HistoryMiami’s South Florida Folklife Center is proud to present the Heritage Spotlight Series, an annual artist-in-residence program that highlights Miami-area traditional artists and cultures. Each year, the series showcases two individual artists or ensembles and their traditions. Participating artists share their art through public events, school programs, and multimedia products.

Current Artist-in-Residence

The full dance ensemble poses for a photo in various traditional costumes. There are 22 members and the group is comprised of both men and women.

Ballet Folklórico Aires Panameños

January – April 2024

Ballet Folklórico Aires Panameños is a dance ensemble specializing in Panamanian traditional dances.

Pasts Artists-in-Residence

Sangwon Jeong

September – December 2023

Originally from Cheongju in South Korea, Sangwon Jeong is a martial arts master specializing in the Korean art form of Taekwondo.

The Henry Linarez Ensemble stand in the grass, each holding their instrument: snare drum, keyboard, violin, cuatro, maracas, bass, mandolin

Henry Linárez Ensemble

January – April 2023

Henry Linárez is a master of the cuatro, a small four-stringed guitar, who performs both traditional and contemporary Venezuelan music with his band, the Henry Linárez Ensemble.

The Ukrainian Dancers of Miami pose for a photo in traditional costumes

Ukrainian Dancers of Miami

September – December 2022

The Ukrainian Dancers of Miami perform Ukrainian folk dances, including traditional Avramenko dances and original pieces.

Rose Max & Ramatis

September – December 2021

Rose Max & Ramatis is a music duo specializing in the popular Brazilian music styles of samba, bossa nova, and chorinho.

Delou Africa Dance Ensemble

January – April 2021

Delou Africa Dance Ensemble is a leading West African folklore company and artist collective of talented drummers, musicians, dancers, and storytellers.

Susana Behar

September – December 2020

Susana Behar is a Cuban Jewish performer who sings the traditional Sephardic songs of her Turkish grandparents as well as Latin American folk songs.

Polo Ramirez

Polo Ramirez

January – April 2020

Master ceramic artist Apolinario “Polo” Ramirez practices an ancient Peruvian art form. Polo uses these traditional techniques to make contemporary designs inspired by nature and elements of Peruvian folklore.

Pedro Zepeda

September – December 2019

Seminole artist Pedro Zepeda is an expert dugout canoe carver specializing in a variety of traditional arts, including leatherwork, beading, patchwork, and basket weaving.

Reza Filsoofi

January – April 2019

Reza Filsoofi is an Iranian musician specializing in multiple instruments, including santoor and setar (stringed instruments) and daf and tonbak (percussion instruments).

Puerta de Oro de Colombia

September – December 2018

Puerta de Oro de Colombia is a music and dance ensemble showcasing the diverse folkloric traditions from Colombia’s distinct regions.

Liliane Nérette Louis

January – April 2018

Liliane Nérette Louis is a Haitian folk artist specializing in storytelling, cooking, and traditional medicine. She grew up in Port-au-Prince, Haiti where her mother told her stories in Haitian Creole.

Alfredo Martinez with Ameyal Mexican Cultural Organization

September – December 2017

Born in Veracruz, Mexico, Alfredo Martinez is a dancer and musician with a passion for showcasing Mexico’s lesser known but vibrant traditional art forms.

Mannolie DiSantos

January – March 2017

Originally from Portugal, Mannolie DiSantos is an expert beadwork artist who specializes in creating ritual items used in the centuries-old Afro-Cuban religion known as Lukumi or Santeria.

Ranjana Warier

September – November 2016

Performer and choreographer Ranjana Warier began studying Indian Classical dance at the age of six. Trained by her gurus, Ranjana later founded the Rhythms School of Dance, a training center for the traditional art form.

Leandro Rojas

April – June 2016

From Holguín, Cuba, Leandro Rojas is a master musician and instrument builder who specializes in the tres, a guitar-like instrument with three pairs of strings, and the primary instrument in the Cuban son genre.

The Lee Boys

January – March 2016

The Lee Boys are one of America’s most celebrated sacred steel ensembles, specializing in a little-known African American gospel music tradition thriving in South Florida.

Nancy Billings

October – December 2015

An expert textile artist, Nancy Billings specializes in art quilting and Jewish textile traditions, including chuppahs (wedding canopies), tallits (prayer shawls), and challah (bread) covers.

Clarita Filgueiras

April – June 2015

A performer and choreographer, Clarita Filgueiras has spent a lifetime mastering the art of flamenco dance. Her passion for this Spanish tradition originates with her father and grandmother (both flamenco singers) and her mother, an expert in flamenco costume design.

Plena Es

January – March 2015

With a passion for celebrating Puerto Rican culture, Plena Es specializes in plena and bomba, percussion-driven musical traditions that reflect the island’s African heritage.

21st Century Steel Band

September – November 2014

Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, steel bands feature percussion instruments called “pans,” which are expertly crafted from oil drums. The 21st Century Steel Band is one of South Florida’s finest examples of these ensembles.

Flipside Kings

April – June 2014

Founded in Miami, Florida in 1994, the Flipside Kings are an acclaimed B-Boy dance crew. Over the past 20 years, the group has grown into a collective of artists that includes dancers, graffiti/visual artists, musicians, and educators.

Bahamas Junkanoo Revue

January – March 2014

Based in South Florida, Bahamas Junkanoo Revue practices junkanoo, a Bahamian parade tradition that occurs on Boxing Day (December 26) and New Year’s Day.

Perú Expresión

September – November 2013

Founded by a collection of local Peruvian performers in 1999, dance and music ensemble Perú Expresión presents various expressive traditions, including those practiced by Afro-Peruvians.

Joe Zeytoonian

April – June 2013

While growing up in Boston’s Armenian community, Joe Zeytoonian learned to play the oud, a Middle Eastern guitar-like instrument.

Serge Toussaint

January – March 2013

Born in Haiti, Serge Toussaint is a Miami-based muralist and sign artist. His creations can be found in several parts of Miami-Dade County, including Little Haiti, a neighborhood that boasts a long-standing street art tradition.

Mieko Kubota

September – November 2012

Mieko Kubota practices various Japanese traditions including ikebana (flower arranging), origami (paper folding), calligraphy and the tea ceremony.

James Kelly

April – June 2012

James Kelly, one of Ireland’s most renowned fiddlers, served as the artist-in-residence at HistoryMiami from April – June 2012. He learned the fiddling tradition from his father, a respected musician from County Clare.

Ezequiel Torres

January – March 2012

Ezequiel Torres served as our artist-in-residence from January through March 2012. Born in Havana, Cuba, he is a master drummer who specializes in the batá drum, a key instrument in the Afro-Cuban Orisha religion (sometimes referred to as Santería).

View the Heritage Spotlight Series Meet-the-Artist Video Playlist