Little Haiti Sunday Stroll Refuses to Be "the New Wynwood"
|Mural at Yo Space by artist GG.|
Wynwood and its infamous Second Saturday Art Walks have some people complaining that they're over capacity, and seeking the next up-and-coming arts destination in Miami. Artists are adapting and using this momentum to reintroduce the city to its own hidden treasures. That's especially true of the most recent happenings in Little Haiti, as Yo Miami and the area's community set out to inaugurate the first-ever Little Haiti Sunday Stroll.
This Sunday, March 3, Little Haiti will reclaim its stake as one of the city's cultural hubs. Yo Miami teamed up with Sweat Records, Little Haiti Cultural Center, and Moksha Family Arts Collective in hopes of dispelling the negative notions associated with the neighborhood's reputation for crime and poverty. Instead, it seeks to expose what Yo Miami likes to refer to as one of "Miami's best-kept secrets" in terms of the Haitian Kreyol and Francophone cultures rich in art and history.
As part of the free, bimonthly (every two months, not twice a month) Sunday Stroll, people will have the chance to familiarize themselves with the neighborhood during a daytime, family-oriented (or post-Saturday hangover) event in an area nearly double the size of Wynwood Art Walk.
"Little Haiti isn't the new Wynwood; it's Little Haiti. We have an incredibly unique local culture and variety of established businesses but don't have the population of art galleries that Wynwood does. Most of the business owners here are OK with that, as we're growing organically with road and façade improvements and would enjoy not having our rents quadrupled anytime soon," Lauren Reskin, cofounder of Sweat Records, says. The beloved indie music store connected to punk watering hole Churchill's Pub has seen the area transform since Sweat's establishment seven years ago. Yuval Ofir, founder of Yo Miami, has also seen Little Haiti grow over time.
|Murals by CP1, Serge Toussaint and AHOLSNIFFSGLUE.|
The community is immediately recognized as one of the poorest areas in Miami and has struggled to survive. "I do think there's a stigma associated with the area, and it's not necessarily unwarranted. The neighborhood is definitely in the midst of transition, but I think the same thing can be said about a lot of areas in Miami right now. I know that, personally, I've had more enjoyable weekends biking through the neighborhood with my fiancee than I can count, and have never felt unduly concerned for our safety," Ofir said.