In the Loop
Press Release : Dec 16, 2014

UF School of Music Awarded $75,000 Knight Foundation Grant to Bring the Brazilian Music Institute to Broward County

The University of Florida (UF) School of Music at the College of the Arts will expand its reach and impact this summer during its annual Brazilian Music Institute (BMI) thanks to a recent $75,000 three-year award from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to bring the weeklong event to Broward County. The College of the Arts and School of Music was recognized Dec. 1, 2014 during a ceremony held at New World Symphony in Miami Beach.

The School of Music submitted one of 1,100 proposals in response to the 7th annual Knight Arts Challenge, which posed the question, “What’s your best idea for the arts?” The school’s proposal to bring BMI to Broward County, which has one of the one of the largest Brazilian communities in the U.S., was one of 47 ideas awarded a total of $2.29 million with the goal of bringing South Florida together through the arts. There were only three rules for applying: 1) The idea must be about the arts; 2) The project must take place in or benefit South Florida; and 3) The grant recipients must find funds to match Knight’s commitment. The best received Knight Foundation funds.

“The College of the Arts is thrilled to be among the select organizations to receive funds through the 2014 Knights Arts Challenge,” said Lucinda Lavelli, dean of the College of the Arts. “The Brazilian Music Institute has a long history at UF of collaboration and exposing students to Brazilian music. We look forward to working with new partners, such as Broward College, as the program expands and moves to South Florida.”

Founded and organized by School of Music Associate Professor Welson Tremura, Ph.D., in 2001 through a collaboration between the School of Music, Center for World Arts and Center for Latin American Studies, BMI has brought outstanding Brazilian artists to North Central Florida for more than a decade. Directed by Tremura with the support of Professor of Music Larry Crook, Ph.D., BMI offers a weeklong exploration of Brazilian music styles and repertoires, with workshops, rehearsals and a performance featuring outstanding Brazilian artists from Brazil and the U.S. This year’s event, occurring May 11-15, 2015 will take place at Broward College in Davie, Florida. BMI will feature daily classes, group lessons with guest faculty and artists as well as a concert at Bailey Hall, located on Broward College's central campus, and one in Gainesville, Florida.

“The Brazilian Music Institute has been an exciting program here in Gainesville, uniting students with outstanding musicians from Brazil and the United States,” said John Duff, director of the School of Music. “Moving the BMI to Broward College places it in the heart of one of the largest Brazilian communities in the United States. The resources the Institute brings to the Ft. Lauderdale area and the rich Brazilian culture there among the population will provide a vibrant experience for all who attend.” 

“The Brazilian Music Institute tells the story of Brazil through its unique music and culture, it draws participants into a place where time stands still,” said Tremura. “The 2015 Institute will promote a weeklong series of workshops designed to teach the art of Brazilian music and artistry, exploring new methods for collaboration among acclaimed Brazilian artists, students, faculty and the community.”

More details about the 2015 Brazilian Music Institute, including information on how to register to participate and purchase concert tickets, will be available in the new year. Updates will be available at

Since 2006, Knight Foundation has invested more than $86 million in South Florida’s cultural community. Those funds have launched a new media program that includes the signature “Wallcasts” at the acclaimed New World Symphony campus, helped present Ibero-American films at the Miami International Film Festival, and are bringing every Miami-Dade third-grader to the new Pérez Art Museum Miami, among other projects. The approach is two-pronged: Knight Foundation aims to open up institutions to more South Floridians with large grants, while the Arts Challenge ensures that smaller, grassroots efforts fuel and refresh the arts scene. To learn more about the award and the other recipients, click here.

About the School of Music

The School of Music is one of the University of Florida College of the Arts’ three fully-accredited schools. The School of Music plays an important role in the academic life of the University and the community. The school’s programs provide broad-based instruction in performance, composition, history and literature and music disciplines, through a strong curriculum as well as through professional experiences such as ensembles and internships. UF students also have the opportunity to join more than a dozen music ensembles, including jazz bands, the University Choir, the University Symphony Orchestra and the “Pride of the Sunshine” Fightin’ Gator Marching Band. To learn more, visit

About the College of the Arts

The College of the Arts, previously known as the College of Fine Arts, is one of the 16 colleges and more than 150 research centers and institutes at the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. The College of the Arts offers baccalaureate, master’s and Ph.D. degree programs in its three institutionally-accredited schools — the School of Art + Art History, School of Music and School of Theatre + Dance. The college is home to the Center for Arts in Medicine, Center for Arts and Public Policy, Center for World Arts, Digital Worlds Institute, University Galleries and the New World School of the Arts in Miami. More than 100 faculty members and approximately than 1,200 students work together daily to engage, inspire and create. The college hosts more than 300 performances, exhibitions and events each year. Faculty and students also exhibit and perform at other local, national and international venues. To learn more, visit

# # #

Media Contact
Leah Craig, Public Relations and Marketing Manager
University of Florida College of the Arts
Office: 352.273.1489 | Cell: 904.419.3346