI Chamber Ensemble. Both the fall and spring series will culminate with one or more large-scale chamber works that build on and expand musical themes presented at earlier events.

The Music Unites! series will present eight family-oriented world music performances on Saturday mornings throughout the season, from September to May. The events utilize the outdoor plaza of the Carl Fisher Clubhouse when weather permits. The programs allow families to experience other cultures through the power of music, emphasizing music with distinctive percussive rhythms in an exciting interactive program that encourages dancing and singing as well as discussions with the artists. All Open Friday and Music Unites! events are followed by a reception and opportunity to meet the artists.

As with any arts organization, the overall success is determined by the support of the community. To get involved with SoBe Arts or purchase a subscription for 2009-2010 season, call 305-674-9220, or email

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