MasterMind 2013 Finalist: The Miami Performance International Festival

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Miami New Times' MasterMind Awards honors the city's most inspiring creatives. This week, we're profiling the 10 finalists, selected by our staff from over 100 submissions, who are in the running to receive one of three 2013 MasterMind awards, each of which comes with a fat $1,000 check. This year's MasterMind Award winners will be announced Thursday, February 28, at Artopia, our annual soiree celebrating Miami culture. For tickets and more information, visit the website.

Savoring a dish of steamed snapper, rice, and beans, Charo Oquet sits at the Little Haiti restaurant Chez le Bebe. As usual, it's a working lunch. The meal is peppered with calls from artists coming to town for the second edition of the Miami Performance International Festival this summer.

"We will be presenting artists from 16 countries, including several from Cuba," says Oquet, her eyes crinkling behind her trademark cat's-eye glasses.

In her own work, the 59-year-old Dominican-born talent often references Elegguá, the Afro-Cuban orisha who guards the crossroads. And like that deity, Oquet has spent her life helping others erase boundaries.

She spent her 20s traveling the globe, from Santo Domingo to New York to London, where she met her husband, William Keddell, a New Zealand artist and filmmaker. She spent five years in Auckland and then settled in Miami in 1988. All of that wandering became both a prism for her art and a motivator to bring global arts to town.

With that in mind, in 2003 she opened Edge Zones, a Wynwood nonprofit space that featured local and international talents. After sponsoring an exchange with Dominican performance artists, Oquet began thinking about two gaps in Miami's scene: a lack of programming during the dog days of summer, and a shortage of opportunities for performance artists.

"I felt that Miami was lacking an event that exclusively focused on the genre," she says.

So Oquet created the performance festival and debuted it in August. More than a thousand visitors last year ended up viewing video installations, music, poetry, and other nontraditional art.

"It was a really excellent festival," says Irene Loughlin, a Canadian artist who performed. "It also helped create a dialogue among the artists, many of whom are collaborating together on new projects."

This year, Oquet has expanded to a free, monthlong offering beginning June 3 and culminating with a four-day event June 27 to 30. Ever the globe-trekker, Oquet smiles wide while counting off the international delegation converging on the Magic City this August.

"We have artists who are coming from all over Latin America, the U.S., Canada, the UK, France, and the Czech Republic," she says. "These artists will present challenging politically and socially provocative works you won't experience elsewhere in Miami."

2013 MasterMind Award Finalists:

Alma Leiva

Andrew Hevia

Antonia Wright

Bleeding Palm

Jesse Perez

Other Electricities

Miami Performance International Festival

2013 MasterMind Award Honorable Mentions:

Kevin Arrow

Pioneer Winter

The Overthrow

The Gutter Film Series

Daniel Reskin

Manny Prieres

Nate Delinois

Reed van Brunschot

Bookleggers Public Library

Ruben Ubiera

I'm Not Gonna Move To LA

Magnus Sigurdarson

Autumn Casey

Andrew "Zig" Leipzig

Brookhart Jonquil

JeanPaul Mallozzi

Kyle Trowbridge

Farley Aguilar


Agustina Woodgate

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.