south-dade-cultural-center_web.jpgCUTLER BAY — The much anticipated South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, 10950 SW 211th St., a $51 million state-of-the-art performing arts venue, will officially open with two days of performances Oct. 1-2 in Cutler Bay, Southern Miami-Dade County.

The center was designed by a team that included Arquitectonica International Inc., architects; Fisher Dachs Associates Inc.,  theater design; Artec Consultants Inc., acoustics; and AMS Planning & Research Corp., theater management.

It features works of art created by Miami artist Robert Chambers, who was commissioned by Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program to design a kinetic light wall and sculpture for the theater.

It will be managed by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, with funding support from the Miami-Dade County Commission.

It will provide, for the first time, a state-of-the-art cultural venue and community gathering place in the southern part of the county.

Visitors for the grand opening celebration, which will include a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Saturday night, will have a chance to see the  facility and its 966 seat

state-of-the-art theater that features a fly tower, orchestra pit, front of house spaces such as box office, lobby and concessions, as well as house support spaces, such as dressing rooms, storage and work areas and administrative offices.

The site, at 10950 SW 211th St., also includes an activities building which houses lab/experimental theaters and may be used for classrooms, rehearsals and small-scale performances.

An attractive outdoor plaza will allow for festivals, art shows and other outdoor activities.  The concert lawn “back yard” slopes to the Black Creek Canal and can be used for outdoor concerts, performances and events.

According to a county statement, the facility is dedicated to presenting and supporting arts and culture and providing access to the arts. It is seen as an integral part of the economic and cultural development of the area, offering quality artistic programming and community accessibility.

A taste of what is to come will be offered during the Grand Opening Celebration which will be highlighted by an interdisciplinary show featuring international artists, as well as some of Miami’s highest caliber performers. The performance will span the genres and cultures of south Miami-Dade and incorporate jazz, classical, Latin, Caribbean and gospel music and dance, as well as theater and multimedia presentations created from interviews with community members.

The county statement described the celebration as a community affair that represents “both the artistic and demographic diversity” of the county and has been “designed to present outstanding cultural offerings to people from all backgrounds.”

The artistic team producing the show includes Heidi Marshall, director; Teo Castellanos, dramaturge; Rosie Herrera, choreographer; Jordy Gomez, music director; Elizabeth Sobel, musical director manager; Andrew Yeomanson, DJ designs; Edouard Duval Carrié, set concept designer; Ken Kurtz, set planner; Xavier Pierce, lighting designer.

Also, Benton Bainbridge, projection/video designer; Mark Moormann, documentary filmmaker; Carrie Cabrera, wardrobe supervisor; and Ronald K. Brown, choreographer for pre-show activities.

The show will feature performances by artists such as members of Jean P. Jam, Lanzallamas Monofónica, The Lee Boys, Rosie Herrera Dance Theatre, Spam Allstars, and Tiempo Libre.

The Grand Opening Celebration will take place at 8 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 1, and 3 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 2.

Tickets for the Grand Opening performance cost $50, $35 and $20 on Saturday night and $40, $25 and $10 on Sunday afternoon, which will be Family Day. Sunday pricing also includes $5 Culture Shock tickets for youth 12-22, 50 percent off for kids 6-12 and $5 off for seniors at all ticket levels.

For information on how to buy tickets, call 786-573-5300 or visit


ARTS CENTER: This is a view of the new South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay which will open with two days of celebrations Oct. 1-2.