Published On: Thu, Dec 6th, 2018

The Carbonell Awards Receive $5,000 Donation from 2018 Knight Arts Champion Eric Fliss

Boca Raton, FL – 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.”

About The Carbonell Awards:

The Carbonell Awards fosters the artistic growth of professional theater in South Florida by celebrating the diversity of our theater artists, providing educational scholarships, and building audience appreciation and civic pride by highlighting achievements of our theater community. More than 25 professional theater companies in Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties participate in the awards process every year. Each season volunteer panelists and judges choose nominees and recipients from nearly 100 shows produced on our area stages. The Carbonell Awards also celebrate the accomplishments of our artistic leaders by presenting ‘Special Awards’ and support the next generation of artists and journalists by awarding scholarships. Along with New York’s Drama Desk and Chicago’s Joseph Jefferson Awards, the Carbonell Awards are among the nation’s senior regional arts awards and predate others, including Washington, D.C.’s Helen Hayes Awards. The Carbonell Awards are named after Manuel Carbonell, an internationally-renowned sculptor, who designed the original solid bronze and marble award in 1976, the signature trophy that is given to Carbonell Award winners. For more information, please visit

About the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation:

Knight Foundation is a national foundation with strong local roots. We invest in journalism, in the arts, and in the success of cities where brothers John S. and James L. Knight once published newspapers. Our goal is to foster informed and engaged communities, which we believe are essential for a healthy democracy. For more information, please visit


Jody Leshinsky, Jennifer Kronenberg Guerra (Miami Youth Ballet, Artistic Director),Marielena Mencia, Yanis Pikieris (Miami Youth Ballet, Artistic Director), Carlos M. Guerra, Eric Fliss

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