RF History #rf-history
Signature Series #series
We create shared cultural experiences that build and strengthen the diverse communities of South Florida through the presentation of live music. We believe international cultural exchange injects empathy and positivity into the global conversation; cultural activity develops community and builds neighborhoods; sustainable practices are possible in event productions; that Miami is a global city and that our artists are world-class.
The Rhythm Foundation has been presenting outstanding international music in Miami Beach for 35+ years, and we look back at a body of work that now spans decades. When we began in 1988, Miami was a different place than the international crossroads we know now. It makes us proud to think our cultural and community-based programming have contributed in a meaningful way to the growth of our hometown.
RF was launched at the Cameo Theater in Miami Beach, an outgrowth of an eclectic series of live concerts at the historic theater. By 1992, we had transitioned to a nomadic presenting organization – fitting the venue to the program rather than managing a specific building. Events were scheduled at intimate clubs, large theaters, and outdoor festival sites. Some highlights of this first decade included the landmark Africa Fête festivals; concerts by many major international artists at the Cameo Theater; and several sold out concerts by legendary world cultural artists at the Jackie Gleason Theater in Miami Beach and the Olympia and Arsht Center theaters in downtown Miami.
In 2003, RF created our first brand, the TransAtlantic Festival, at the North Beach Bandshell. This exploration of modern world music, focused on artists working between traditional rhythms and electronica, was successful in developing new audiences and giving the organization a stronger identity. The Festival created opportunities for collaboration with new media companies and cultural partners setting up in the midst of Miami’s international boom. TransAtlantic Festival continued for 15 years, and this immersion into contemporary global culture continues to inform our programming – ‘the sound of the world Right Now.’ Another signature series that helped RF grow into a true community anchor was Big Night in Little Haiti, which took place for six years between 2011 and 2016 at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex (and now continues as the City of Miami’s Sounds of Little Haiti). From this series, we learned the value of consistency in creating meaningful partnerships and community-based programs.
In 2015, the City of Miami Beach awarded us the management of the North Beach Bandshell. We had come full circle, but were now fully prepared to make our home in a historic venue. We launched a well-rounded schedule of 75+ events per year – a mix of free community and civic events, cultural programs, popular music and large productions – that welcome the entire South Florida and visitor community to the Bandshell. The management has been extended, which coincides with important capital improvements to the facility including the installation of a canopy to provide weather protection, improved seating, and technical upgrades. With support from a multi-year major grant from the Knight Foundation in 2020, we have also significantly increased our tech capacity, leading to exciting opportunities for the years ahead.
Board of Directors
Dara Schoenwald, President // VolunteerCleanup.Org
Marshall Pasternac, Vice President // Bilzin Sumberg
Robert Glick, Treasurer // Kaufman, Rossin & C
Donald Worth, Secretary // Restore Miami Marine Stadium, Inc.
John Aleman, Karla Arguello, Matt Beck, Alex Blavatnick, Geane Brito, Pedro Menocal, Dana Kulvin, James Quinlan, Robert Plessett, Brandi Reddick, Dr. Rigoberto Rodriguez, Katherine Sanoja, Jason Wiesenfeld, Vanessa Steinberg
James Quinlan, Director
Benton Galgay, Deputy Director
Laura Quinlan, Program Director
Grace Hill, Operations Manager
Lourdes Gonzalez, Administrative Manager
Christina Collins, Marketing Manager
Sean Perreira, Visual Media Designer
Rene Pereda, Strategic Partnerships – Guest Services
Jeanette Doares, Concessions Manager
Sabrina Cabanas, Concessions Manager
Raul Castro, Facility Maintenance
Niall Macaulay, Technical Director
Rodrigo Arcaya, Technologist Consultant
Pete Agudelo, Lighting Director
Joaquin Urbonas Alvarezs, Bandshell Studios Producer
Daniel Michaud, Live Stream Video Director