MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts has launched “Arsht on the Road.”

The twice a week, free, pop-up surprise performances will bring back live entertainment in a safe and socially distanced manner to diverse neighborhoods.

The first performance was at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

“We decided to launch it here at the Jackson Memorial Hospital to honor our front line workers and essential workers who been keeping us safe during this time”, said Johann Zietsman, President and CEO of Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. “I can’t think of a better place to start this “Arsht on the Road” program which will be every Wednesday and every Saturday. We are going to do pop-up live performances with Miami artists all over the city.”

The first pop up featured a high energy musical performance by Haitian cellist Guy Michele, who has not performed live since February.

“It feels amazing because I love what I do. I love performing and entertaining, so this is so great that I get the chance to be out here and get a chance to look at the people’s faces. To me that’s everything. That’s the reason why I became a cellist is to entertain people,” Michele said.

Haitian cellist Guy Michele plays for frontline workers at Jackson Memorial Hospital.(CBS4)

“This is just a way to begin connecting with our community again and give our local artists an opportunity to do what they do best and that makes our lives more tolerable and more fun,” Zietsman said.

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The Arsht Center, like many performance venues, has taken a major financial hit throughout this pandemic.

“Since we closed in March, on March 13, we lost $11 million of revenue just at the Arsht. If we extended through next year or however long we have to go through, next year that number can be doubled,” Zietsman said

And so they push forward –

“Arsht on the Road” is just one of many outside events the center is planning throughout the year. Another is “Live on the Plaza.” They’ve done this before but this year it will be in a more controlled environment.

“It’s live events twice a month. We’re starting on November 20th, where people who feel they really do want to go to the Arsht and be at an organized space, outside and safely distanced, will be able to enjoy a lineup of Miami’s artists live on our plaza at the Adrienne Arsht Center on Biscayne Boulevard,” said Zietsman.

There’s also the “Pop Your Art Out” program. These 60-minute art-making pop-up classrooms are designed for kids to create their own visual art pieces.

All creative ways to keep the arts in the eyes, minds, and hearts for all to enjoy.

“Our intent is to stay connected to a community, to stay relative in their lives, and if possible, make their lives just a little better by bringing them together to enjoy that art,” said Zietsman, “And to also give local artists an opportunity to earn a little bit of income and do what they do best and that just gives us joy and hope.”

You can find out more about “Arsht on the Road” and the other programs on the Arsht Center’s social media accounts or their website arshtcenter.org.

Lisa Petrillo

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