Welcome to the Culture Shock Miami Blog!

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Welcome to the Culture Shock Miami Blog! Brought to you by the Culture Shock Miami Student Advisory Council


Welcome to the Culture Shock Miami Blog! This will be a place to find out about upcoming performances, learn more about local artists, and discover what we, the Culture Shock Miami Student Advisory Council, have been enjoying in the art world! To get us started, let’s find out a little bit more about the amazing Blog Team!



Soumia: Hello, all! I am a sixteen-year-old, homeschool student, and I am thrilled that I get to be a part of this blog! This is my first year on the Student Council of Culture Shock, and I decided to join because I wanted to help promote the arts in my community. Although I love and admire all art forms, I am most experienced in creative writing and literature. Consumption of art may have changed with the pandemic, but hopefully this blog will be a place where you can find and experience it safely.

Klara: Hi! I am the Blog Director for Culture Shock Miami and this is my second year on the council. I am currently a senior at Coral Reef Senior High in the International Baccalaureate program. I love Miami and the arts and joining Culture Shock has helped me combine those passions. What I miss most is going to live theater shows and I’m excited to use the blog to help promote other ways people can engage in the arts during this pandemic.


Jessica: Hello! I am the Assistant Blog Director for the Culture Shock Council and I’m so excited to get started on the blog for this year! Even though many of the programs that I usually love to attend during the season, such as Miami City Ballet's performances and Miami Symphony Orchestra aren't available, I’m planning on sharing all my Miami arts experiences with you all, including museum trips and workshops.


Victoria: Welcome to Culture Shock! My name is Victoria, I am a high-school junior and this is my first year being a part of the blog team. I made the decision to get involved in this organization because of my passion for the arts and desire to be a part of something that benefits my community. In the past, I had used Culture Shock’s discounts on theater tickets to see productions and visit historic places, so my excitement to be working with them is without bound. I look forward to sharing with you all an up close and personal look to the people in the art space


Melissa: Hey everyone! I am Melissa Manrique and I am currently a junior in the BFA Acting Program at the University of Central Florida. I currently live in Orlando, but I’m a 305 baby! I wanted to be involved once again in the art scene in Miami, and Culture Shock is a great opportunity to work remotely. The best of both worlds!


Jimena: Hello, people! My name is Jimena Romero and I am currently a freshman at Miami Dade-College Padrón Campus, in the Honors Program. My major is Journalism/Mass Communications. This is my first year as a member of the Student Council of Culture Shock Miami. I decided to join because I have always been fond of the arts, and being part of this organization allows us to share our love for them with all of you. How beautiful! I look forward to writing in the blog and share with you ways to engage with art in our current situation.



Soumia: Right now, I am reading two things: Richard the Second by William Shakespeare, one of my favorite plays that I’ve read by him so far, and Each of Us a Desert by Mark Oshiro, who will be a featured author in the Miami Book Fair this year. They are very different in content and style, but I am enjoying both of them a lot.


Klara: Currently, I am enjoying two novels! For school, I am reading Claire of the Sea Light by Edwidge Danticat, a Haitian author who now lives in Miami! Personally, I am reading Pride and Prejudice, definitely a classic love story.


Jessica: I like to balance fun, fictional reads with educational research (also fun), so right now I’m reading The Poppy War R. F. Kuang (which is amazing), and Russian Splendor by Mikhail Borisovich Dr. Piotrovsky (essential in my ongoing research of Russian Imperial style for a short historical fiction story I've been writing)


Victoria: Just like Klara, I'm currently rereading Pride and Prejudice, one of my all time favorites, and Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare.


Melissa: I am currently reading The Way Back by Gavriel Savit. Catch me and Victoria interviewing the author at the National Book Summit on December 12!


Jimena: As of now, I am reading two books. The first one: Es mi turno by Ilia Calderón, which is her story as a Hispanic black woman, how she silenced prejudice and became an anchor in a very important newscast in the United States. And the second one is, So This Is Love: A Twisted Tale, by Elizabeth Lim. You should definitely check her out, as she will be featured in the upcoming Miami Book Fair.


Soumia: I have a hard time picking favorites, but here are five songs that always have a spot on my playlist.

  • On the Sunny Side of the Street by Billie Holiday: It’s a song that always makes me smile. 

  • Party of One by Brandi Carlile: It’s heartbreaking and healing at the same time.

  • Time After Time by Cyndi Lauper:  One of my favorite love songs. 

  • Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell: A perfect description of the illusions and realities of life. 

  • Wanna Dance with Somebody by Whitney Huston: It’s always been one of my favorite dance songs. 


Jessica: I like to keep my ears on their toes, so to speak, so I like to switch it up with my playlists, from classical to R&B and afrobeats to indie rock. No playlist of mine is complete without at least 3 other languages in it! Here are some of the songs I’ve had on replay recently:

  • Until Morning by James Vickery

  • Party with a Jagaban by Midas the Jagaban

  • Over The Fence by Rad Museum

  • Little Rascal by Toshifumi Hinata

  • Comb My Hair by Pretty Boy Aaron


Klara: It’s impossible to pick all-time favorite songs- I love so many!- but these are the ones I’ve been listening to recently. In the absence of live music and concerts, I’ve been making sure to support local Miami artists by streaming their music on online platforms, which is a great way to support the community and discover new music.

  • Natural by Shelly

  • Mood Swings by Maddie Jay

  • She Needs Him by Her’s

  • See Through (Demo) by Habit

  • Dig What You Dug by Wallows


Victoria: Music has always played a big role in my life, and there isn’t a genre I don’t like (including country). Picking my top 5 is difficult but i will list some i’m currently loving

  • Confidently Lost by Sabrina Claudio

  • Ew by Joji

  • Show the signs by Montell Fish

  • Eternal Sunshine by Jhené Aiko

  • Heaven Must be Missing an Angel by Tavares


Melissa: Not definitely my Top 5, but some of my favourites!

  • I’m Not Okay (I Promise) by My Chemical Romance

  • ISpy  by Kyle

  • I’ll Cover You (Reprise) from the musical, Rent

  • Get Outta Your Mind by Lil Jon

  • No Problem by Chance the Rapper


Jimena: I think picking only five is a very difficult task. But the five songs that I have been replaying recently are:

  • The Scientist by Coldplay

  • Chasing Cars by Snow Patrol

  • Never Tear us Apart by INXS

  • Take on me by a-ha

  • Dive by Ed Sheeran



Soumia: Right now, I’m watching a show called The Good Place. It’s a fun, light comedy that has some surprisingly deep lessons on ethics and philosophy. 


Klara: At the moment, I am watching the latest season of The Great British Bake-Off. It’s so important to take mental health breaks and step away from everything causing you stress, and this show, which is light-hearted and engaging, definitely allows me to do that.


Jessica: I really enjoy watching shows in different languages, and lately I’ve been into anime. I’m watching Haikyuu and Demon Slayer (Sub of course) which provide a really good balance between lighthearted fun and a bit of a darker, more intense theme.


Victoria: Malcolm in the middle! The show is A lighthearted sitcom about a dysfunctional family that gets into trouble each episode. The elections and politics were consuming my thoughts so having that a place to dumb down and have some laughs is something i’m very grateful for.


Melissa: I don’t really watch TV! The last show I watched was On My Block.


Jimena: I really love sitcoms. As for now, I am looking for new TV series to watch, so in the meantime, I am re-watching Friends. This is my third time watching it. It is safe to say that it is my favorite show.


Thanks for reading and getting to know us a little bit more! That was just a quick little introduction to get some insight into who’s writing the blog posts. We’re looking forward to putting out regular content on the blog and can’t wait for you all to see it! Keep an eye out for some exciting insight into the wonderful authors participating in the Miami Book Fair! Stay tuned! Until next time!