MDC Live Arts Launches Second Live Arts Lab Featuring Acclaimed Interdisciplinary Artist Baba Israel

MDC Live Arts Launches Second Live Arts Lab Featuring Acclaimed Interdisciplinary Artist Baba Israel

Miami Dade College's (MDC) MDC Live Arts will present the 2014 edition of the Live Arts Lab, a professional development laboratory for local working artists. Acclaimed interdisciplinary artist Baba Israel, who was first introduced to South Florida audiences during YoungArts week, will lead the Lab August 5 - 30 at New World School of the Arts (NWSA) at MDC in downtown Miami.

Funded by the Knight Foundation, the Live Arts Lab seeks to foster and nurture the local performing arts community through intensive summer study alongside master level practitioners in the areas of music, dance and theater. The Live Arts Lab is geared toward emerging and mid-career artists. The residency aims to expose participants to the visiting artists' creative process, best practice and intensive learning curricula, with an emphasis on creating new works.

"Professional development opportunities for working artists are integral to our core values as an arts presenter within an academic institution," says Kathryn Garcia, executive director of MDC Live Arts. "Constant exploration is part of any professional creative practice; performers engage in ongoing training and maintenance to keep their skills sharp and to discover the possibilities for their work. This kind of intensive not only serves that need, but it also builds community among artists locally and nationally through relationship-building with the visiting artist. It places Miami and Miami-based artists solidly into a national professional dialogue."

MDC Live Arts has offered an educational component in its programming since its inception, and regularly arranges master classes with visiting artists. With the addition of Live Arts Lab, local artists can engage with a master artist in their fields for an extended period, allowing for a deep creative experience. This year's Lab will focus on personal narrative and archive in performance. "We will explore writing, spoken word, verse, as well as creating text through improvisation, recording, and collaboration," said Baba Israel. We will explore how we can sample and remix archive material to animate and dialogue with the past. We will explore how technology can aid us in this process and how to best integrate it into our work."

The fee to participate in this Lab is $350 with limited scholarships available. The Lab features a culminating performance on Thursday, August 28, with an informal showing by participants and Baba Israel.

To register or receive more information about the MDC Live Arts Lab, please call 305-237-3010, or visit

About Baba Israel

Raised in New York by theatre parents who were core members of the famous Living Theatre, Baba Israel had proximity to theatre on the edge from early in his life. As a young artist he began exploring spoken word, Hip Hop, and experimental performance. Later he lived in Australia where he co-founded the group Meta Bass 'n Breath and worked on major community theatre projects and Hip Hop festivals. He has toured as MC, beatboxer, and theatre artist across North and South America, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia. Baba Israel is proud to have shared the stage with artists such as Outkast, The Roots, Rahzel, Lester Bowie, Afrika Bambaataa, Vernon Reid, and Bill Cosby.

A co-founder and Artistic Director of Playback NYC Theatre Company, Baba Israel has taken theatre into prisons, hospitals, shelters, and arts venues. As an educator he has worked internationally developing projects with young people. He holds an MFA in Interdisciplinary Arts from Goddard College. His solo show Boom Bap Meditations was awarded support by the Ford Foundation and The Hip Hop Theatre Festival. Previous directorial work includes the Project 2050 (New World Theatre), Countryboy Struggle (Maxwell Golden) and Sharpening SAWDS.

Baba Israel lives in New York, where he continues to develop projects in theatre, music and education. "I see teaching as a form of collaboration and discovery." says Baba Israel. "I am currently exploring archive and legacy in my work and these are themes I will bring to the Live Arts Lab. I want to explore how we are transformed by the legacies we inherit, resist, and seek."

About MDC Live Arts

Created in 1990 as Cultura del Lobo, MDC Live Arts has a celebrated history of bringing exceptional national and international performing artists to Miami. Annually, the series offers an eclectic mix of performances, presenting today's most exciting artists while creating meaningful engagement between these artists, the students of MDC, and the community. MDC Live Arts seeks artists from across the globe who push boundaries and honor traditions relevant to Miami's diverse community. The series aims to offer audiences opportunities to discover new ideas, perspectives and forms of expression while encouraging dialogue and the desire to know more.

MDC Live Arts receives funding from the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners; the National Endowment for the Arts; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture; the City of Miami Beach Department of Tourism and Cultural Development, Office of Cultural Affairs, the Miami Beach Mayor and City Commissioners; and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

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