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By Danielle Charbonneau | Photos by Jeff Graves
The sounds of Taiko drummers echoed through the plaza of Pompano Beach’s new cultural center and library last night as crowds gathered to celebrate the official ribbon cutting ceremony of the long-awaited center. Mayor Lamar Fisher, County Commissioner Chip LeMarca and State Representative Kristin Jacobs all spoke to applaud the accomplishment and recognize the years of hard work, fundraising, planning and building that went in to creating what Jacobs called, the “heartbeat” and “center” of the city.
“I say this is indeed a moment in history in our city,” said Mayor Fisher. “Cultural arts here in Pompano Beach is a big deal, in a big way, here today.”
Both Fisher and Jacobs recounted the long, tumultuous history of the Center — from the nascent stages of planning a community library, to securing funds, researching the land, overcoming environmental issues (caused by two gas stations and a lumber yard that once lived on the property), surviving the recession and then expanding from just a library to a state-of-the-art, 18 million dollar, 47,000 square-foot cultural center.
“I can’t believe this is happening… It is a dream come true,” said Fisher, who fought for the Center from the very beginning. “Kudos to the city, kudos to the County Commission and especially to this community who have looked long and hard at this little piece of land and thought that it could be so much more than a gas station, so much more than an old lumber yard, and so much more than just a quiet library.”
Jacobs had the honor of cutting the ribbon, which first was fittingly used in a cultural performance. The red ribbon was artistically unraveled off a dancer from Keven Black Productions’ Cirquesco as the Sax Quintet, Sax Fire, performed.
Live performances from a handful of the Center’s Cultural Alliance wowed guests at the celebration. The Alliance is comprised of 11 regional non-profit organizations that will form the Center’s resident companies. In addition to the Alliance, visiting exhibitions will also be scheduled at the Center. (Read more about the Cultural Alliance here: https://pointpubs.com/the-curtain-rises-on-pompano-beachs-new-cultural-center/)
Kickstarting the season and on display until July is the world premiere exhibit of “Shipwrecked of Reason: Half a Century in Cuban Art.” Shipwrecked is on loan from the Cuban government and features 20 Cuban contemporary artists whose work was created on the island over the past 50 years. (Read more about the exhibit here: https://pointpubs.com/world-premiere-of-cuban-art-exhibit/)
A preview party for the Cultural Center, sponosored by Pompano! Magazine, will be held tonight, May 12 at 7pm. The party will include spontaneous live performances, installation art, cocktails, live and silent auction and the official reception for Shipwrecked.
The Pompano Beach Cultural Center and Library is slated to officially open this fall. For more information visit ccpompano.org.