MDC’S Mu­seum of Art and De­sign presents Po­etry Along the Bay

South Florida Times - - METRO - Richard Blanco, Mi­ami Lady ship

MI­AMI – For 25 years, Mi­ami Dade Col­lege (MDC)’s In­ter­nal Rev­enue Ser­vice’s (IRS) Vol­un­teer In­come Tax As­sis­tance Pro­gram (VITA) has pro­vided free tax prepa­ra­tion ser­vices to low-in­come in­di­vid­u­als and non-English speak­ing res­i­dents through­out Mi­ami-Dade.

On April 19, at 6:30 p.m., the pro­gram’s 25th an­niver­sary will be cel­e­brated at the MDC Wolf­son Cam­pus, Room 8106, 300 NE 2nd Ave. Michael A. Fin­ney, Pres­i­dent and CEO of the Mi­ami-Dade Bea­con Coun­cil, will be the key­note speaker. City of Mi­ami Com­mis­sioner Willy Gort will also at­tend.

The VITA pro­gram ini­tially be­gan at the Wolf­son Cam­pus and was ex­tended to other cam­puses, in­clud­ing the North, Ken­dall, In­terAmer­i­can, Home­stead, and Hialeah cam­puses. VITA Cen­ters are su­per­vised by MDC’s School of Busi­ness prof es­sors and ex­pe­ri­enced co­or­di­na­tors. Stu­dents serve as vol­un­teers who pre­pare free in­di­vid­ual in­come tax re­tur ns for other stu­dents, their f am­i­lies and the gen­eral pub­lic. The re­turns are re­viewed by the pro­fes­sors or ex­pe­ri­enced co­or­di­na­tors be­fore be­ing elec­tron­i­cally filed with the IRS. Ev­ery year the col­legewide VITA Pro­gram has be­tween 80 and 100 vol­un­teers.

Last year, the pro­gram com­pleted 2,289 in­di­vid­ual tax re­turns, amount­ing to more than $2,628,040 in re­funds. More than $917,533 in Ear ned In­come Tax Credit (EITC) was re­funded to qual­i­fy­ing in­di­vid­u­als. Over­all, the pro­gram has given back to the res­i­dents of Mi­ami-Dade County more than $50 mil­lion in re­funds since it be­gan a quar­ter cen­tury ago. Staff Re­port

MI­AMI— Mi­ami Dade Col­lege’s (MDC) Mu­seum of Art and De­sign (MOAD) Liv­ing To­gether ini­tia­tive is tak­ing par­tic­i­pants on a cruise be­neath the stars with Po­etry Along the Bay, an evening with cel­e­brated Cuban Amer­i­can poet Richard Blanco. A mul­ti­fac­eted writer who grew up in Mi­ami and the au­thor of sev­eral books, Blanco read one of his po­ems at Barack Obama’s sec­ond pres­i­den­tial in­au­gu­ra­tion in 2013.

Po­etry Along the Bay is part of MOAD MDC’s Liv­ing To­gether, a cross-dis­ci­plinary se­ries of pro­grams that aims to gal­va­nize Mi­ami au­di­ences with thought­ful and chal­leng­ing per­for­mances and ex­hi­bi­tions that draw from art, mu­sic, the­ater, pol­i­tics, and po­etry; seek­ing new ways to think about civic space and cit­i­zen­ship, to prompt mean­ing­ful ac­tions and con­ver­sa­tions.

As the boat sails on Bis­cayne Bay, past il­lu­mi­nated land­marks old and new, au­di­ences will hear Blanco read po­etry that grap­ples with the state of the world and their place in it and demon­strates why Mi­ami re­mains an in­cu­ba­tor for artis­tic tal­ent in many fields.

An in­flu­en­tial poet and story teller, Blanco in­vites au­di­ences to re­con­nect to the heart of hu­man ex­pe­ri­ence. Born in Madrid to Cuban ex­iled par­ents and raised in Mi­ami, he has cre­ated a body of work char­ac­ter­ized by the ne­go­ti­a­tion of cul­tural iden­tity and place.

MOAD cel­e­brated its grand open­ing on April 5, 2018, by pre­sent­ing Liv­ing To­gether at var­i­ous sites across the greater Mi­ami area from now to Septem­ber 2018. Liv­ing To­gether will in­clude works by 17 of the most ac­claimed na­tional and in­ter­na­tional artists, art col­lec­tives, mu­si­cians, and writ­ers. Events in the se­ries will be pro­duced by MOAD MDC in col­lab­o­ra­tion with a range of other Mi­ami in­sti­tu­tions, and most events will be free and open to the pub­lic. The cu­ra­tors of Liv­ing To­gether are Rina Car­va­jal, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor and Chief Cu­ra­tor of MOAD, and Joseph R. Wolin, an in­de­pen­dent cu­ra­tor based in New York.

Po­etry Along the Bay will take place on board the boat the Mi­ami Lady on Fri­day, April 27. Board­ing will be­gin promptly at 7 p.m. at Is­land Queen Cruises, Bay­side Park at 401 Bis­cayne Boule­vard, Mi­ami, FL 33132. Tick­ets are $15 gen­eral ad­mis­sion; $ 10 MDC fac­ulty and staff; $5 stu­dents with ID; free to MDC stu­dents. Pur­chase at http://www.md­c­moad.org.

PHO­TOS COUR­TESY OF BOAT MI­AMI

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