|APRIL 28, 2023 @ ArtsXchange Outdoor Theater St. Petersburg, Florida. The Tampa-St. Petersburg metropolitan area has the highest rate of homelessness in the nation. WADA, nestled on the historic South St. Pete Deuces Corridor, aims to create awareness and impactful programming around the issues of homelessness and home-insecurity. |
On Friday, April 28, 7p, WADA partners with the Academy of Ballet Arts and Sunscreen Film Festival to present “LIFT”, a winner of the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival, and an official selection of the 2023 Sunscreen Film Festival.
While “LIFT” tells the astounding, personal story of dancer (and now Artistic Director) Steven Melendez, overcoming significant obstacles to achieve worldwide success, the story is bigger than one person’s journey: It is a testimony to the impactful work small arts nonprofits do in under-served communities around the country.
The name “LIFT” also refers to the New York Theater Ballet’s outreach program that once helped transform Melendez life and is now run by him as the Artistic Director. With the documentary following Melendez for over a decade, it captures his return to the same Bronx homeless shelter in which he grew up to pay it forward for a new generation of ballet students. This return is as traumatic as it is triumphant, captured through the lens of a remarkable filmmaker, allowing the audience to experience a kaleidoscope of emotions. Melendez and film director David Petersen will be in attendance for post-screening Q&A.