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Bringing Art to Life

Posted: Friday, April 5th, 2013 at 2:32 pm in Field News

Bringing Art to Life:
New Report Looks at Unorthodox Effort
to Deliver Poetry to People

A new report explores the O, Miami poetry festival’s efforts to bring the art form to life by dropping poems from helicopters, sewing them into clothing, placing them throughout a botanical garden and more.

Commissioned by Knight Foundation, the report not only chronicles the rise of Miami’s art scene and the unorthodox, inaugural O, Miami festival, it also offers insights for any cultural organization trying to engage new audiences and reframe art for their communities.

In a blog post by O, Miami co-founder Scott Cunningham provides How-To tips to producing an event: large or small.

 “Today’s audiences demand to be engaged, and often that means taking art out of the symphony halls and into people’s everyday lives,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts at Knight Foundation, whose art program inspired and funded the festival. “Whether you’re a poetry enthusiast, organizing a small music festival, or more globally trying to reach audiences at any level, O, Miami will resonate.”

The report is part of Knight Foundation’s Reporter Analysis series, where Knight commissions independent reporters to evaluate programs it funds. O, Miami: How a festival infused a city with poetry was written by Brett Sokol, the arts editor for Ocean Drive magazine whose writing on Miami’s cultural scene has also appeared in the New York Times, New York Magazine and Slate. Judy J. Miller, who oversaw Pulitzer Prize-winning coverage while serving as managing editor of the Miami Herald, edited the report.

Video and photos are available at

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