Join us for an inspiring episode of Cut to the Chase: podcast as we dive into the latest chapter of Dennis Scholl’s career.    From accountant, lawyer, preservationalist, serial entrepreneur, philanthropist, art collector, award winning film maker, wine maker, to helping artists advance their careers, what else could be left for him to achieve but to make his own art (and films).    How could anyone make so many significant career transitions?   On this episode, we go through some of Dennis’ philosophies that helped him transform himself in such significant ways.   But before we go onto his third and (what he predicts) will be his final chapter-his own art work, I must pay my respect to Dennis and do what he prefers I not do-highlight some of his amazing achievements which have shaped so many lives and the art world.   

The Miami art scene has become a global phenomenom in large part due to Dennis.      From 2009-2015, Dennis was the vice president for the arts at the Knight Foundation.   Launching the foundations arts program and leading it to national prominence, Dennis helped steer close to $200 million in grants to artists and cultural organizations.   Helping these artists launch and advance their careers has been one of Dennis’ biggest joys in life.  

Almost out of left field, Dennis decided to take what many of us would consider a mid life crisis into a remarkable journey into documentary film making.    Before the world knew it, Dennis had become an award-winning documentary filmmaker focusing on arts and culture creating 87 films and winning over 20 regional Emmys, including from Sundance and SXSW.   His films have been shown in over 100 film festivals.   You can even catch some of his films on Netflix.   My favorite was his first feature documentary called Deep City-the Birth of Miami Sound.    For those R & B fans that think Motown WAS R & B, think again.   Deep City showcases some of the amazing musical R & B talent that came from the 305.

In almost a parallel universe while making these films (and wine), Dennis was brought into Oolite Arts as their CEO where he ran that amazing art support organization where he continued to help award millions of dollars to local artists.    One of the major accomplishments he achieved at Oolite Arts was the creation of the Ellies.    The Ellies, named after Ellie Schneiderman, who opened the South Florida Art Center back in 1984 when Lincoln Road could not even find tenants.   The Ellies is now an annual competition which funds local art teachers, artists projects, exhibitions, public artworks and even film.

His farewell achievement for Oolite will be the opening of the  soon to be state of the art $30 million headquarters that is scheduled to open in Little River in 2025.     The space will provide, among other things, 21 free artists studios, rooms for art classes, a theatre and large gallery. 

In this episode, we’ll explore Dennis’s journey from being an accountant, then a lawyer to becoming a pivotal figure in the Miami art scene to his current art work and upcoming films. Discover how he embraced a new chapter in his life, reinventing himself as an art collector turned filmmaker, and gain insights into his views on the future of art in the age of AI.   I know Dennis right now is upset at us rehashing his past so I won’t go over all his amazing and various work (including his extremely successful wine making venture) and his various contributions to world art world, including the Guggenheim, the Tate Modern and the Perez Art Museum.  

Instead of going into  all the amazing art work he has created over the past decade and continues to create AND his upcoming films AND his own philosophies that have enabled him to transform himself so dramatically so often, you will need to listen to this episode for such nuggets.    As a native Miamian who has seen first hand how Dennis has helped make Miami so special, myself and several others owe him the tremendous gratitude.

Join Dennis and I as we discuss:

Dennis’s transition from law to the arts and its profound impact on his life and career.The importance of embracing change and pursuing passions later in life.

  • Fostering creativity and innovation..

The evolving landscape of filmmaking and the influence of AI.Dennis’s commitment to nurturing young artistic talent and giving back to the community.His skepticism about the long-term impact of NFTs on the art world.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace change and pursue your passions, no matter your age.
  • Find activities that bring you joy and fulfillment, embracing the concept of “flow” in life.
  • Get involved in your community and share your expertise and inspiration with others.
  • Consider integrating cultural insights into your legal practice for innovative problem-solving.
  • Stay open to learning and flexible in your career path to adapt to new industries and technologies.

Join us for a fascinating conversation with Dennis Scholl as we explore the power of reinvention and the endless possibilities that await, even in the later chapters of life. Connect with Dennis Scholl: Check out all of Dennis Scholl’s art on his instagram via @schollcreative and learn more about his work on his website

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