It’s been an extremely eventful past few months for our other five Inspire305 finalists, after each receiving $5,000 from an anonymous donor. One finalist conducted a six-week theater camp for kids living at Lotus House, a Miami homeless shelter for women and children; while another one of our finalists took 50 veterans to the Keys to continue Hurricane Irma cleanup. We checked in with all five finalists to see what they’ve been up to since competing for our Grand Innovator Award – and here’s what they had to say.
Exchange for Change
Since receiving $5,000 from an anonymous donor at Inspire305 in June, we’ve taught 36 writing classes in correctional institutions over the summer and fall, including two courses at residential youth facilities, a pilot course on film and three exchanges with local schools (including a new partnership with Miami Dade College).
But that’s not all we’ve been up to: our new legal writing course at Dade CI brings UM School of Law students into the prison to help teach legal writing; our tutoring program has expanded to Everglades CI; we have a new exhibit at Florida Atlantic University and plans for an event at the 2018 Miami Book Fair.
Our first annual fundraiser at The Betsy was a smashing success, and – last but by no means least – we are working with FIU and UM to develop college credit-bearing writing classes, which we hope to roll out next year.
Learn more about Exchange for Change here.
LEAPlete Foundation traveled to Seattle with four of our gymnasts to represent Special Olympics Florida at the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. Our girls together brought home 19 medals, including 9 gold medals. It was very exciting to watch and an incredible overall experience.
The funds we received from an anonymous donor have already been put to good use – in our athletic programs and in helping us create and relaunch a professional website that really conveys our mission and the abilities of our athletes with special needs.
The additional funds also allowed us to purchase the necessary equipment and uniforms to expand our cheerleading program to a team of 16 athletes. We are looking into the possibility of an out-of-state competition this year.
We are also in the process of creating a day program for our adult athletes who have aged out of school programs, with the goal of creating an athletic-based social group where life skills can also be developed.
Learn more about LEAPlete Foundation here.
After being named an Inspire305 finalist, Little Revolt celebrated Shakespeare with a free family festival in Miami Springs. The event, which was free and open to the community, included storytelling for kids, Shakespeare art activities, stage combat lessons, old English dance lessons, a “bear toss” game, coconut archery, a costume trunk and a mid-summer fairy garden scavenger hunt. Live Shakespeare performances featured community actors ranging in age from 7 to 92.
In addition, we’ve conducted a six-week theater camp for kids living at Lotus House, a Miami homeless shelter for women and children. More than 20 children performed poetry, recited riddles, danced and acted in scenes. This workshop occurred as a direct result of publicity that we received from Inspire305.
Learn more about Little Revolt here.
The Mission Continues Miami
The Mission Continues Service Platoon has stayed occupied with plenty of service projects and day trips. In July, we partnered with the US Coast Guard and Miami Dade Parks for a 100+ volunteer service project tackling deferred maintenance work at Tropical Park. We also partnered with nonprofit Gen2050 to help amplify their urban farming program for youth.
In August, we conducted a service project at Seminole Wayside Park in Homestead, which helped us decide on a multi-phase partnership with Miami Dade Parks with our generous $5,000 donation.
In honor of 9/11, we took 50 veterans to the keys for a weekend of service at Dry Tortugas National Park and Big Pine Key to continue Hurricane Irma cleanup.
Learn more about The Mission Continues Miami here.
South Florida Center for Percussive Arts
The SFCPA had an exciting summer and fall! Most notably, we celebrated our five-year anniversary in August with a beautiful celebration and fundraiser that featured great food, wine and of course, live music!
We have since returned to our regular programming for the school year, which includes our signature community program, RhythmFun. With the help of the generous donation we received through Inspire305, we have purchased new drums for our early childhood classes (ages 18 months to 5 years old). We are also planning to upgrade our technology in the classrooms as well.
In addition to our weekly programs, we have been participating in community events nearly every weekend. Events such as ArtsLaunch and CultureFest305 have given the SFCPA a chance to connect with even more families throughout South Florida.
The beat isn’t stopping anytime soon either, as we are proud to be a winner of the 2018 Public Space Challenge sponsored by the Miami Foundation! Our project, “Arts in the Plaza,” will bring a new performance series to the West Kendall area. Finally, we are thrilled to announce that we are moving to a new location! While still in the same area, we will be moving to a brand new, state-of-the-art facility unlike any other in South Florida. We can’t wait to offer all of our unique programs in our fantastic new venue!
Learn more about South Florida Center for Percussive Arts here.