2018 Florida Folk Heritage Award
A native of Miami, Marshall Davis attended Miami Dade Community College for theatre and visual arts, and earned a BFA from Florida Atlantic University. Since 1983, Davis has served as Director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center (AHCAC) and has been dedicated to promoting arts learning, training and access in Liberty City and Miami’s broader African American community. With the AHCAC, Davis designed a comprehensive, multidisciplinary arts training program that enables students to engage with their own cultural heritage and actualize themselves in the arts. Working closely with Miami’s underserved communities, he has developed successful curricula in classical, contemporary and traditional arts that has led students to Juilliard, Broadway, television and film.
Among those positively impacted by Davis’ work with the AHCAC is playwright and co-writer of the 2016 Academy Award winning film Moonlight, Tarell Alvin McCraney, who credited the AHCAC as “a beacon of arts excellence in African American artistic life in South Florida.” According to McCraney, “the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center continues to be the standard bearer in educating and cultivating arts learning in one of Miami’s oldest black communities. Marshall has made sure there is a place for young or early artists to commit themselves to a focused, rigorous and nurturing environment where they can thrive.”