The Betsy and FIU MB Urban Studios Partner on Arts Salon – Online


“Zen and the Art of …  (Architecture, Music, Poetry, Photography)” Debuts on March 30, 2020

They’re the second-most important things we need now. Zen. And Art. In troubled times, the latter can make the shortest route to the former.

The arts have meant everything at The Betsy-South Beach ( since it re-opened in 2009 and at the FIU College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts | Miami Beach Urban Studios [MBUS] (, which opened its doors in 2011. The two institutions are connected on many levels, but most importantly, both value community, education, and, of course, the nourishment and experience of exceptional talent. Over the past decade, The Betsy and MBUS have hosted thousands of artists in their numerous galleries and performance spaces.

In a partnership between FIU MBUS and The Betsy, we are taking the show on the most open road of them all. Starting at 7PM Monday, March 30, you’re invited to four weekly installments of a new online interactive arts salon series called “Zen and the Art of …  (Architecture, Poetry, Music, Photography),” featuring talks with and performances by some of the most innovative artists working today. These events are free and open to the public and will be held at your house!

This series of salons will be held on four successive Monday nights: March 30 (architect, Chad Oppenheim) April 6 (cellist, Jason Calloway), April 13 (poet, Campbell McGrath), and April 20 (cellist, Jason Calloway), from 7 to 7:30 PM, accessible through Zoom by sending your rsvp to:

About the artists


Campbell McGrath is a poet. He is the author of nine full-length collections of poetry, including, most recently, In the Kingdom of the Sea Monkeys (Ecco Press). McGrath has been recognized by some of America’s most prestigious awards, including the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award, a Pushcart Prize, the Academy of American Poets Prize, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacArthur Foundation “Genius Award.” In 2017, McGrath was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry. He is Distinguished University Professor; Endowed Phillip and Patricia Frost in English at FIU.


Jason Calloway is a cellist. He has performed to acclaim at festivals all over the world as soloist and chamber musician, including Lucerne, Spoleto USA, Darmstadt, Klangspuren (Austria), Acanthes (France), Perpignan, Valencia, Citta’ della Pieve (Italy), Jerash (Jordan), Casals (Puerto Rico), Blossom, Brevard, Colima (Mexico), Great Lakes, Kingston, Rockport, Sedona, Sarasota, Music Academy of the West, the New York String Seminar, and Encore. Mr. Calloway is currently cellist of the Amernet String Quartet, Ensemble-in-Residence at FIU, and was previously a member of the Naumburg award-winning Biava Quartet, formerly in residence at the Juilliard School. He is a cello instructor in the Department of Music at FIU.

Robert Zuckerman is a photographer. He has done recent album cover and movie poster photography for Will Smith and was invited to be the personal photographer for the family of Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz. Zuckerman’s images have become the advertising and publicity campaigns for such films as “Any Given Sunday,” “Training Day,” “Terminator 3” and “Transformers,” among others, and television series including “The Shield,” “Rescue Me” and “Nip/Tuck.” Zuckerman is drawn to any subject as long as there’s spirit and love in the room, from the inner city to the mansions of Malibu. He is a Dean’s Distinguished Fellow at FIU.

Chad Oppenheim is an architect, His work ranges from large-scale urban architecture, hotels, resorts, and luxury homes to interiors and furnishings. He has received global recognition for socially and environmentally conscious architecture and set trends in sustainability. An alchemist of atmosphere, Oppenheim transforms the prosaic into the poetic, and his firm’s award-winning work has been fearured in over 1,000 publications, including The New York Times and Architectural Record. He is an adjunct professor at FIU.

About the presenting partners

The Betsy-South Beach (@thebetsyhotel) is a luxury boutique hotel located on Ocean Drive, boasting a globally regarded arts and culture program. Over the past ten years, the hotel has become a catalyst for energized discourse, innovative thinking, and charitable community conscience, and is now the home of both the O, Miami Poetry Festival and the Miami Classical Music Festival. The Betsy has hosted more than 1,000 artists in its Writers’ Room artist residency and its nine art galleries are open to the public. The Betsy Hotel is owned and operated by the Plutzik Goldwasser family.

The Miami Beach Urban Studios (@FIUMBUS) are a collider for people and ideas in arts, design, technology and the sciences.  Headquartered on iconic Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, MBUS is a Cultural Anchor in the City of Miami Beach and, with over 150 events each year, is a creative space for students and the community in the heart of one of the most vibrant artistic urban centers in the world. John Stuart is the Executive Director.

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