Eva Silverstein: Culturist
Eva Silverstein has spent her lifetime devoted to the arts and now she brings that passion to Miami's Arsht Center. She began dancing at the age of three and went on to dance her way across the globe performing on some of the world's most prestigious stages for nearly thirty years. Eva founded Silver-Brown Dance a non-profit foundation and modern dance company. While at Silver-Brown she created several outreach initiatives – most notably a free, annual 9/11 memorial performance series in New York and a free residency program in New Orleans in response to the devastation of Hurricane Katrina. In 2009, Eva hung up her dancing shoes and moved to sunny South Florida. She is currently the Director of Advancement at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
What's the first piece of art you fell in love with?
There are two pieces -- both dances. The first, Alvin Ailey’s Revelations. My mother began taking me to see dance onstage around the age of three – I can’t say for sure when I fell in love with this piece, but I can tell you that when I was pregnant with my son he would kick me in time to “Rocka My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham” – the finale number! The second is a magical dance by Paul Taylor, Aureole. I learned this dance when I was 16, and it changed my life forever – the physicality, the daring, the grace – I lived to fly through the air onstage for the next 16 years…
What is the best piece of style advice you've ever heard?
Get a good Russian tailor, darling.
What is inspiring you these days?
Chronixx – new artist from Jamaica. Lil Buck – brilliant Memphis jookin’ dancer.
What is your motto?
Follow your dreams at all costs – dreaming is free.
What is your favorite indulgence?
My husband’s jerk chicken – FIYAH!
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I can’t say greatest, because I hope to keep topping myself. I am very proud of the outreach work I did with my dance company in New Orleans post-Katrina. I think the Arsht Center is poised for a thrilling next chapter, and I am lucky to be on the team. And I am amazed that such a delicious little Jew-maican prince came out of my tummy.
What career other than your own would you like to attempt?
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
My knees! After 29 years of dancing and a few more years of trekking through the MIA in heels, they are kaput.
As the Director of Development could you explain your day to day?
Telling our story. I like to say that the Arsht Center is just a small non-profit in two big, beautiful buildings. And our job is to give Miami the best -- world-class artists on our stages is part of our mission, but for me, the heartbeat of our story is about inspiring young people in our community through the transformative power of the performing arts. We provide free arts education and community outreach for more than 27,000 young people each season. We also present artists from NAS to Alvin Ailey to the Israel Philharmonic. My portfolio is as diverse as our programming -- from penning our 10th Anniversary Campaign to directing the Green Room Society. My job is to stay inspired by the magic on our stages and in our community -- and to share it.
What would you love to see happen in Downtown Miami in the next five years?
Urban revitalization, art exploding everywhere, culture on every corner, right next to the Starbucks. We need green space as well as beach space in Miami. We need to collaborate to make Downtown more than just a destination, but a real neighborhood – it’s happening, and the transformation will have a lasting impact on our city.
You were a dancer, do you think it's great for children to be involved in the arts from a young age?
It is essential. I learned many of my greatest life lessons in the dance studio – how to respect and honor others, how to be generous. How to mix discipline with passion to achieve excellence. How to dare to take chances and make mistakes, to be responsible for your own actions, and then sometimes to trust that when you leap in the air, your partner will be there to catch you.
Photo credit: Justin Namon
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