Jody Leshinsky, board president of the Carbonell Awards, South Florida’s Theatre & Arts Honors, today announced that the nonprofit cultural organization is receiving a $5,000 donation from 2018 Knights Arts Champion Eric Fliss, managing director of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, located in Cutler Bay and operated by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation recently announced this year’s 21 Knight Arts Champions, who “have played key roles in fostering the arts sector, honoring these men and women for their vision, courage and tenacity in building Miami’s cultural community. They include prominent Miami leaders, as well as emerging voices in the arts.”

Knight Arts Champions are each given $10,000 to share with local cultural organizations, artists and arts activists. Eric Fliss, one of the 2018 Knight Arts Champions, is dividing his funds between Miami Youth Ballet and The Carbonell Awards. 


A Carbonell board member from 2011-2018, Fliss says donating $5,000 to The Carbonell Awards was “a great way of acknowledging the theater community at large and recognizing the great work done by many of our theatre companies throughout the tri-county region.”

“It was a magical evening. There was excitement in the air,” says Leshinsky, who attended the Knight Foundation event held at the Pérez Art Museum in Miami. “I was so proud of Eric and so honored that he chose our organization. We will use this generous donation to support the Carbonell’s mission of celebrating excellence in local theater and providing scholarships for talented young people seeking higher education in the fields of theater and journalism.”

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