Pompano Cultural Center Opened With a Cultural Twist (Literally)

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Pompano Cultural Center Opened With a Cultural Twist (Literally)

Now that’s one way to cut a ribbon.

The big-scissors/grip-and-greet tradition of the grand opening received a choreographed cultural twist last night when the much-anticipated Pompano Cultural Center finally hung its proverbial shingle. The “ribbon” was part of the attire of a Latin dancer, whose partner swung her in circles until the ceremonial red band loosed itself from her garment.


The performance kicked off two hours of free entertainment directed by multihyphenate South Florida theatre emissary Michael McKeever. There were jazz bands and a Portuguese vocalist outside, along with “pop-up” musicians strategically placed throughout the two-story complex. Modern dancers in carnivalesque couture entertained on the outside atrium. A live painter created expressionistic canvases depicting the Cultural Center’s Frank Gehry-esque building, and other guests posed as living sculptures—plaster-colored evocations of artists, writers and dancers.


Toward the end of the evening, singers from the South Florida Jubilee Chorus, one of the venue’s partner organizations, launched into an impromptu performance of “God Bless America,” which we captured on video.

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Last night’s ceremony also provided attendees a first look at the center’s inaugural art exhibition, “Shipwrecked of Reason: Half a Century of Cuban Art,” a blockbuster show of provocative, absurdist and socially conscious works in acrylic, bronze, wood, photography, glass and more. Standout pieces include Michel Mirabal’s darkly comic installation “Complaints and Suggestions”—a mailbox with bloody, gnarled teeth.

ComplaintsAndSuggestionsThe variety of cultural tapas on display set the eclectic tone for this latest addition to Pompano Beach’s artistic renaissance. The Cultural Center will provide flexible space for at least 11 South Florida arts organizations in a wide range of mediums, including the taiko percussionists Fushu Daiko (who also performed last night), theatre companies Outre and Curtain Call, Florida Classical Ballet, Brazilian Voices and Dance Now! Miami. “We’re not going to be a touring venue so much as we’ll be nurturing what’s already here in South Florida, and giving them permanent homes,” said Kay Renz, the center’s publicist.


Six hundred attendees were expected at Thursday’s event, and a reported 800-plus turned out. But the festivities are far from over. The public is welcome to attend two additional galas on this grand-opening weekend. Starting at 7 p.m. tonight (Friday), the Center will host a VIP fundraising event with a similar slate of diverse pop-up entertainment and gallery tours, along with live and silent auctions and a cocktail reception.


On Saturday night, Grammy-winning salsa musician Marlow Rosado will headline “Havana Nights,” a concert featuring a musical quartet, 12-piece band and Latin dancers. The atmosphere will be supplemented by authentic Cuban ambience, including street musicians and cigar rollers. Attendees can also meet Maria Pérez Pérez, curator of “Shipwrecked,” during the exhibition’s VIP reception.

Tickets for Friday’s gala only are $100, but a $128 ticket grants access to both events this weekend. For more on the Cultural Center, including information on more of its upcoming programming, visit ccpompano.org.