Humans of DASH: Stacey Mancuso

reblogged from Miami Design District NEIGHBORS/Ambassadors
23_stacey-mancuso-ed-d_0662Stacey Mancuso Ed. D is Principal of Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH), and her career is focused on developing the designers of today and tomorrow. Her leadership has led to great success – this year U.S. News and World Report  ranked DASH as the 19th best public high school in the nation (out of 31,242); 3rd best high school in the state of Florida (out of 687); and the 8th best American magnet high school (out of 269). Her tireless work, support of the Miami Design District’s transformation to a world-class design and fashion destination, and community leadership make her May’s Ambassador.

When did you realize you were interested in becoming an educator?
After art school, I moved to New York to set up a studio and continue working as an artist. I became an adjunct professor to survive, teaching art history and painting. As time progressed, I found that I could maintain a studio and teach which lead me to 40 years as an educator.

How did Design and Architecture High School come to be? Why in the Miami Design District?
Design and Architecture Senior High (DASH) came to be from a Request for Proposals (RFP) from the School Board. A team of educators, led by the first principal of DASH, Jackie Hinchey-Sipes, wrote the initial plan for the school. The school has evolved totally in 24 years. The School Board purchased the showroom complex on the corner of 39th Street and NE 2nd Avenue and contracted Arquitectonica to transform it into a school. The location is crucial as it is essential that the students be surrounded by the best design in the world. As the students work as interns in the surrounding showrooms, their future is visible to them.

23_stacey-mancuso-ed-d_3147What accomplishments as Principal of DASH are you proudest of?
As principal, I am only as good as the people who surround me. I am proudest of the hard work of the teachers, staff and students of DASH. The work that we do together provides every student at DASH with tremendous opportunities when they move out into the world.

What do you think of the transformation of the Miami Design District into a cultural and design destination?
I am an advocate for change, especially in the case where a “district” evolves into a world-class design environment. The transformation happening right before our eyes is an education in itself and, having been here for 25 years, the school is ready for it.

What’s inspiring you nowadays?
Nowadays is not a word I believe in. I am inspired by every day that I wake up, show up and look at what is happening. Inspiration is what DASH is all about and always being able to “ask the question”.

Do you have any favorite designers or architects? Who?
I went Cranbrook (Academy of Art) and Daniel Libeskind was the teaching architect when I was there. He was a friend and a mentor.  I have watched his work for decades. When I went to his Jewish Museum in Berlin, I was in awe.

What books would I find on your nightstand? What music are you listening to?
Breaking Ground by Daniel Libeskind, of course, Dear Life by Alice Munro and My Beloved World by Sonia Sotomayor. My music ranges from the Rolling Stones to Ella Fitzgerald to Mozart’s Don Giovanni to NPR, but that’s not music.

What is your favorite indulgence?
I favor food of the local land and sea—wherever I am, which means I must travel to find the food.

What career other than your own would you like to attempt?
I am very happy with this career and I am grateful to be where I am—leading the young designers at DASH. Next, I want to be a philanthropist–anonymous, of course.

What’s the most important thing people should know about you?
I mean well.

Weekend Events, 10/11-10/13


Instruments of Change
This documentary about Ruth Greenfield’s Miami Fine Arts Conservatory features intimate interviews, emotional footage and photographs along with archival and current day performances from those who integrated a community and helped revitalize downtown Miami. It was commissioned by longtime admirers of Greenfield to honor her dedication for making Miami a better place to live.
Airs free on public television station WLRN
Saturday, October 12 at 4pm; Sunday, October 20 at 9pm

After Tiller and Money for Nothing
If you’re looking for food for thought this weekend, these two provocative documentaries delve deep.  After Tiller follows the moral and ethical struggles of four doctors who perform later-term abortions, while Money for Nothing explores the economic situation, the federal reserve, and an analysis of the history of U.S. monetary policy. Whether you agree with them or not, these two are must-sees for the interested mind.
Coral Gables Art Cinema, 260 Aragon Ave.

Perufest USA
Enjoy delicious Peruvian food, music and art this Saturday starting at 12:00pm at Tamiami Park. Tickets are $15 in advance, but $20 at the door. Don’t miss this opportunity to get a taste of Peru!
The Fair at Tamiami Park, 10901 SW 24th St.

Second Saturday Art Walk — Wynwood
Get guided walking tour tickets online or simply come out and explore the neighborhood galleries for food trucks, atmosphere, and –of course– art!
Saturday, October 12, 7-11pm

Art + Design Night: Performance Series — Miami Design District
There will be 4 consecutive performance acts, each one 20 minutes in length, beginning at 7pm. Following the 4 acts, make sure to join us in the Rooftop Garden starting at 9:30pm, to listen to music from DJ Ben Wash and sip complimentary cocktails.
Saturday, October 12 / 7-11:30pm / See website for venue addresses and start times

Swampspace Gallery presents Between Earth and Sky
Solo show of paintings and works on paper by DASH fine art teacher John Germain
Saturday, October 12, 7-11pm / 150 NE 42 St.

Astro Jam: Mission to the Future
The Miami Science Museum hosts a National Astronomy Day celebration including demonstrations of 3-D printing and a lecture by Dr. James Webb, professor of astronomy at Florida International University. Dr. Webb’s lecture, “The Science of Star Trek,” explores the scientific basis behind the fictional series. Astro Jam takes place 10am to 10pm, and Science Museum tickets are reduced to $6 per person after 6pm.
Miami Science Museum, 3280 S. Miami Ave.