Tonight, Moksha Gallery's Elements of Culture Festival
You won't hear these guys scream about their existence or even advertise. But these low key players are absolutely vital to the cultural heartbeat of this city. Their next big event begins tonight. It's called the Elements of Culture festival and is connected to the up-and-coming Big Night in Little Haiti series. Moksha is hosting the official after-party and then continuing throughout the weekend a series of events themed around the guitar and how it has impacted music and cultures around the world. Cultist caught up with these down-low dudes.
In addition, you never know who will be in the room. In the last year alone, you might have bumped into one of the Marleys or even Roger Waters from Pink Floyd. You want Machu Picchu in Miami? Go to Moksha. You want to get-on-the-bus? Moksha has the ticket.
New Times: What is the Moksha Gallery?
Ray Orraca: The Moksha Gallery is based out of 7th Circuit Studios (228 NE 59th St., Miami) in Little Haiti. We're primarily a Visionary Arts gallery, we exhibit the works of many Visionary Art masters including Alex Grey, Mark Henson, Robert Venosa and Martina Hofman and local Visionary artists like Reinier Gamboa, Lebo, Eva Ruiz, Arnold Steiner, and others.
How does Moksha affect or help shape the culture of this city?
The Moksha Family Arts Collective brings together local and
internationally renowned painters, musicians, DJs, VJs, performance
artists, sculptors, photographers, technicians, video and audio engineers,
filmmakers, and fashion designers. We - the Moksha Family - are a
multicultural collective representing the local community. We produce
experimental and visionary arts and cultural events at our gallery/venue.
Our vision is to bring together artists of all disciplines from all over
the world and our community. We believe that through the arts we can
attain higher consciousness.
Talk about the Elements of Culture kick-off party tonight.
The Friday night idea came about from the Rhythm Foundation wanting to
include 7th Circuit Studios as the official after party spot for their Big
Night in Little Haiti series that kicks off on that Friday. At that same
time, Community Arts and Culture, the non -profit organization that
co-presents the Moksha Art Fair with the Moksha Family, was looking to
start a new three-day event called Elements of Culture. We decided to merge
up again and co-present this new program as a way to add to the already
spectacular night of events.
How about the Saturday and Sunday guitar-themed events?
Miami wanted a guitar show after losing the Newport Guitar Festival to the
Hard Rock Café last year. Our idea was to expand on the concept of a
guitar expo and add a Musicians Bazaar. By doing this we create an
opportunity for all types of musicians to buy, sell, or trade instruments
in a laid back, informal, swap meet style atmosphere. We wanted to spread
it out into two days so we decided to make Saturday a demo day with a
variety of "how to do it yourself" workshops related to the guitar. On
Sunday we have the Vintage Guitar Expo, which will feature a variety of
vendors showcasing their most priced possessions. One can simply say that
the importance of producing a show like this lies within the fact that
these events help to convey the healing power of music, in this case
through the guitar.
Why the guitar?
From childhood to adulthood, people all over the world have always been
curious about the guitar, not only as an instrument but as an iconic
figure that represents many things pop culture. The guitar has brought
people together and made fans out of many through such musical styles as
Surf music, Spaghetti Western music, the Blues, R&B, Soul, Funk,
Rock-n-roll, Bachata, Reggae, Bossa Nova, Soukous, Boleros, Classical,
Flamenco, African High Life, Country Western and so on.
Any final thoughts?
If you'd like more information about these sort of events, please visit
www.mokshafamily.org and www.communityartsandculture.org. Both sites can also be found on Facebook.
The Elements of Culture festival will take place March 18th - 20th at 7th Circuit Studios, 28 NE 59th Street. For more info click here.