The Cultural Center Brazil-USA of Florida is a non-profit organization, founded in 1997 by a group of Brazilian volunteers who are residents of Miami
The mission of the Cultural Center Brazil-USA of Florida is to disseminate Brazilian culture and to strengthen the ties between Brazil and Florida.
CCBU is located at 300 Aragon Avenue, Suite 250, Coral Gables, FL 33134. Its Honorary President is the Consul General of Brazil, Ambassador João Mendes Pereira,. and its President is Adriana Riquet Sabino. The Cultural Center is administered by a volunteer Board of Directors.
The CCBU is maintained through annual contributions from members and through funds raised in events and donated by patrons.
To accomplish its objectives, the Cultural Center maintains partnerships and relationships with producers of cultural events, cultural NGOs, educational institutions, universities to promote cultural and social events. Furthermore, the CCBU works hard to create exchange opportunities between Brazil and Florida. Through its programs, the Cultural Center strengthens its ties between Brazil and Florida and leaves an important and positive mark on the multi-cultural landscape of South Florida.
Since its foundation, CCBU has been disseminating Brazilian culture in South Florida, has become a reference point for Brazlian culture and has served as an important bridge between the Brazilians and the multi-national South Florida Community.
1996 – The initial idea: to create a centralized collection of materials for the use of students and their families for school projects on Brazil
At the time, the Ministry of Foreign Relations was inactive in Centers of Brazilian Study
The Consul General of Miami at the time, Luiz Fernando Benedini, suggested to build on the initial idea of the archives and to create a fully-blown Cultural Center
The First Initiatives
The first step was to create and register a (501.c.3)Non-Governmental organization in the State of Florida
The second step was to establish a Body of Associates (I don’t know what this is)
The third step was to convene a Board of Directors entirely formed by enthusiastic volunteers
The First Programs
The creation of a library open to the public. The Nélida Piñon library was created with approximately 5,000 books in Portuguese, CDs and videos. This library was inaugurated in Janurary 1999.
The support for cultural producers. The CCBU was the first cultural entity to support the first Brazilian Film Festival of Miami in 1997.
Special talks on Brazilian topics
Essay competitions on Brazilian themes for students
The CCBU becomes a point of contact with the Brazilian community in South Florida
In 1999, the public school system of Miami-Dade seeks a partnership with the CCBU to launch the first bi-lingual and bi-cultural program in the US
From 1999 to 2003, the bi-lingual project becomes a priority for the CCBU
Ada Merritt: The Only Public Portuguese-English Bilingual Program in the USA
In 2003, after 4 years of attempting to create the program, the public school system in the Miami-Dade county creates the first and only bi-lingual and bi-cultural program in the US of Portuguese and English with the support of the CCBU, in the Ada Merritt School, near the center of Miami. In this program, 60% of the time is dedicated to classes in English and 40% of the time is dedicated to classes in Portuguese. Beyond the teaching of the language, the program delves into cultural, historical and geographic themes.
Initially,the Ada Merritt school offered the program only to kindergarten to third grade. In 2006, the Ada Merritt school expanded to include kindergarten to eighth grade.
In the 2007-2008 school year, 250 students had enrolled in the English-Portuguese program of the Ada Merrit K-8 Center. Of these students, approximately half of them were not of Brazilian origin.
This program is very relevant because it maintains the culture and language of the Brazilian children as well as disseminating the Portuguese lanuage and Brazilian culture to the students and families who are not Brazilian. Through this, we hope to shape the future cultural ambassadors between Brazil and the US.
The CCBU established partnerships with public and private entities to create programs and cultural event that create an important space for the Brazilian community of South Florida to disseminate Brazilian culture.
Brazilian Culture festival in the public libraries in Broward County- 2002, 2003, 2005
The public library system of Broward county includes 33 libraries and 1 million library card holders. In 2002, public library system of Broward contacted the CCBU to promote one week of Brazilian cultural events in the central library of Fort Lauderdale.The success of this first festival lead to the creation of several other Brazilian cultural festivals with a duration of four and five weeks in 2003 and 2005. These festivals included presentations on various Brazilian themes, music and dance performances, classes on the Portuguese language and the screening of Brazilian films.In conjunctions with the Broward Public Library, the CCBU apresentou, na biblioteca central de Fort Lauderdale o Primeiro Forum Brasileiro, um programa informativo para imigrantes brasileiros (2005).
Brazil exhibit in the Miami Children’s Museum 2003, 2004
The CCBU collaborated with the team at Miami Children’s Museum in the gathering of informative material and in the installation of the Brazil Exhibit in a space showing urban aspects of the country as well as the urban environments.
Miami International Book Fair – Brazil Pavilion: 2005, 2006 e 2007 and 2008
In 2005, the organizing team of the International Miami Book Fair offered an opportunity to present the Brazil Pavilion in the international sector of the Book Fair. Founded 25 years ago, the Miami International Book Fair is the biggest fair of its type in the US. Every year, for 3 days, the fair attracts the biggest names in American and international literature around the campus of Miami-Dade College, which in turn attracts an enormous audienceThe Brazil Pavilion was an excellent opportunity of disseminating Brazilian culture and was one of the major annual events of the Cultural Center.
- 2005 – Brazil Pavillion
- 2006 – Pavilhão Brasil -Salvador. This event was done in partenrship with the International Council of the City of Miami
- 2007 – Brazil Pavillion -Rio de Janeiro. Twelve thousand visitors came to the pavilion during the three days of the fair and participated in an intense and varied cultural program that included seminar of eight extraordinary Brazilian writers Ana Maria Machado, Affonso Romano de Sant’Anna, Marina Colasanti, Geraldo Carneiro, Horário Costa, João Almino, José Murilo De Carvalho e Roberto DaMatta).
- Brazil Pavilion – Minas Gerais. The program that included lectures by writers Nélida Piñon, Silviano Santiago, Angelo Machado, Luis Giffoni; music lecture; book sale; precious stones cutting demonstration; sales of books, handicrafts, videos; attracted a record number of visitors of over 15,000.
- In 2009, due to lack of funds, the Miami Dade College decided to eliminate the International Pavilions sector at the MBFI.
In 2007, at the 10 year anniversary of the CCBU, the Cultural Center Brazil-USA of Florida received donations from two important Brazilian companies–Odebrecht Construction e TAM Airlines, to create a scholarship in perpetuity that would benefit talented, low-income students who are fluent in Portuguese. These student will be intermediaries in the commercial and international relations between Brazil and the US.
Dade College is an important instrument of the democratization of advanced education of in Miami. Throughout the years, Miami Dade College has offered an incredible opportunity for immigrants and low-income students to have access to advanced education.
- RECENT INITIATIVES: COPA CULTURAL/ CULTURAL CUP / 12 STADIUMS│12 CITIES: BRAZIL 2014 WORLD SOCCER DESTINATION / ARTS & BRAZILIAN CULTURE WORKSHOPS FOR CHILDREN / BRAZILIAN REGIONAL COOKING CLASSES / CONECTA
- COPA CULTURAL: In 2012, CCBU and the Miami Dade County Public Library System presented at West Dade Regional and the Key Biscayne Library the “COPA CULTURAL / CULTURAL CUP”: a yearlong program that presented each month one of the Host Cities of the 2014 World Cup.
- COPA CULTURAL 2.0: In 2013, CCBU and the independent book store Books & Books presented “a yearlong cultural exploration of Brazil”. The series called CULTURAL CUP 2.0 focused on the culture, traditions, arts, music and gastronomy of the twelve Host Cities of the World Cup.
- DISCOVER BRAZIL THROUGH THE ARTS: An original program created by Brazilian artist and educator Silvana Soriano e co-presented by CCBU at the Key Biscayne Community Center.
- DISCOVER BRASIL: A series of five Brazilian regional cooking classes with Brazilian Chef Adriana Assemany , monthly at Aragon 101.
- 12 STADIUMS 12 CITIES – 2014 WORLD SOCCER DESTINATION: CCBU and the Coral Gables present, from June 5 to September 14, an exhibition about the state of the art stadiums and the host cities of the World Cup.