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General News : Sep 27, 2021

Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship team grows, welcoming first associate director

By David Campo III

The University of Florida Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship (CAME) appoints Welson Tremura as its inaugural associate director. 

Tremura has served on faculty at the University of Florida for 21 years as a professor in the School of Music and the Center for Latin American Studies. He will maintain his professorship while serving part-time duties as CAME’s associate director. 

Over the past two decades, Tremura has bridged new forms of training and production of academic and artistic content. His celebrated Brazilian Music Institute has received the special award from “Focus Brazil” for promoting and training students and excellent performance through the arts, culture, education, entrepreneurship, and social responsibility in 2020. 

His primary research focuses on ethnomusicology, folk Catholicism, and music in Latin America. Tremura has also expanded research to other areas, such as music and technology, the usage of digital technology in performance, and the study of world music as a core discipline to engage academic institutions to collaborate. 

“My professional and personal life has been inspired by a vision that nurtures the arts as an essential component of building community partnerships and a tool for training students to become new leaders,” Tremura says. “I envision CAME as a converging point to respond to fast-evolving communities seeking long-lasting relationships between the university and the community, paying attention to social transformations, migrants, and empowering all art makers to react quickly to these changes.” 

Combining his classical guitar and his voice, Tremura has had triumphant performances at concert halls in the USA, such as Carnegie Hall in New York City and DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in Notre Dame, Indiana. Internationally, he maintains an active performance and academic schedule and has performed and given lectures in Brazil, China, Mexico, Guatemala, the United States, India, Spain, Portugal, Argentina, Italy, Germany, the Netherlands, and New Zealand.

Tremura recently submitted a book chapter, “Folia de reis Tradition: An Afro-Brazilian Experience in Rural Brazil,” to a new book, “Understanding America: the essential contribution of Afro-American music to the sociocultural meaning of the continent,” with several Latin American scholars to be released in early 2022. 

“As a builder of artistic, academic, and business programs, I use my skills and experiences to encourage everyone around me to nurture a high level of cultural and professional commitment, empowering leadership to recognize distinct perspectives and approaches to creative work, and acknowledging the potential to expand entrepreneurial perspectives on incubating projects we foster,” Tremura says. “CAME is at the crossroads to empower diversity, equity, and inclusion for all arts. An archetype and open channel to support diversity and inclusion to directly respond to the university and community needs, communicating its purpose to the outside world.”

The Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship was formally launched in fall 2020. Its mission aims to connect networks of scholars, artists, creatives, entrepreneurs, and advocates to the engines of creative and cultural economics at the heart of migration. 

As associate director, Tremura will actively engage with scholars and relevant organizations to cultivate and grow the center’s research portfolio, project networks, and funding base. He will also serve as an internal consultant and primary scholarly advisor to CAME’s director, Oṣubi Craig. 

“Welson brings a wealth of knowledge and powerful partnerships both across the university and around the world to this new role,” Craig says. “Welson is a connector of people and networks, having worked as an artist, performer, composer, ensemble director, and educator at the intersections of the Orange Economy—or, Creative Economy—and Latin American diasporic communities throughout North and South America. We are thrilled to have him with us in this leadership position to grow CAME’s capacity, research, and programming and to advance the mission of the center.”

In addition to administrative and research staff, the center engages 36 affiliate faculty members and a Maker in Residence, a three-year residency currently held by Qudus Onikeku

College of the Arts Dean Onye Ozuzu says the addition of an associate director to the center’s leadership is a significant opportunity for growth in the college’s newest department. She says Tremura will play a pivotal role in CAME’s organizational development and impact by defining and growing research initiatives around the arts, migration, and entrepreneurship. 

“This is an opportunity to focus and evolve the Center for Arts, Migration, and Entrepreneurship’s research capacity, and I look forward to Welson’s leadership in taking on the role,” Ozuzu says. 

Tremura was selected following an internal search process that invited tenured faculty across the University of Florida to apply for the position. 

“At the core of my philosophy for success and from an immigrant perspective, one must give back learned experiences to motivate all around you to pursue their highest dreams,” Tremura says. “The associate director assignment with CAME will recharge my role as a team player and give me a chance to continue to use my academic and managerial skills to assist and advise in all research, funding, and educational matters. It will put my experiences and previous roles into practice, facilitating and planning for a more productive environment."