Arts Garage: One year later


Delray Beach’s multi-disciplinary cultural hub hosts Garage Gala Gig to celebrate anniversary

by Rigel Herman The Pineapple Staff Writer One year ago this April, Arts Garage opened its doors to South Florida audiences as a venue for multi-cultural and multidisciplinary musical performance, visual arts exhibition and educational programs. To celebrate, Arts Garage will host a “Garage Gala Gig” on April 28th at 7pm, presented by Arts Garage Guild. The fete will feature two-time Latin Grammy nominee jazz saxophonist, Ed Calle, cabaret performances of selections from favorite Broadway and film musicals by The Garage Girls, and live creation of paintings and sculpture. There will be additional surprise guest appearances by beloved Arts Garage artists, a silent auction and delicious, distinctive food provided by Breathe Ultra Lounge, which is helping to sponsor the event.

Arts Garage doors opened to the public in April of 2011 with the Jazz Jubilee series. “Since April is national Jazz Appreciation Month, it was an ideal time to launch Arts Garage with a jazz series,” said Alyona Ushe, Executive Director of Arts Garage. “Our vision has always been to present exceptionally gifted talent and we were gratified to inaugurate our intimate venue with such legendary musicians as Melton Mustafa, and four time Grammy Award winner Federico Britos and Jesse Jones, Jr.” Initially presented in partnership with Jazzonian Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to Jazz heritage, the series has evolved into the Jazz Project and its performances are consistently met with sold-out audiences and feature such iconic figures as Ira Sullivan, Nicole Henry and Ed Calle.

The collaboration with Jazzonian represented not only the beginning of this eclectic and multi-faceted venue, but also Arts Garage’s commitment to other creative collaborations with other cultural organizations such as the Women’s International Film Festival, South Florida Symphony, Delray String Quartet, and Palm Beach Opera. Arts Garage has swiftly evolved into a vibrant venue for emerging artists and cultural innovators presenting cutting-edge performances and exhibitions. The ultimate artistic goal of Arts Garage is to provide a setting and support for artists of all disciplines to work together to conceive and invent new trends and works. Perhaps the most unique aspect of Arts Garage is its conscious decision to support and present works that appeal to wide interests and showcase evolving and revolutionary cultural movements, as exemplified most recently by a weekend that included a showcase of Latin American visual arts, musical theater, jazz and Sephardic folk songs. On other weeks you may find (spanning across genres) Urban Underground, a powerful signature series that presents a blend of diverse musical genres including R&B, hip-hop, reggae and spoken word, alongside the creative programming of Divas in Art. This crowd favorite, which features female illusionists who entertain with humor and music dubbed “a different kind of sexy,” has quickly become one of the hottest cabaret- style performances in the area.

With the addition of Theatre at Arts Garage, the organization continues to solidify its role as the cultural mecca in the region. Its inaugural production, Woody Sez, came to Arts Garage following a critically acclaimed European tour and has received rave reviews from the South Florida press. Lou Tyrrell, founder and former artistic director of Florida Stage, now Artistic Director of Theatre at Arts Garage, will oversee the production of an eclectic range of contemporary work in American theatre. “Whether new or established work, our plays at Arts Garage will astonish and rivet our audiences, and resonate as completely unique and contemporary,” said Tyrrell. Guests can look forward to visual art exhibitions, theatrical productions, renowned and emerging jazz, blues and classical musicians Divas, and film. “The instant success of Arts Garage speaks to the sophistication and artistic curiosity of the regional audience,” said Ushe. “Delray Beach especially has evolved into a boutique metropolitan city and our programs will continue to embrace the abundance of local talent and showcase internationally acclaimed artists of all disciplines.” In celebration of this milestone first anniversary, the public is invited to the Garage Gala Gig on April 28th. Tickets are $75 per individual or $125 per couple and attire is “festive.” Sponsorship opportunities are available as well. Email with questions. For more information on this event check out their website, Arts Garage is located at 180 NE 1st St. on the bottom level of the public parking structure.