To introduce more young Miamians to jazz, Miami’s Community Arts Program (CAP) will expand its Conservatory for the Arts to include an exciting and innovative after-school jazz institute.  This is made possible through support of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation as part of its Knight Arts Challenge, which has awarded $100,000 to the Community Arts Program for its Miami Jazz Institute.

Since its inception in the early 20th century, jazz has been a reflection of American culture and is widely considered as the truly original American art form. Yet many graduate from high school with little knowledge of the historical importance and practical applications of jazz. The Community Arts Program solution to this is a Miami Jazz Institute (MJI) that will stimulate children through the richness of jazz as they understand its place in American history, its musical structure, and its practical applications in one-on-one lessons on a chosen instrument and in performance as soloists and as part of MJI performing ensembles that reflect Miami’s diversity.  With sliding-scale tuition based on need, the Miami Jazz Institute will make it possible for more children to participate.

“There is a real need for after-school programs that fully immerse young people in jazz.  Providing them with a strong foundation in theoretical and applied learning builds solid understanding and adaptable skill sets,” remarks Community Arts Program Executive and Artistic Director, Mark Hart. “Opportunities like this create a more vibrant community and ensure a robust future for our children.”

“The Community Arts Program has a wonderful track record of preparing our students to be musicians and creative thinkers. This new program will extend that effort while bringing the arts more deeply into Miami’s many neighborhoods,” said Dennis Scholl, VP/arts at Knight Foundation.

Beyond theoretical and applied musical growth, Miami Jazz Institute students will also develop an understanding of collaboration, the correlation between hard work, discipline and goal accomplishment, and the unity found within diversity.  Key to the Institute’s overall growth will be free, MJI student concerts that engage Miami’s many neighborhoods.  These concerts will expand jazz awareness and, most of all, spark other children’s interest in jazz and their involvement with the Institute.

About the Community Arts Program (CAP)

The Community Arts Program is part of Coral Gables United Church of Christ.  The Community Arts Program provides South Florida with an expanding array of educational and culturally-enriching experiences through its critically-acclaimed Summer Concert Series begun in 1987 and award-winning Conservatory for the Arts, launched in 2003. More at

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts.  The Foundation’s Knight Arts Challenge funds ideas that help bring South Florida together through the arts. More at