Josué Cruz is an artist and Intercultural communicator whose passion is bridging the gap between creativity and performance.
The longtime artist and entertainer has worked in the arts for several years as a performer and a facilitator. Cruz is Owner and Managing Partner of LPT Salsa, LLC, a 10-piece salsa music orchestra, and the Director of Development for the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville. which enriches the arts through its support to cultural organizations, individual artists and the Public Art Program. He also contributes to numerous publications as a freelance writer.
“I always had an attraction for the arts but I never thought it would be my career path until my later high school years,” said Cruz, who moved to Jacksonville from South Florida in 2011.
Cruz recognized his interest in creative writing after winning a poetry writing contest as a middle school student. His love for performing emerged as a teenager and continues today. Cruz is lead vocalist for LPT, a group that performs locally as well as across the globe. One of his most memorable performances took place in a small Australian town that didn’t offer many live music performances.
“It’s very rewarding to perform in places that are absent of art and experience how important art is to that community,” Cruz said.
He is a connoisseur of all fine art forms spanning from opera to rap, poetry, romantic landscapes and neo-classical imagery. Cruz’s enthusiasm for facilitating the growth and success of artists is equally strong. As Director of Development, Cruz is responsible for planning, organizing, directing, and facilitating the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville’s fundraising needs. These include individual, foundation, and corporate sponsorships, establishing major gifts and planned giving programs, and grant-writing.
“It all comes down to the impact you can have going forward,” Cruz said.
Cruz’s career began as a Language Arts/Creative Writing teacher and evolved with a wide variety of cultural, educational and leadership positions.
“I love learning about a project and helping people turn their dreams into realistic, attainable goals,” he said.
For success, artists must possess the skills of their craft, whether it is writing, music or the visual arts. Other skills come into play including perseverance, organization and communication skills. Cruz believes an artist’s success is a result of having adaptability and humility. Rather than follow a narrow path, be multi-dimensional and learn as much as you can about everything.
“You never know when a piece of knowledge is going to open a door,” Cruz said.
An entrepreneur at heart, Cruz says his enterprising spirit has helped him navigate a career in the arts.
“You have to understand the business of art in order to make a sustainable living and have a positive economic impact on your life,” Cruz said.
Grant funding though the Cultural Council and other organizations is available. Cruz said it is vital for artists to do their research before applying and be prepared to demonstrate their capabilities in the application and reports.
Most importantly, Cruz said understand what opportunities you are willing to pursue.
“Recognize that line you won’t cross,” Cruz said. “A successful artist knows his or her values.”