ORLANDO – OCTOBER 17, 2017 – United Arts of Central Florida is pleased to announce that four programs in the greater Orlando area have been awarded a total of $16,000 through the Diverse Programming Grants. These grants support programming that is more inclusive and representative of the diversity of the region. Funding for Diverse Programming Grants comes from a $50,000 grant from the Duke Energy Foundation and is awarded to United Arts to continue diversity and outreach initiatives.


“Local arts and cultural programs help enhance the quality of life in our communities,” said Harry Sideris, Duke Energy Florida state president. “We are proud to invest in developing and strengthening nonprofit organizations like United Arts of Central Florida, to benefit the diverse communities we serve.”


The goal of the Diverse Programming Grants is to increase awareness and participation of diverse communities in Central Florida’s arts and culture.


“I am excited about the quality, scope and originality of these projects and I know that audiences attending the programs will be inspired and captivated,” said Flora Maria Garcia, President and CEO. “The Diversity Grants continue to move the needle in Central Florida in making the arts appealing and accessible to the broad range of people that live here.” 


The Diverse Programming Grants awarded are up to $5,000 each. The four recipients of this grant cycle are:


Asian Cultural Association of Central Florida, $4,000 — On November 4, 2017 at the Bob Carr Theatre, the Asian Cultural Association will present a concert by CROSSCURRENTS, an international super-group led by 2017 NEA Jazz Master bassist Dave Holland and the world’s foremost tabla virtuoso, Zakir Hussain. This concert will honor the long and vibrant relationship between jazz and Indian classical music, both of which have improvisation as a core tenet. Through distinctive original compositions, Western jazz standards, 12-bar blues numbers, and Indian classical pieces, attendees will experience a cutting-edge development in this cross-cultural continuum.


Bach Festival Society of Winter Park, $4,000 — Coinciding with the 50th anniversary of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Bach Festival Society of Winter Park will present two concerts featuring oratorio and symphonic works by three of history’s most important African-American composers: William L. Dawson, William Grant Still and R. Nathaniel Dett. These two concerts will be performed on April 21-22, 2018 at the Knowles Memorial Chapel at Rollins College and are titled, African-American Masterpieces: Symphonic Spirituals.


Opera Orlando, $4,000 — Opera tenor Javier Abreu from Miami will be joined by local Hispanic singers for an evening of highlights from several beloved Zarzuelas. The principal soloists will appear in traditional Zarzuela costumes, and will be joined by CFCArts orchestra and Orlando Light Opera & Opera Orlando Choruses. A series of youth outreach events at local schools will precede the concert. These presentations will occur from January to March 2018 while the main concert will take place on March 3, 2018.


Osceola County Historical Society, $4,000 — Osceola County Historical Society plans to enhance its current Hispanic Heritage Oral History Video Series (which chronicles the lives of five key influencers in Osceola County) by translating all interviews into Spanish, adding subtitles and a voiceover. The translated interviews will be featured in a launch party, then made available online and to educators. OCHS also plans to translate all text panels in the Welcome Center and History Museum and create a brochure in Spanish language for distribution upon request.


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