IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company to Expand Annual Festival with Prestigious 2016 Knight Arts Challenge Grant
IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Company, Miami’s premier Afro-Cuban cultural organization, has been awarded a prestigious 2016 Knight Arts Challenge grant in the amount of $20,000 to expand its one-of-a-kind annual Afro-Cuban dance festival.
IFE-ILE is a two-time winner of the Knight Arts Challenge.
Knight Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that
bring South Florida together through the arts. IFE-ILE is among 44 local projects that will share $2.78 million from the Knight Arts Challenge. The winning ideas are authentically Miami, using the arts to provide a voice to a range of people and communities and reflect the essence of the city.
“This project aims to convert IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival, already an important intermediary of Afro-Cuban culture in Miami, into a repository of Cuban culture and an important link between both shores.”
IFE-ILE recently celebrated its 16th Annual IFE-ILE Afro-Cuban Dance Festival. Torres, an award-winning choreographer and instructor, plans to use the grant funds to expand the festival, which already produces a wide array of workshops for all ages reflecting the diversity of the African diaspora, live performances and academic discussions on relevant cultural topics.
Torres is currently researching cultural re-encounters and retention patterns maintained by the Cuban emigrants. From this research, a performance narrative will explore the effect of the cultural division between those who leave their country and those who remain behind reflecting the identity crisis that many citizens from other countries in turmoil are facing today. IFE-ILE plans to invite five professional dancers and instructors from Cuba to collaborate on this project through a cultural exchange in the summer of 2017. The project will include seminars open to the public, workshops, a short-term camp for children with a closing performance.