In the beginning …
It is impossible to acknowledge everyone who has played a role in shaping the Center’s history since it opened on November 2, 1975, but any history must begin with Mrs. Eleanor Magee.
Founder Eleanor Magee with daughter Becky Hunkins
A retired music teacher from Pennsylvania with a degree in literature, Magee was one of the chief organizers of the city-sponsored Seven Lively Arts festival held annually in Young Circle Park beginning in 1960. Seven Lively Arts featured music, visual arts, and dance performances at a time when Hollywood’s population more than tripled from 35,237 in 1960 to 125,400 in 1975.
“Every year, summer or spring, there would be seven nights of the arts in Young Circle,” recalled Becky Hunkins, Magee’s daughter and current Hollywood resident. “That’s where my mother met all the artists and decided we needed a museum.”
For the better part of 12 years, Magee chaired the City’s Art and Culture Committee and spearheaded a group that kept an eye out for a suitable site for an arts center. Hunkins said her mother found a building on the beach that was vacant for three years, at 1301 S. Ocean Drive, and went to the commission with the idea to take it over from a developer called Three Islands.
“She’s the one, with others, who went to commission meetings and begged them to get this building,” Hunkins said. “They were trying to go anywhere they could to find a home for the Center. She didn’t say it was a cultural wasteland. She said it just lacks any cultural facilities whatsoever. ”
Mayor David Keating and Mrs Eleanor McGee at the Center’s ribbon cutting, 1975
Hollywood resident Johnnie Sue Glantz was among those early organizers of Seven Lively Arts with Magee and later served twice as Board Chair. She remembers Magee telling her, “We’ve got the bear by the tail and we can’t let go.’
Sylvia Stoltz, a Hollywood resident since 1978 who helped form the Center’s original docents group, recalled, “The city took over the building, but required that it be used for ‘art and culture,’ not just art. Music and learning had to be incorporated. There was an art school in the back of the building.”
A view of the 1301 location from S. Ocean Drive
The City took $200,000 set aside for the S.S. Holland Waterfront Park to renovate the building, valued at more than $1 million, in 1975. The grand opening at the beachside address coincided with the 50th anniversary of the City of Hollywood. Mayor David Keating performed the ribbon cutting with Eleanor Magee standing next to him. Nearly 2,000 people paid a $5 admission for a full day of arts activities that featured a group exhibition of more than 60 works by South Florida artists, plus performances by musicians and dancers.
Hollywood Sun-Tattler, 1975
The monthly magazine Town Topics declared in its December 1975 issue that the opening, “left one with the feeling that we were celebrating the first day of Spring combined with the wonderment of Christmas.” The reporter, Jack Grant, noted, “When a community backs such an idea with their time, talent and their money, you can be sure that the community is ready to take on the support of such a facility.”
1925: The Center’s first location stood on the beach site that housed Tent City, which was described as a “resort under canvas,” with electricity, running water, and maid service. It was destroyed during the 1926 hurricane.
The Center began as a division of the City’s Parks and Recreation Department. The Board was appointed by the City Commission and Eleanor Magee was selected as Chair in the first year. The beach site had a huge gallery and a deep, sunken inset in the center of the space where lectures and music concerts were held. The walls for the gallery were stucco and in the shape of cubicles, which were once used by the Three Island sales staff. There was an atrium and a meeting room in what became the Keating Wing. Admission to exhibitions and performances was free.
Within two months of opening, The Friends of the Art and Culture Center was formed as a membership group that charged annual dues. By 1985, the Friends had 1,285 members. Operating funding was provided primarily by the City, sales at the Creative Arterie Gift Shop, and dollars raised by volunteers.
1978: A one-night “informal chat” by the legendary Broadway actress Mary Martin was attended by 400 people who paid $10 each. A Kennedy Center honoree, Martin originated many leading roles over her career, including Nellie Forbush in South Pacific and Maria von Trapp in The Sound of Music.
“We had plant sales, we hired an auctioneer to do an auction, we had an Elegant Junque sale,” said Sylvia Stoltz, who also served as Director of Volunteer Services. “We always raised money. We had a day at the races at Gulfstream Park. It was all volunteer driven.”
Programming in the early years consisted of a rotating schedule of exhibitions, which included Pablo Picasso’s Vollard Suite in 1977, and a variety of cultural offerings, such as the Tuesday Morning Musicale, Sunday Afternoon Concert Series, and a film series. By the second anniversary the Center was the umbrella site for the Hollywood Philharmonic Orchestra, Hollywood Art Guild, Hollywood/South Florida Poetry Festival, and South Florida Art Institute of Hollywood.
The Art Institute was run by artist Elwin Porter, who moved his classroom/studio to the Center in 1977 after operating for 20 years in Miami. Among those who studied under Porter over the next decade were such notable South Florida artists as Francie Bishop Good, Madeline Denaro, Judy Sayfie, Jean Leighton, and David Maxwell. Porter was chosen by the National Association of Schools of Art as one of 30 “Best Directors” from across the country.
Russell Hicken was hired in 1977 as the first Executive Director and given a $60,000 operating budget from the City. The gallery season included an exhibition of prints from the Esmark Collection of Currier and Ives. Hicken left the Center after one year and was replaced by Carol Hotchkiss Malt of Coral Gables.
Henri Matisse, 1944 linocut, Ninety Prints by Henri Matisse: The Legend of Pasiphae
Within a year, Malt was tasked with updating the Center’s image from one patronized primarily by senior citizens who lived in beachfront condos to a visual and performing arts center that “appeals to the entire family.” The gallery season during this period included the Gold Coast Water Color Society – 4th Annual Members Exhibition and the South Florida Art Institute Alumnae Exhibition, plus paintings and drawings by Elwin Porter.
The exhibition programming took a dramatic turn with the hiring of Wendy Blazier as assistant director and curator in 1979. Just 26, Blazier began her 16-year tenure at the Center by bringing more ambitious traveling shows to the galleries to supplement thematic exhibitions by area artists.
In 1982, the Center was the only venue in the Southeast U.S. to host the Smithsonian show, Western Views, Eastern Visions, drawing record crowds. An exhibition by renowned Miami Beach-based American impressionist Henry Salem Hubbell (1870-1949) a year later resulted in a catalogue and traveled to the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg.
Aug. 31, 1978: The Center receives Articles of Incorporation from the State of Florida and is formally established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.
Ninety Prints by Henri Matisse: The Legend of Pasiphae was an acclaimed touring show of linoleum block prints based on the Greek legend of Pasiphae created by Matisse between 1940 and 1944.
Shows by local artists also took a more daring, contemporary tone. Air Affair featured a Sky Art Performance of sky writing over the ocean. The Courtroom Art of Shirley Henderson broke new ground with drawings created during the federal trial of then-U.S. District Judge Alcee Hastings, who was acquitted and later attended the opening-night reception.
1981: The Literary Lecture Series featured convicted Watergate burglar G. Gordon Liddy as a guest speaker.
The Center broke new ground of a different sort in May 1982 when it began charging an entrance fee for the first time: $1 for adults, 50 cents for children. That year, the City cut its general operating funding from $92,000 to $65,500, requiring the Center to increase revenues and fund-raising efforts to cover budget deficits.
Malt resigned in November 1984 and was replaced by Jerrold Rouby, the Center’s third Executive Director. The average yearly attendance was 41,000 and the majority of attendees were beach residents and tourists.
From Hollywood Beach to Downtown Hollywood
The beginning of the end for the beach location was set in motion in 1985 when city engineers inspected the building and determined that it needed $320,000 in repairs. Built on sand (not pilings) in 1969, it was deemed not worth fixing and a search began for a new home in downtown Hollywood. Rouby told the Sun-Sentinel, “[Downtown] is more accessible and it’s an opportunity for more facets of the community to utilize what we have.”
The western half of Young Circle was the first choice recommended by a Center advisory board. A group called Downtown Hollywood Center, Inc., also considered the southwest corner of the Hollywood Beach Golf Course, a downtown parking lot, or occupying a floor of a not-yet-built office development. Commissioners favored the golf course site.
The uncertainty over the beachside building had a ripple effect on fund-raising that resulted in a budget crisis in February 1986. With the threat of a temporary shutdown imminent due to a lack of operating funds, the Center’s Board asked the Commission for an emergency subsidy. The Center received the support it needed, with Mayor David Keating and Commissioners Sue Gunzburger and Stanley Goldman voting to provide the funds.
Rouby resigned in February after serving one year as Executive Director. Wendy Blazier was promoted to fill the position and continued her work as curator. Despite the uncertainty surrounding the Center’s future, the 1986-87 season featured eight exhibitions, including a show by ground-breaking New York painter Joe Zucker, considered one of the most innovative artists of the late 20th century.
March 9, 1986: Eleanor Magee died at age 89. She remained involved with the Center up to her passing.
With a budget deficit and a deteriorating building, the need to find a new home became more urgent. A referendum to build a new $4 million arts center at Young Circle Park was placed on the ballot for elections held in November 1986. The Center’s Board formed an advocacy group to inform voters via mailers, advertisements, and speaking before civic groups.
Interior of the beach location for June 1976 dedication ceremony
Newly elected Hollywood Mayor Mara Giulianti threw her support behind the Young Circle referendum, arguing at a rally, “Businesses want to be where there’s activity, where there’s community pride, where there’s culture.” The Sun-Sentinel wrote an editorial that backed the referendum, but with 43% support, the initiative failed.
Two weeks later, the Commission decided to close the Center on January 31, 1987, until a new site could be identified.
Not so fast was the response of the Center’s Board and Executive Director Wendy Blazier. They appealed the decision to shut down, with Blazier telling the Commission she was, “confident with the structural soundness of the building.” A brief reprieve was granted, but only until a January meeting when the Commission voted to demolish the beach property.
Gallery exhibition, June 1976
Once again the building and the Center were saved, this time by a $200,000 State grant awarded to the City to conduct a “cultural needs” study to create a plan to build a new arts facility. The Center would survive one more closing date and the planned demolition. A plan to move to Vista College also fell through when the school missed its construction deadline and never opened.
The near-death experiences finally ended in December 1987 when Hollywood business leaders David Horvitz and Al Finch pledged to raise $50,000 to pay for repairs needed to keep the 1301 site open another three to four years, long enough to find a new home. “We don’t want to see it die,” Finch told the Sun-Sentinel of the pledge.
The Center closed temporarily for three months, and in March 1988, artist Francie Bishop Good and her husband, David Horvitz, hosted a $100-a-plate dinner at their home and raised $30,000 to pay for repairs. Bishop Good served on the Board of Trustees three times and, with Horvitz, has been on the Honorary Board each year since 2008 to the present. David’s grandfather Samuel and his father William developed communities such as Emerald Hills and Hollywood Hills with their company Hollywood, Inc., which Samuel founded in 1930.
Opening day, Feb. 2, 1992, at the Kagey Mansion
The first Summer Arts Camp was offered in 1988, and the galleries re-opened with an exhibition of 35 large-scale paintings by renowned Op Art colorist Richard Anuszkiewicz. Gallery admission was raised to $2.
Johnson-Foster Funeral Home is laid to rest, 1991
The Kagey Mansion
With the threat of imminent demise averted, energies were focused once again on finding a permanent home in downtown Hollywood. By November 1989, the former Johnson-Foster Funeral Home at 1650 Harrison Street was the consensus first choice. Built in 1924 by Jack Kagey at the height of a Hollywood land boom ushered in by city founder Joseph Young, the two-story house was designed in the Spanish Mediterranean style championed at that time by Addison Mizner. Addison’s brother Wilson was a design consultant on the home.
The Kagey Mansion was one of Hollywood’s first showplace homes and was completed a year before the City of Hollywood was incorporated. Its first owner, Jack Kagey, was the sales manager of Joseph W. Young’s Hollywood Land and Water Company. He earned the seed money to build the home by winning a contest held by Young for his salesmen during the height of the real estate boom in the early 1920s.
1989: Former Mayor David Keating was installed as new President of the Friends of the Art and Culture Center.
The Kageys were in the home for just two years, when in September 1926, the structure withstood a hurricane that leveled Hollywood and ended the land boom. The home was owned in the 1930s by an industrialist who manufactured Brillo pads, and in the 40s was rumored to have been a gambling parlor. It remained a private residence until 1960 when the Foster family converted it into a funeral home that remained open until 1989.
“Bill Foster tried to sell the building to Fred Hunter [funeral homes] and Fred Hunter said we don’t need another funeral home,” recalled Johnnie Sue Glantz. “He called [Mayor] Mara Giulianti and said this would be a good place for the Art and Culture Center. Mara thought it was an excellent place.”
It took one year to finalize the deal and begin planning renovations of the funeral home. The City paid $1.5 million for the building and the cottage next to it, built in 1955, that now serves as the Arts School. The purchase came at a political cost for Mayor Giulianti. She was voted out of office by 550 votes in March 1990 after being accused of striking a deal for the Center behind closed doors. The City Attorney and City Manager were fired for allegedly taking part in the meeting in violation of the state’s Sunshine Laws.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office investigated and ruled that the plan to purchase the funeral home was decided legally. Mayor Giulianti was elected again in 1992 and served until 2008. The City Attorney and City Manager were also exonerated.
1991: Film director Spike Lee attended a press conference at the beach location to open the South Florida Black Film Festival. Actor Danny Glover would present awards at the festival the following year at the Kagey Mansion.
The target date for moving from the beach site was the spring 1992. Exhibitions continued at 1301 S. Ocean Drive with a more consistent and diverse schedule of shows that included artists from Israel, Haiti, and Russia. Education programming also grew with the hiring of actor Ed Schiff as Education Curator. Schiff, a Florida Atlantic University graduate, was best known for playing detective John Wolfe from 1979-82 on the soap opera One Life to Live. He resigned the position after one year and went on to direct plays at the Hollywood Playhouse.
Renovations had begun at the Kagey site when the final show at the beach galleries opened on Sept. 12, 1991. Neith Nevelson: In the Middle of the Night: Paintings and Etchings, featured works by the granddaughter of 20th-century sculptor Louise Nevelson. A 16-page illustrated pamphlet was published by the Center with text by Wendy Blazier. Closing day was Nov. 3, 1991.
Johnnie Sue Glantz was elected Chair, beginning a six-year tenure, as the Center transitioned to the downtown site. The Center finalized a long-term lease with the City to pay $1 annually to rent the Kagey Mansion. On Sept. 5, 1991, the Articles of Incorporation were amended to formally make the Center independent from the Parks and Recreation Department and City oversight.
Opening day was Sunday, Feb. 2, 1992, with the 83-piece exhibit, As Seen By Both Sides, based on the Vietnam War as viewed through the eyes of 20 American and 20 Vietnamese artists. More than 400 people attended.
June 10, 1993: The Pave the Way project to re-brick the front walk began. Mary Kent chaired the fund-raising project and the named bricks remain in place.
In 1991-92, the Center received the largest infusion of private sector funding in its history to that point. A capital campaign to continue renovations also raised more than $450,000 in cash and pledges to be paid over five years. An application to the State of Florida Cultural Facilities Grant Program resulted in a $381,000 award for capital improvements and expanded programming.
The building was designated by the State of Florida as a significant historical structure and is forever to be held for public enjoyment by city government. (In 2008, the Broward Trust for Historic Preservation honored the Art and Culture Center of Hollywood for its restoration and stewardship of the Kagey building.)
The First Founders for the Kagey Mansion Facility, as inscribed on the marble wall at the entrance, are: Johnnie Sue and George Glantz; Francie Bishop Good and David Horvitz; Leonard and Sally Robbins; Becker & Poliakoff, P.A.; the William and Norma Horvitz Foundation; and the Alfred E. and Birdie W. Einstein Fund.
Renovations resulted in the opening of two galleries in what are now the Middle and Project Room galleries. Improvements were completed on the 1,300-square-foot Arts School in time for summer camp in 1993. Work on the second floor was completed to include an elevator, administrative offices, and a new gallery space, what is now the Student Gallery. Bookshelves were built to create an art reference library that contained more 3,000 volumes and was, at one time, the largest collection of art books in Broward County.
“We raised funds for the research library,” recalled Nina Nissenfeld, a Trustee from 2006-12 and current Center member who was instrumental in developing the library. “Money was raised at the Sunday afternoon music concerts. We asked people to donate books and sold the books before the concert, and with that money purchased books for the library.”
March 2, 1994: In recognition of the Center presenting the U.S. debut of the historic Minisalon exhibition from the Czech Republic, Rep. Peter Deutsch entered into the Congressional Record (Volume 140, Number 21) remarks about the significance of the multi-media works on display. Sponsored by Becker & Poliakoff, P.A., Minisalon exhibited 244 art works by prominent underground Czech artists about life under the deposed Communist regime.
An era ended in 1995 when Rick Arrowood became President/CEO and Wendy Blazier resigned. Arrowood moved from the Little Palm Theater in Boca Raton and held the position for 19 months. He was credited with extending the Center’s outreach in the community, but this was the most tumultuous period in the Center’s history due to staff turnover, strife with area artists, and a controversy over changes made in grant applications.
The Center celebrated its 20th anniversary with the Fourth Annual November Auction on Nov. 4, 1995, in the main facility. The exhibition to celebrate the occasion was Turning Twenty: Two Decades of Selections from the Collection, a broad sampling of works donated to the Center.
Dan Tomberlin was hired as Executive Director in February 1997 to replace Arrowood. The Center re-defined its mission to being a multi-disciplinary organization that presented visual and performing arts. Tomberlin stayed just nine months, but in the brief time he developed a more sustainable funding model with the support of the City, added five new Board members, and brought back the Friends of the Art and Culture Center. Becky Hunkins became president of Friends after living more than a decade in Tallahassee.
The legendary Mikhail Baryshnikov performed at OceanDance
Johnnie Sue Glantz also credited Tomberlin with hiring Cynthia Miller: “She’s the one who built it back up.”
Glantz resigned the Board after more than 20 years of active service to the Center, often when it faced its biggest challenges. “It was a good time for me to leave the Board,” she said. “I always looked at the Center like Le Miz, going up the flagpole and passing the flag.”
Alan Koslow was elected to the Board in 1997, beginning 18 years and counting of continuous service, including seven as Board Chair (2002 to 2009). His involvement with the Center began in 1991 as interim City Attorney when he helped negotiate the 49-year lease agreement for the Kagey Mansion. Koslow was honored by County Commissioners on Nov. 16, 2004, with “Alan B. Koslow Appreciation Day” for his contributions to the arts in Broward.
Pamela Joseph’s Sideshow of the Absurd was named Best Solo Art Exhibition for 2003 by New Times
The beginning of now
Cynthia Miller was hired in the newly created position of Curator of Education in Sept. 1997, and within a few months replaced Dan Tomberlin as Executive Director. The foundation for what the Center represents today began with Miller, shifting the vision of the organization from operating as a museum presenting traveling exhibitions to becoming more community oriented.
2001: After two years as a spring happening, OceanDance was moved to December for its remaining eight years so it no longer interfered with turtle nesting season on Hollywood beach. A request to keep the event in the spring was denied by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
“Why not be the best arts center in the area,” Miller suggested, “that is more grass roots and hands on.”
In March 1998, inspired by the artist Christo, the Center was wrapped in white paper and topped with a red bow, symbolizing that the organization is a “gift” to the community. That summer, more than 1,000 people attended the All Elvis Art and Social special event sponsored by City Link Magazine to benefit Kids in Distress.
OceanDance was launched in April 1999 to formally
expand the Center’s mission from the visual arts to include the contemporary performing arts. According to news reports, more than 20,000 people attended free performances on a stage on Hollywood beach by the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Maximum Dance Company, and Miami City Ballet. In 2000, Mikhail Baryshnikov and his White Oak Dance Project performed to establish OceanDance as a signature event for the Center and Hollywood that continued until 2008.
For the 25th anniversary in 2000, long-time Hollywood residents Leonard and Sally Robbins co-chaired the Silver Legacy fund-raising campaign and donated $10,000 to launch the initiative. Mr. Robbin’s father Archie was the first men’s clothier in Broward County and taught him, “If the community is good to you, pay your dues.” Sally Robbins was a Board member from 1991 to 1997 and remains involved to this day. She was recognized for her support of the arts by the Hollywood Commission on Nov. 7, 1997, with Sally J. Robbins Day.
Over a two-year period, the artists who had works exhibited in the gallery included Dale Chihuly, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Salvador Dali, Robert Rauschenberg, Philippe Halsman, and Romare Bearden. The most daring and talked about exhibition, however, was the landmark counterculture show Lowbrow Art: Up From the Underground, a survey of 65 pop-inspired works by 31 artists.
Southern Living magazine tells the story of OceanDance
“When people see [Lowbrow] they’re going to circle the wagons and set the place on fire,” artist David Maxwell predicted in City Link.
The building survived and by 2000 the Center had moved past the unstable management period of the mid-1990s. The annual operating budget grew from $270,000 in 1997 to $1.2 million as the Center took over the programming and management of the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, the 500-seat theater located at 1770 Monroe Street (U.S. 1 and Monroe Street).
The Center carved a new niche by becoming a leading presenter of contemporary dance in South Florida, with an annual season of performances at the Performing Arts Center.
Dance programming was spearheaded by Tiffany Hill, who was hired as Program Manager in December 2002 and later became Artistic Director in 2005. Among the touring troupes that performed were Chicago’s Zephyr Dance, New York’s Parsons Dance Company, and Philadelphia’s Koresh Dance Company. Hill also produced OceanDance through 2007, and was a consultant for the final OceanDance in 2008.
Contemporary gallery exhibitions further complemented the live performances beginning in 2001 with the addition of Samantha Salzinger as Curator of Exhibitions. Curatorial shows varied from Plugged In: New and Electronic Media, a showcase of South Florida artists working in electronic and video art, to Sideshow of the Absurd, which replicated a traveling circus sideshow from a feminist point of view.
The Distance Learning Arts Studio has delivered instruction to more than 12,500 students and educators in Broward County public schools
The consistent schedule of challenging and innovative programming was recognized by New Times, which called the Center a “local treasure,” and “More adventurous in its choices than any museum from Miami Beach to West Palm Beach.”
The Center was selected Best Museum for 2000 in New Times’ Best of issue, and in 2003 and 2004 was named Best Arts Center by City Link. These were the first of many “Best of” designations that have been awarded to the Center since.
The success of the Lowbrow Art exhibition inspired a solo show based on pop iconography titled Secret Mystic Rites: A Todd Schorr Retrospective (Dec. 15, 2001 to Feb. 17, 2002). The sensibilities of some were ruffled and a lively public debate about censorship ensued when the Center sent a mailer that showed a knife-wielding Easter Bunny and ax-swinging Santa Claus locked in mortal conflict.
Thank you to Leadership Hollywood for its contributions to the Arts School
The piece was titled “Clash of the Holidays,” in a satirical jibe at the commercialism of the two holidays, and resulted in a group called the Coalition of Hollywood Citizens to protest the image at a commission meeting. “Not all art is comfortable,” said then-Commissioner Beam Furr of “Clash,” which belonged in the private collection of actress Courtney Cox Arquette from the hit TV show Friends.
In 2002, the Center’s current Executive Director Joy Satterlee was hired as Deputy Director, providing administrative support as Cynthia Miller devoted more time to development of what became ArtsPark at Young Circle. As part of a downtown revitalization plan in which the arts were central, Miller rallied the support of artists, residents, and businesses. She would later split her time between the Center and the City’s newly created Office of Arts and Cultural Affairs, eventually leaving to work for the City in 2005.
The model for year-round education programming for K-12 youth took shape in 2003 with the hiring of Susan Rakes, who now serves as Assistant Director. The Youth Touring Troupe Stage Kids was created to perform throughout the community. In October 2003, Stage Kids performed the song “One” with award-winning composer Marvin Hamlisch before nearly 500 attendees at the Fifth Annual Crystal Vision fund-raiser gala at the Westin Diplomat Resort and Spa. Two Stage Kids, sisters Sophia and Melody Kleinman, have been part of Center education programs since, enrolling in Teen Arts Ambassadors and Summer Arts Camp in 2015.
Also in 2003, Summer Arts Camp was expanded to an eight-week program for two distinct age groups, 5-12 and 8-15. A year later, the Portfolio Prep after-school program for the visual arts was launched with a $16,000 grant from the Broward County Cultural Affairs Division. (Portfolio Prep continued until 2010, when County funding for education projects was eliminated as a result of the recession.)
The Center is one of just eight Major Cultural Institutions in Broward County
The Center greatly increased its partnerships with area schools in 2003-04 by converting the upstairs gallery to the Satellite Learning Center (now the Student Gallery), and debuting Distance Learning broadcasts to Broward County Public Schools. Since 2005, the Center has presented nearly 100 exhibitions of student art created in K-12 schools in the tri-county area.
May 2004: More than 500 people attended the Seventh Cuisine for Art at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. It was the first public event held at the Hard Rock and raised $55,000 for the Center. Attendance the previous year was under 200. Now in its 19th year, Cuisine for Art has been held at the Hard Rock every year since.
Distance Learning arts instruction debuted in April 2004 with a live teleconference broadcast from the Center that demonstrated water-based and grease-paint make-up techniques for theater. The original equipment was loaned to the Center by Dania Elementary School principal and previous Center Board member Kathleen DiBona. Seventy-nine students from four schools participated. In the 11 years since, the Distance Learning Arts Studio has presented 229 arts curriculum broadcasts to 11,854 students and 736 instructors in Broward public schools.
One Night Jams at the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center
2005 to 2013
Joy Satterlee was named Executive Director on April 1, 2005, and continues in that position as the longest serving director in the Center’s history. Leadership within the organization changed further when Susan Rakes was named Director of Education, and later became Assistant Director in 2009.
On October 6, 2005, the Center was designated a Major Cultural Institution in Broward County by County Commissioners as recommended by the Broward Cultural Council. The designation is based on having audited revenues of more than $1 million annually for at least three consecutive years. The Center was one of just five such institutions at the time, joining the Fort Lauderdale Film Festival, Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, Museum of Discovery and Science, and the Opera Guild of Fort Lauderdale. There are now eight majors in Broward out of more than 800 cultural entities.
Artist Unknown/The Free World featured hundreds of bizarre amateur photographs found online by artists John D. Monteith and Oliver Wasow
The live jazz/blues series One Night Jams premiered in 2005 with four performances that were presented in partnership with jazz artist and Sushi Blues co-owner Kenny Millions. Audiences sat on the stage of the Hollywood Central Performing Arts Center, which was converted into a juke joint with tables, a bar, and a dance floor. The series lasted three years and in 2006 Millions and Charles Greene performed at the Haarlem Jazzstad Festival in the Netherlands as part of an international cultural exchange project. Dutch jazz pianist Micha Mengelberg and drummer Han Bennink performed in Hollywood in April 2007.
Oct. 29, 2005: The Seventh Annual Crystal Vision Gala was postponed due to Hurricane Wilma and re-scheduled to February 2006 with the Village People performing.
ArtsPark at Young Circle opened in March 2007 and select free performances targeted to children were presented there as part of the Center’s monthly Family Day program. Live performance began trending away from contemporary dance toward interactive, family-friendly shows that engaged young children in the performing arts.
The final, free performances of OceanDance were presented on Dec. 30-31, 2008 by the New York-based Abakua Afro-Latin Dance Company. Estimated attendance for two nights was 10,000. Beginning in 2010, the annual Family Performance Series began at the Performing Arts Center, featuring live shows in music, dance, theater, and improv comedy.
Exhibition programming evolved into new areas beginning in 2007 with the resignation of Samantha Salzinger and the hiring of Jane Hart as Curator of Exhibitions, a position she held until 2015. The South Florida Project Room was introduced in September 2007 as an installation space for emerging South Florida artists. Spaces in the Main and Middle galleries were devoted more often to individual artists, versus thematic group shows developed by the curator.
A first in reaching families began in 2008 with an exhibition of Lego sculptures by New York-based sculptor Nathan Sawaya. A former attorney, Sawaya’s summer 2008 show at the Center, The Art of the Brick, was among his first in an established arts institution. Sawaya is now renowned world-wide with as many as five shows being exhibited simultaneously.
May 2007: Joy Satterlee was named the winner in the category of “Arts Administrator” at ArtServe’s 18th Annual Encore Awards.
The success of The Art of the Brick resulted in an unprecedented relationship with a single artist for the Center as Sawaya returned with new family-friendly exhibitions in the summers of 2010, 2012 and 2014. More than 35,000 attended Sawaya’s shows, including visitors from more than 50 states and countries.
Artist Nathan Sawaya creates a new Lego sculpture for his 2012 exhibition at the Center
The first Abracadabra Exhibition and Fundraiser opened 2008 with works donated by area artists that were then won by ticket buyers at a closing-night drawing. With magician Jack Maxwell pulling names out of a top hat, the annual Abracadabra event was the Center’s version of running with the bulls as patrons raced through the Main Gallery hoping to claim their favored art piece from among the 100+ original works on exhibit.
“Orange Crush,” collage on wood, from the exhibition Phillip Estlund: Subprime/Subtropics
On Feb. 21, 2010, the Center became the first South Florida arts organization to present a concert by 9-year-old Hollywood music prodigy Ethan Bortnick. Recognized by the Guinness World Records as “The World’s Youngest Solo Musician to Head-line His Own Concert Tour,” Ethan returned in 2011 for two shows and continues to perform throughout the U.S.
South Florida jazz musician Joe Donato plays a tune at the opening week-end of Charles M. Schulz: Pop Culture in Peanuts
Beginning in 2011, the Center greatly expanded the reach of the exhibition season to feature more nationally renowned artists, curators and writers through major grant initiatives created by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Funding Arts Broward (FAB).
Broadway Actors perform the musical Shrek at Summer Arts Camp
In June 2011, the Center was awarded a $50,000 FAB/Knight New Work grant for Artist Unknown/The Free World, the first-of-its-kind exhibition and book based on vernacular photography found on social media (Oct. 29, 2011 to Jan. 29, 2012). It was the largest grant for an exhibition in Center history. The Center became the only organization to receive two FAB/Knight New Work awards, the second a $20,000 grant for the musically inspired 2014 exhibition Dave Muller: Rock ’n’ Old.
Gallery goers create their own “art of the brick”
In September 2011, the Center launched the Hot Topics Discussion Series, funded by the Knight Foundation’s annual Knight Arts Challenge. Speakers included former truck driver and three-time Pulitzer Prize-nominated art critic Jerry Saltz. The Center also received the Knight Arts Challenge grant for the Hot Topics Artist Series in 2012, becoming one of only two Broward arts organizations to receive two Challenge grants. Among the speakers was three-time Emmy Award winner Wayne White.
March 2013: Executive Director Joy Satterlee was appointed to the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and was re-appointed to a second two-year term in January 2015. The 15-member Council makes cultural grant funding recommendations and encourages cultural development statewide.
In the summer of 2013 the Center presented the exhibition Charles M. Schulz: Pop Culture in Peanuts, the largest exhibit of original Peanuts drawings to be exhibited outside the Charles M. Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Calif., in more than a decade. A fire-engine red, life-size Snoopy doghouse was built by Center supporter Robert Perrotti and placed in the gallery for this show. The doghouse was auctioned and is now in the home of the Hon. Bob Butterworth and Marta Prado.
High-school students prepare for the future with the Teen Arts Ambassadors program
2014 to 2015
The successes in exhibition, education and performance programming over the past four decades are the fulfillment of the vision of the Center’s founders. The Center begins its 40th year on the strength of these achievements and several new milestones reached over the past year.
Dave Muller: Rock ’n’ Old explored the history of recorded music with a gallery mural and listening stations that played 349,370 songs
During the 2014-15 school calendar, the Distance Learning Arts Studio provided instruction to 1,947 students and surpassed the 10,000 mark in terms of students taught since the inception of the program. In 2015, the Center was announced as a finalist for a Knight Arts Challenge grant to expand Distance Learning and make it available digitally to potential audiences worldwide via the internet. The Knight Arts Challenge winners will b announced on Nov. 30, 2015.
The Teen Art Ambassadors program expanded to provide academic and career development activities for more than 30 high-school students. In 2014-15, Teen Ambassadors devoted nearly 3,000 project hours to workshops, field trips, special events, and program support.
Feb. 13, 2015: The Center was selected by a panel of judges as 2-1-1 Broward’s “Non-Profit Organization of the Year – Arts” at the Fifth Annual Non-Profit Academy Awards at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
The 2015 Summer Arts Camp offered a record 18 unique sessions in the visual and performing arts for 245 youth, ages 3-15, who presented exhibitions and performances attended by 2,000 people. Reduced-tuition scholarships were awarded to 29 youth valued at nearly $9,000. From 2009 to 2015, 234 children received financial aid valued at more than $70,000 so they could attend Summer Arts Camp. During this period, more than 95% of all children who participated in a Center program did so for $6 or less.
The 2014-15 gallery season featured ambitious site-specific exhibitions by Los Angeles artists Dave Muller (Rock ’n’ Old) and Wayne White (Art is Supposed to Hypnotize You or Something). Muller painted a mural of a musical timeline throughout the Main Gallery, and White constructed a 12-foot-tall cardboard puppet of Broward County namesake, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward. Art is Supposed to Hypnotize You or Something received an Art Works grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
For the first time at the Harrison Street site, all four first-floor galleries were devoted to a single artist for Jose Alvarez’s spectacularly beautiful mixed-media show As Far as the I Can See (March 27 to May 24, 2015). The Broward-based Alvarez also presented several special events that were attended by his husband James Randi, including the acclaimed documentary film about Randi, titled An Honest Liar.
The season closed with another first for the Center. In conjunction with the Broward 100 celebration of the county’s centennial, the Center partnered with the Broward Cultural Division and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport to install Wayne White’s supersized Napoleon Bonaparte Broward puppet in Terminal 1 at the airport. It was viewed by an estimated 275,000 travelers from around the world and was returned to the Center, where it remains on display.
Emmy Award-winning artist Wayne White used cardboard and hot glue to build his supersized puppet of one-time Florida governor and Broward County’s namesake, Napoleon Bonaparte Broward
On Oct. 25, 2015, the Center celebrated its 40th anniversary with a Sunday luncheon in the main gallery that recognized many of the founders and pioneers included in this written history. The event provided an opportunity to look back, and to look ahead to the next phase in the Center’s history.
Sept. 8, 2015: The Board of Trustees voted to remove the word “of” from the name and create a new mission statement. The organization is now the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood. The new mission statement is: “The Art and Culture Center/Hollywood cultivates creativity and the support of the arts in our community through education, innovation and collaboration.”
The goal for the Art and Culture Center/Hollywood is to build upon its status as a regional leader in presenting contemporary visual arts exhibitions and arts education programming while being a valued cultural partner among public and private sector entities. Through its programs and services, the Center will seek to grow its audience and funding support by raising the value and appreciation of the arts in Hollywood and the region.
The Center’s Board and senior leadership have formed the Arts Ignite! committee to develop a road map for the future. Arts Ignite! will address current needs and opportunities for the Center, and anticipate future challenges in order to assure the growth of the organization for decades to come.
We thank all of those who helped make the past, present and future possible!
Written by Jeff Rusnak
Special thanks to Hollywood Historical Society
Jose Alvarez (D.O.P.A.): The Encounter #2, 2014, 43 1:2 X 67 1:2”, Acrylic, enamel, ink, colored pencil, feathers, quills, and collage on canvas mounted on dibond. Courtesy the artist and Gavlak Gallery