Adam Taran and Mary Figueroa

“CAROLE AWARD” Presented at Seniors Ceremony

The second annual Carol Taran Award for Excellence in Performing Arts at Miami Beach Senior High School was presented to senior Mary Figueroa, a superbly talented performer who was selected for the award by the faculty of the Fine Arts Academy at Beach High.

“Mary is a shining star in musical theatre. She is extremely talented and has a phenomenal voice,” said Nina Duval, Lead Teacher and Fine Arts Chair at the high school. Mary will be attending Columbia College Chicago and studying for a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Musical Theatre.

During high school Mary performed in nine school (9) productions, competed in the world’s largest theater festival and was rated Superior as a Solo Artist. She has also performed in numerous public service, community and hospital events and has created a youth empowerment organization to inspire young people to positively impact the lives of others.

The 2015 Senior Awards Ceremonies were held on Friday May 22st at the Beach High Auditorium and the “Carole Award” was presented to Mary Figueroa at that time. Mary was presented with a plaque and a $500.00 scholarship check from 1308 Productions.


1308 Productions Initiates Model Program to Give Kids in Haiti Access to Free Music Education

Jason and Allison Novack, co-founders of 1308 Productions, travel to Tabarre, Haiti on Saturday August 16, 2014 to inaugurate a free after-school music education program at Tabarre’s City Hall.

In January, Voice of America announced the Novack duo’s plan to hand-deliver instruments to Haiti where local officials will provide Haitian students with free music lessons from a professional music teacher with the supplied instruments. The program will run year-round out of City Hall.

An initial program and ceremony to launch the new program will take place on Saturday, August 16 at 1:00 pm at Tabarre City Hall. The 50+ instruments are of all kinds and will facilitate a varied music program for beginning music students. See the related news and broadcast links:

Haiti Model Program 1 Haiti Model Program 2


2014 BOB NOVACK MUSIC AWARDS presented at miami beach area schools

Music faculty at local public schools select their most outstanding, talented and dedicated students each year and 1308 Productions presents each one with the Bob Novack Music Award and a scholarship check to recognize them and inspire their continued achievement. There are three student winners for 2014 at Nautilus Middle School and RKB Bay Harbor K-8 Center.

Najura Hanchard and Matteus Cobo, two high achieving and motivated students, were selected this year for the Bob Novack Music Awards and Scholarships at Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 Center. “

“Najura serves as First Cellist in the RKB Bay Harbor String Orchestra, and she has also performed with the Advanced Bobcat Guitar Ensemble,” said Onil Rodriguez, RKBBH Music Educator. “She has been a cello soloist on many occasions, and has also been a member of the Advanced Bobcat Guitar Ensemble, he added.   Najura has also performed with the South Florida Youth Symphony and the New World Youth Symphony Concert.

Matteus Cobo plays double bass in the String Orchestra, and is an avid guitarist.  “Matteus has performed numerous times with the Advanced Bobcat Guitar Ensemble and at many events in the school and community,” said Mr. Rodriguez.  Matteus played lead guitar in a rock performance of classical music during the school awards assembly and ceremonies that were held at the Beach High Auditorium.

Mahitte Kaisaal, graduating from Nautilus Middle School, has also been selected as a winner of the established honor that has boosted many students into successful music endeavors and careers.  “Mahitte was chosen for the Bob Novack Music Award because she is an extremely talented musician who has been an important part of the Nautilus Jazz and Guitar Ensemble for two years,” said Nautilus music educator Ray Modia.  “Mahitte has also won many piano competitions and done many recitals in the community,” he added.  Mahitte, an active and involved student, served as president of the Nautilus Student Council.

All three award winners were congratulated by their teachers, and by former mayor Paul Novack, son of the late Bob Novack, after whom the awards are named.  The winners were applauded by their families, friends, and community officials.

Each year the Bob Novack Music Awards are presented at both Nautilus Middle School and Ruth K. Broad Bay Harbor K-8 School. The award is given in memory of the late Bob Novack, a life-long musician, band leader and music educator. Mr. Novack performed with famous bands throughout the United States including the Glenn Miller Band, and he led the Bob Novack Orchestras in South Florida for four decades.

Congratulations to this year’s winners, now added to an amazing list of honorees:  check out the Winners of the “Bob Novack Music Awards” 


Nautilus Music Teacher Ray Modia and 2014 Winner Mahitte Kaisaal


Ensemble Performance at RKB Bay Harbor Graduation Ceremonies, Onil Rodriguez conducting. 2014 Winners Matteus Cobo on guitar and Najumba Hanchard on cello.


Allison Novack meets with officials from the Republic of Haiti

A delegation of officials from the Republic of Haiti met in Miami on May 22, 2014 with Allison Novack, co-founder and producer of 1308 Productions, to discuss the importance of expanding music education opportunities for youth in Haiti.
The group was extremely impressed with and receptive to Allison’s ideas and suggestions and pledged to work with 1308 to raise awareness and begin the process of bringing music to the lives of many young people in Haitian communities.  “1308 is setting an enormously positive example in its music education and public service endeavors, and we hope to move towards implementation of the ideas in the near future,” said Mayor Marie Geralde Zamore Lemite of the city of Tabarre.
The meeting was organized by public officials as well as educational and business leaders in the United States and in Haiti, including former Mayor and Councilman Philippe Derose, Wilfred Belfort, president of the Bel Hotel, and Professor Alfred Mentor.  “The ideas and concepts exchanged today form a basis for great things to come, and we are so grateful for the interest of 1308 Productions in helping our communities develop the ability to serve our young population in Haiti,” said Professor Mentor. In attendance were many officials of all levels of government in Haiti.
1308 seeks to bring positive attention to the multi-faceted benefits of music education for youth, and how music can help inspire and motivate young people to achieve a wide array of goals and objectives. Voice of America Radio continues to recognize this extraordinary outreach effort which will be the focus of international news broadcasts that will be linked to this site and available to be heard by people around the world.
Pictured above, a delegation of officials from Haiti following their meeting in North Miami Beach with Allison Novack of 1308 Productions.

Pictured above, a delegation of officials from Haiti following their meeting in North Miami Beach with Allison Novack of 1308 Productions.



1308 is in discussions with community organizations in Fauge, Jacmel, and Tabarre about potential future locations for an expanded kids music education program in Haiti.

Classes in Tabarre are in transition; city officials were replaced without an election, city functions have been interrupted, and a local community foundation is interested in hosting the program there in the future. The instruments remain secure and will be transferred to a kids music program in another facility.

A summer camp program in Fauge is interested in working with 1308 to make music education opportunities available to more kids. Teachers have been identified. As additional instruments are collected, they will be shipped and delivered. Stay tuned!

Sweatstock Fundraiser

Bring an instrument on March 13 to Sweat Records

Support Sweat Records, attend Sweatstock, and help 1308 Productions provide instruments to kids in Haiti!

Sweat Records is hosting a fundraiser concert on Friday, March 13th at Churchill’s. There they will be collecting donations of instruments and other musical gear for the Novack School of Music, our musical education program for children in Haiti.

Doors are at 9pm. Cover charge is $5. Please spread the word and bring your no longer used instruments for donation.


The Miami Times: Music runs in the Novack family’s blood.

Allison Novack’s aunt was a singer, her grandfather a bandleader and her older brother a pianist and guitarist. Allison has always been behind the scenes, ever since she and her older brother, Jason, co-founded 1308 Productions, a nonprofit organization dedicated to public service and music education.

These days, the efforts of the nonprofit have reached out internationally, as the Novack family is currently holding a drive to collect musical instruments for children in Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake – which killed more than 300,000 people according to Haitian government estimates.

“Haiti is still rebuilding after so much devastation and I believe music can be a powerful source to turn to in hard times,” said Allison, 22, a graduate of the University of Miami who currently works in Washington, D.C. for PBS in the communications corporate division. “People connect through music. It makes them happy and elevates their spirits.”

Continue reading:

The Miami New Times header

Miami Family Collecting Musical Instruments for Haitian Children

January 12 marked the fifth anniversary of the earthquake that left 220,000 people dead and another 300,000 injured in the Caribbean nation of Haiti. Despite humanitarian aid and efforts to help with rebuilding efforts, the country still faces a host of challenges.

The Novack family of Miami is stepping in to assist Haiti’s youngsters with an area of education that’s often overlooked, even in American schools: music. They opened their first children’s music institution in August of last year, and a second is soon to follow.

Currently, they’re collecting instruments to be used for educational purposes, so start rounding up your flutes and guitars for a good cause.

The Novack family are philanthropists, and major supporters of Haiti. Allison and her brother Jason are co-founders of 1308 Productions, a family-owned non-profit that supports music education.

“I’ve always known that music is a huge part of Haitian culture, but that access to instruments there is limited, making it difficult for any child to find their potential musical talent,” Allison says. “Music is proven to bring people together, advance learning skills, and elevate happiness – it’s the universal language, and the best remedy for hard times.”

Their first children’s music school opened its doors in Tabarre, Haiti, in August of 2014.

“The school is still growing, as it only opened last August, but so far, we have had more than 60 registered students, who attend music lesson classes at Town Hall after school,” Allison explains.

For the first school, Allison and Jason hand-delivered the instruments to the town hall, and presented them to an audience of children.

“Everyone was so excited for the opportunity to play music, with an instrument that they may have never seen before,” she says. “The kids can now express themselves by creating music, and they can develop their talent in to something that can turn in to an impressive hobby, or a solid career.”

Right now, they’re soliciting donations of all kinds for their second school project.

“We encourage donations of any instruments that are in good-standing condition – new or used, brass or wind, electric or acoustic. We also welcome any monetary donations – small or large, that will help us book our flights to and from Haiti, pay for the shipping of the instruments, and to host live concerts with local bands in the Miami area.”

Donate an old flute, help a kid develop a passion for music — sounds like a pretty good deal.

Instruments can be dropped off or shipped to 1308 Productions at 13899 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 400, North Miami. You can call 305-947-3000 to request an instrument pick-up.

Article originally appeared on the Miami New Times:

Haiti music class

Youth music program in Haiti (from Miami Herald)

Speaking of hope, I’d like to thank 1308 Productions , a nonprofit music education advocacy and public service organization, for giving hope to a lot of children in poverty stricken Haitian towns.

The organization, run by siblings Allison and Jason Novack, recently established a youth music program in Tabarre, Haiti, and also in several other Haitian communities. And they did it with your help of donated musical instruments and sheet music. Photos of the program now in operation:

The Novacks need your help again. They have a holiday drive for more instruments and sheet music. They want to make the delivery early in January.

New and used instruments in good condition are needed for the organization to take its work into other Haitian towns, to children and youths who otherwise would never have the opportunity to learn music and how to play instruments.

The donated instruments and sheet music, monetary donations and all that is needed to start a beginners’ class, is needed for the project.

The Novacks have also provided instruments and scholarships to music education programs at local public schools in South Florida.

If you want to help, visit 1308 Productions on the web at:, or you call 305-947-3000 to arrange pick up or drop off instruments for the cause. Monetary donations may be sent to 1308 Productions, Senator Building, 13899 Biscayne Blvd., Suite 400, North Miami, Florida 3181.  Please make checks payable to 1308 Productions.

Originally appeared on Miami Herald, December 28, 2014. Written by Bea Hines.



Youth Music Program – Opening Ceremonies in Haiti

1308 Productions has reached out to help start something new and worthwhile for the kids of Haiti. After months of preparation, its leaders and founders Allison Novack and Jason Novack traveled to Haiti on August 16, 2014 to participate in the opening ceremonies of a unique collaborative effort to make music education available to young, hopeful and excited children who did not otherwise have any access to music classes and musical instruments.

At the City Hall of Tabarre, Haiti, the Novacks were greeted by an outpouring of appreciation for the creation of a model program that will serve local kids there and which can possibly be replicated in other communities. 1308 delivered dozens of new and used musical instruments of many kinds. Allison and Jason spoke to over 200 children and another 100 adults about the value of music education for the future of the kids and their community. City officials made solemn vows of sustained support; the local government will provide classroom space, a multi-talented music teacher, as well as maintenance and security for the supplied instruments.

The initiative was cheered, and covered by the media, throughout Haiti. The notion that 1308 would care, and put that concern into action and produce actual, solid results, is a source of new inspiration for the kids, their families, and possibly their nation. As the presentation of 1308 highlighted for all to hear, the kids of Haiti represent the country’s future and their ability to come to City Hall, benefit from attention and music lessons, develop their talents and be recognized accordingly, and know that they live in a world that cares about them, it was all a very important positive development.

Officials in Tabarre intend to name the new music education program the “Novack School of Music, a Project of 1308 Productions.”

Here are some photos and videos from a very special Saturday in Haiti:

inspiring young Americans, providing an entertainment vehicle for public service activities, supporting the South Florida live rock music scene