History credits the inception of the Civil Rights movement to Montgomery, Alabama in the mid-1950s. However here in Miami as early as 1951, there existed a Fine Arts Conservatory dedicated to bringing music, dance and art to young black and white students in an integrated environment. This little known conservatory founded by longtime Miami resident Ruth Greenfield, would challenge segregation and change the lives of many of those who attended the school. Some like classical, clarinet lover Fredrick Morley, would institute the programs he participated in at the Conservatory as the principal of a highly acclaimed elementary school. Others would start their own conservatories or theater companies or become life-long advocates for the arts. It's exactly what Greenfield had in mind when she conceived the Conservatory as a place where those of any color can come together, be taught by first rate teachers and be instilled with a sense of dignity and confidence so they can strive to reach the
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