The Creative City Collaborative (Arts Garage) Expands Cultural Influence into Broward County


In February, the Pompano Beach Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) Commission approved a contract with the Creative City Collaborative (CCC) to manage two new cultural venues. The CCC leadership team, the organization that has launched and manages Arts Garage in Delray Beach, is tasked with spearheading the city’s cultural renaissance and will develop cultural programming for Pompano’s Bailey Contemporary (BaCA) and the Ali Building. After a lengthy review process, the Pompano CRA selected the team from the Creative City Collaborative to lead this project because of their proven track record in creating a dynamic, internationally acclaimed cultural venue. “We are thrilled to have been selected to develop and implement new programming for the exciting cultural revitalization in Pompano Beach,” said Alyona Ushe, Executive Director of the CCC. “The expansion of the CCC into Broward County allows for the creation of an even greater cultural experience for South Florida residents and visitors, and provides tremendous opportunities for each cultural movement to expand individual programming and national visibility.” Ushe went on to explain how having one organization program various venues becomes win-win for all: “The expansion into Pompano Beach enabled us to assemble a creative leadership team that is second to none. By sharing resources, expertise and talent we will be able to provide and implement a much more diverse and exciting vision for both the Delray Beach and Pompano Beach cultural scenes. Neither one would be able to afford such a creative force individually, but together the possibilities are infinite.” CCC leadership is especially excited about the cross county connection. South Florida is emerging as an international cultural destination and Creative City Collaborative will now contribute even more to the thriving arts community. “I applaud Pompano CRA and the City Commission for their rich vision and for realizing the critical role that arts and culture play in both the quality of life and economic development. We are determined to hit the ground running infusing diverse arts programming into the fiber of Pompano Beach,” Ushe said. Ushe who has been described as a “force of nature,” by the Sun-Sentinel, has extensive experience in launching and growing cultural arts organizations across the nation. Since opening Arts Garage in April 2011, she and her team have presented over 300 concerts by international talent and emerging artists and launched an array of signature series, including musical concerts, visual art exhibitions, theater programs, and educational and outreach initiatives. She was the guiding force in building the organization, strengthening the Board of Directors, implementing new policies and procedures, and growing the organizational budget over $1.5 million in under three years. Driven by passion and genuine love for arts and culture, Ushe got her start by founding and developing a diverse theatre company in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area called Classika-Synetic. There, she produced more than 100 original theater productions and organized an extensive educational outreach program for underserved youth that was praised on the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives. The organization won many prestigious awards and participated in numerous international festivals. Prior to arriving in Delray Beach, she was the executive director of the New Orleans Opera Association. Ushe and her team have already begun plans for phase one of the project — programming for BaCA. The city purchased the pigeon-filled building in 2012, and after a $1.2 million dollar renovation it is now poised to become the center of artistic energy in the city. “The building itself is breathtaking,” Ushe continued. “With over a dozen sunny studios for visual artists, kilns, classrooms and galleries that can be transformed for various events including intimate concerts, film and improv, BaCA is destined to be a magnet for creative energy.”