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Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Asks ArtSpeak, “What’s New?”

Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator Asks ArtSpeak, “What’s New?”




EVERY MONDAY we will publish a new conversation between Margarita Salas-Amaro (producer of “Tech Conversations”) and Raymond Elman (founding editor-in-chief of ArtSpeak) regarding insightful new video interviews with impactful people in the arts, across all art disciplines, which will be published on the ArtSpeak website in the weeks to come.

Both the Ratcliffe Art + Design Incubator and ArtSpeak are part of the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU), and are headquartered at the Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media on the Biscayne Bay campus in North Miami, Florida.

Stay tuned.

— Maggie & Ray


The videos below were recorded via Zoom. Click on any video. You must be connected to the Internet to view the videos.



On May 26th, 2023, after 9 years of publication, we officially changed our name from ArtSpeak to ArtSpeak. ArtSpeak is sponsored by the newly renamed FIU Lee Caplin School of Journalism & Media, which is part of The College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA) at Florida International University (FIU).



HEIDI PASTER HARF is a photographer from Eastern Long Island, who spent the last 15 years photographing daily life in Cali, Colombia, where she lived for two decades. EZRA AXELROD is creative director of ThisTopia, producing Colombian film projects focused on countercultures, regenerative psychoactive plant economies, and social and environmental justice.  Together they are in post-production on “Torah Tropical,” a film about indigenous Columbian people who converted to orthodox Judaism.


ETIENNE CHARLES:  8:08 min.  

Trinidad born ETIENNE CHARLES is a performer, composer and storyteller, who is continuously searching for untold stories and sounds with which to tell them. His lush trumpet sound, varied compositional textures and pulsating percussive grooves enable him to invoke trance, soothing and exciting listeners while referencing touchy and sometimes controversial subjects in his music.


SUSAN ORLEAN:  6:36 min.

SUSAN ORLEAN is the author of 12 books, including “The Orchid Thief,” which was made into an Academy Award winning movie called “Adaptation,” starring Nicholas Cage, Chris Cooper, and Meryl Streep as Susan Orlean. Orlean is also a longtime staff writer for “The New Yorker” magazine.



SEBASTIAN JUNGER is the #1 New York Times Bestselling author of The Perfect Storm, Fire, A Death in Belmont, War, Tribe, and Freedom. As an award-winning journalist, a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and a special correspondent at ABC News, he has covered major international news stories around the world. Junger is also a documentary filmmaker whose debut film “Restrepo” (co-directed with Tim Hetherington), was nominated for an Academy Award and won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance.



Founded in October 2016 in Kyev, Ukraine by JULIA + MAXIM VOLOSHYN, Voloshyn Gallery specializes in contemporary art. It showcases a broad range of media, hosting solo and group exhibitions and participating in leading contemporary art fairs worldwide. In 2015, the Voloshyns were included in the Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list.


KERRY GRUSON:  10:06 min.

KERRY GRUSON is an inspiration to all. Though permanently paralyzed at the age of 26, after being strangled and left for dead by a hallucinating Green Beret in Hawaii, the Harvard graduate worked for the New York Times for 27 years, and participates in competitive sports. She is the co-founder of ThumbsUp International.


JOYCE TENNESON:  8:22 min.

JOYCE TENNESON is the author of sixteen books including the best seller, “Wise Women,” which was featured in a six-part NBC Today Show series. She is the recipient of many awards, including Fine Art Photographer of the Year in 2005 (Lucie Awards), and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Professional Photographers of America in 2012.



First Person Portraits: Hampton House Performers & Patrons is funded by The Ellies, Miami’s visual arts awards, presented by Oolite Arts. Artist Raymond Elman’s show opens to the public at the Historic Hampton House on February 1 and 2, 2022 with storytelling from 3-6 pm each day and limited free ticketed viewing. 

In 1989, after 20 years of making only abstract art, Raymond Elman started creating large-scale (i.e., 5 x 6 foot), mixed-media paintings portraying the 150-year-old Provincetown art colony (northern tip of Cape Cod) at leisure – what people do when they are not working – the fabric of life that draws people back every year. Four of his portraits are in the collection of the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery and have been exhibited there. In 2012, he moved year-round to Miami, and began to document its dynamic art community.



The ABCs of Paradise Found is a stunning book by author / journalist KAREN AMANDA TOULON, and her husband, artist / illustrator ERIC RHINEHART (Published by Wordeee, COO PATRICE SAMARA). The book and Rhinehart’s watercolors will be exhibited at ANTHONY LIGGINS’ GALLERY 88, 237 20th St C, Miami Beach, FL – opening reception on January 22, 2022, 6-9 PM.


AURIN SQUIRE:  16:19 min.

AURIN SQUIRE is a playwright, screenwriter, and reporter. He has written numerous plays, while his reporting has appeared in The New Republic, Talking Points Memo, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald, and ESPN, among other outlets.

Born and raised in Opa-locka, Florida, Squire graduated from The Juilliard School, The Actors Studio at New School University, and Northwestern University, where he majored in radio/TV/film and worked as a professional journalist for the Chicago Tribune and the Miami Herald.


TAMARY KUDITA:  11:49 min.

A product of dual heritage, TAMARY KUDITA was born in Zimbabwe. Her ancestry can be traced back to the Orange Free State, the historical Boer state in Southern Africa. Kudita’s investigation of the impact of colonialism on the family structure, has resulted in exhibitions delving into the history of the post-colonial identity. Her photographs will be exhibited at The Betsy Hotel in Miami Beach beginning November 20, 2021.


CHARLES BLOW:  14:21 min.

CHARLES M. BLOW has been a New York Times Opinion columnist since 2008. His column appears on Monday and Thursday. Mr. Blow joined the New York Times in 1994 as a graphics editor and quickly became the paper’s graphics director, a position he held for nine years. He is the author of “The Devil You Know” and “Fire Shut Up in My Bones.” In May, 2021, “Prime with Charles Blow” premiered on the Black News Channel (BNC). 

“Fire Shut Up in My Bones” was adapted into an opera by Terence Blanchard and Kasi Lemmons – the first opera by a Black composer performed by the  Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center.


DONNA RUFF:  11:15 min.

For years, as a graphic designer, artist DONNA RUFF worked on communicating economically. Now she’s interested in pushing that idea of economy to its limits, even to the point of impeding communication — how much information can be removed or transformed, how much must be left behind to retain the narrative?


JACK RAPKE:  13:04 min.

JACK RAPKE is a film producer whose first production was the award-winning “Cast Away,” starring Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. Directed by Robert Zemeckis. He is the former chairman of Creative Artists Agency (CAA). Rapke has produced numerous award-winning films including “Flight,” starring Denzel Washington, which was nominated for two Academy Awards; The Walk,” starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt; “Allied,” starring Brad Pitt; “Welcome to Marwen” starring Steve Carell; The Witches” starring starred Anne Hathaway and Octavia Spencer;  the upcoming “Finch” starring Tom Hanks; “What Lies Beneath” starring Harrison Ford and Michelle Pfeiffer, the Ridley Scott-directed “Matchstick Men” starring Nicolas Cage; “The Prize Winner of Defiance, Ohio” starring Julianne Moore and Woody Harrelson, and “Last Holiday” starring Queen Latifah.



HANK PHILLIPPI RYAN has been honored with more than 50 prestigious awards from news organizations all over the world including 37 EMMYs and 14 Edward R. Murrow Awards. Ryan is also the USA Today bestselling author of 13 psychological thrillers, winning the genre’s most prestigious awards: five Agathas, four Anthonys, and the coveted Mary Higgins Clark Award.


MICHEL HAUSMANN:  12:53 min.

MICHEL HAUSMANN is a Venezuelan-born theater director, writer, and producer. He is the co-founder and artistic director of Miami New Drama, the resident theater company and operator of the Colony Theatre in Miami Beach. Under Hausmann’s leadership, the company has presented over a dozen productions — nine of them world premieres.  Hausmann also started Miami New Drama’s educational program, which serves more than 8,000 students annually and provides online programming for people across the United States and internationally — offering master classes on a variety of different theater topics such as acting, playwriting, directing, and theater management.


CAMILA GIL:  12:58 min.

In 2021, CAMILA GIL was named the Executive Director of the Armour Dance Theatre of Miami.  Born in Bogota, Colombia, Camila Gil holds a Masters in Global Governance from Florida International University and a Bachelor of Arts in International Studies & Political Science from the University of Miami.  At the age of 13, Gil began training at Armour Dance Theatre, under the artistic leadership of Ruth Wiesen.   For the past decade, Gil has supported and led the growth of the scope and reach of Armour Dance Theatre.  She is passionate about making arts education accessible to all children in the Miami-Dade County community.



RICHARD SAUL WURMAN created and chaired the TED conference from 1984 thru 2002 and the TEDMED conference from 1995 to 2010. Wurman received both his masters and bachelor in architecture degrees from the University of Pennsylvania. He has written, designed, and published 90 books on wildly divergent topics.


KIMBERLY GREEN: 13:29 min.

A philanthropist, writer and documentary-filmmaker, KIMBERLY GREEN has led the Green Family Foundation (GFF) since 1997. Under her leadership, GFF has spearheaded a wide variety of initiatives in Haiti and in her native Miami.


PAUL SALTZMAN: 13:03 min.

PAUL SALTZMAN (b.1943) is a Canadian film and television producer and director. A two-time Emmy Award-recipient, he has been credited on more than 300 films, both dramas and documentaries. His most recent film is the feature documentary Meeting the Beatles in India.  His photographs of The Beatles will be permanently installed at The Betsy Hotel in South Beach on 9/23/2021.



STEPHANIE BERTINI is the Miami-based correspondent for the Black News Channel (BNC). Her coverage area includes Latin America, the Caribbean, Central and South Florida.