African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Director Marshall Davis honored as Knight Arts Champion

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African Heritage Cultural Arts Center Director Marshall Davis honored as Knight Arts Champion

Donates $10,000 award to the Center’s Film and Media Program

(Miami, December 7, 2017)  –  The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has named Marshall L. Davis, Director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC), as one of 25 Knight Arts Champions in 2017. Knight Champions are civic and arts leaders who are recognized for their work in advancing the arts in the South Florida community. Each Champion received a $10,000 contribution to donate to an artist or arts organization of their choice. Davis selected the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center’s Film and Media Program.

“The growth we’ve experienced in the arts in Miami is due in no small part to Marshall Davis and other Knight Arts Champions who have worked tirelessly to build our cultural community. This honor recognizes his vision, courage and tenacity in helping to shape the next Miami,” said Victoria Rogers, VP/Arts at Knight Foundation.

Part of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Davis joined AHCAC in 1983.  Under his direction the Center’s programs, services and instructional initiatives have grown significantly. He instituted  the Center’s popular after school, Saturday, winter-Kuumba, spring arts workshops and the competitive Summer Arts Conservatory. Among his many accomplishments, Davis was the first to bring the National Black Music Month and National Jazz Month celebrations, as well as National Women’s History Month to Miami-Dade County.

“We are proud to have longtime cultural leader Marshall Davis recognized as a Knight Arts Champion,” said Michael Spring, Senior Advisor, to the Mayor and Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. “He is a tireless advocate and champion of the arts and youth at the Center and in the entire community. Mr. Davis’ outstanding commitment and perseverance have touched and changed countless lives through the arts.”

As youth advocate, Davis has strategically and systematically used the arts to mentor countless black youth through grade school, college, and on to outstanding careers. Several alumni have risen to national prominence, such as Tarell Alvin McCraney, who accepted the 2017 Academy Award for Best Screen Play for the Academy’s Best Picture – Moonlight.  In honor of this accomplishment, Miami-Dade County Commission Vice Chairwoman Audrey Edmonson spearheaded the renaming of the segment of NW 22nd Avenue on the west side of AHCAC to “Moonlight Way,” which   was approved by Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez and the Miami-Dade County Board of County Commissioners.

Davis has been recognized for his leadership in the arts and the inner city by other organizations, including the Miami-Dade County Office of Black Affairs, The Children’s Trust, and the Black Archives of Miami Dade County. He was enthroned as Chief of the Arts Tradition Nii Amlakuiatse of La by Nii Dr. Kpobi Tettey Ghanaian King of the La Region. In 2014, he received the African-American Achievers Award for Arts & Culture.

The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center is located at 6161 NW 22nd Avenue in the heart of Liberty City. For more information call (305) 638-6771 or visit Business hours are Monday – Friday, 8:30 AM – 6:00 PM.


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