Knight Arts Challenge 2015 Kicked Off This Week at Gramps

Photo by Monica McGivern
Tuesday night in Wynwood, interested possible applicants, proud previous winners, and engaged Miamians gathered at Gramps for the Knight Arts Challenge Kickoff event, sponsored by Infraculture.

A major funding project of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the Knight Arts Challenge awarded $2.29 million to 47 projects last year to help grow and improve the arts scene in South Florida.

See also: Knight Arts Challenge Winners Announced: Exile Books, Weird Miami, and More

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Ten Reasons To Be Happy You Live in Miami, From Happy Wall Creator Hannah Sentenac

Categories: Public Art

Photo by Hannah Sentenac
Look! Nature is painting you a picture!
The holidays are here!

Traditionally, the time for family cheer, singing, and decking the halls, right? Well, there's also a darker side to the season. According to the National Institute of Health, Christmas is also prime time for depression and anxiety, with police reporting high incidences of suicide calls.

So what can you do? First of all, don't sweat all the small stuff. Chances are your Aunt Milly won't notice you forgot to light the holly-scented candle in the guest bathroom. But, more importantly, take time to reflect on all the good things happening around us.

Can't think of any? Hannah Sentenac has shared ten Miami-specific reasons to be happy. Sentenac, by the way, should know all about the topic of bringing more joy into your day to day life. The New Times contributor's blog, Hannah Gets Happy, is an amalgam of happy quotes, inspirational stories, and tips for living a happier, more fulfilled life.

See also: Giving Thanks: UM Professor Explains How Gratitude Can Change Relationships

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Gloria Estefan Optimistic on Future of Miami Marine Stadium: "Art Has Kept It Beautiful"

Categories: Art, Public Art

Photo by Stian Roenning
Gloria Estefan speaks during a press conference at Miami Marine Stadium.
"Get on your feet, get up and make it happen."

The 1989 Gloria Estefan hit was well chosen for the occasion as the Miami icon, Mayor Thomas Regalado, City Commissioners, representatives of the Historic National Trust, and others approached the podium to officially announce the Stadium as the spot for the 2016 and 2017 Miami International Boat Show.

Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium is well ahead of its funding schedule with at least $15 million of their $30 million goal, though they haven't yet secured a full-time lease from the city. Organizers have until January 20th to show that the stadium could be a moneymaking operation that wouldn't need public support.

See also: Artists, Architects, and Estefans Join Forces to Save the Miami Marine Stadium (Video)

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Miami's Gifted Section of Berlin Wall Unveiled (Photos)

Photos by Monica Torres
Sunday, November 9, was a rainy day, much like the day the Berlin Wall fell 25 years ago. On that historical day, people gathered in the streets in protest. Some rushed to the wall, climbed over it, and broke it down, moved by a desire for freedom and years of restriction.

See also: Miami Gifted Piece of Berlin Wall for Permanent Display

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ARTcycle 2015: Submit Your Cycling-Inspired Artwork to Promote Bike Safety in Miami

Courtesy Coral Gables Museum/ARTcycle
Progressive cities have progressive ideas. Miami certainly wants to play with the big boys, but there are so many simple gestures this town lacks that earns it the appropriate "third world" stamp many other states have assigned it. Recycling here is a joke. Green areas are few and far between, and the willing offering of the tax payers' derrieres to scheming developers has congested what was once an easily-recognizable coastline. Oh well, you can't fight all the ills at once, right?

But one that should be a no-brainer is making Miami a bike-friendly city. With the notorious amount of incredibly challenged automotive operators in this county, you'd think a concentrated effort would be made to alleviate traffic with more designated bike paths and stricter laws ensuring the safety of cyclists. Apparently, this is too much to ask for and that's why bike chefs get hassled, doctors knock over defenseless cyclists willy-nilly (which we are sure violates the Hippocratic Oath on so many levels), and Florida continuously ranks high in the nefarious fatality listings.

One organization, however, is using Miami's thriving art community as a platform to promote cyclist safety. The people behind ARTcycle have created a bond between the art and bike scenes here with a mission of creating a "road to awareness, respect, and tolerance."

See also: Florida Is One of the Most Dangerous Places in America to Ride a Bike, Study Says

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Fringe Projects Curator Amanda Sanfilippo Talks the Future of Public Art in Miami

Nicolas Lobos' cannisters ready to "perfumize" downtown.
Amanda Sanfilippo is one of the younger curatorial voices working in Miami today. Trained in the Northeast and London's Sotheby's Institute of Art, she's had experience working in both places and has been rising through the Miami art ranks through Legal Art and now with Locust Projects. Sanfilippo's attitude towards art is a blend of academic knowledge, community/spatial relation and appreciation for the contemporary.

That she manages to filter all of that into a cohesive explanation without suffering the pedantic nature most purveyors of conceptual work harbor is her strongest asset, and one she uses when developing and curating work like that of Fringe Projects in downtown Miami. Part of the 2014's DWNTWN Art Days this month, Fringe featured six public site-specific projects by selected artists.

In her short time working in South Florida, she has managed to find the city's voice and has proven that art's greatest gift lies within its availability for all and not the elite few.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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DWNTWN Art Days Kickoff Features Exhibits, Short Films, and Food Trucks

Courtesy of McCormick Place
The arts are alive and well in downtown Miami. What's that, you say? Hasn't Wynwood already assured that fact? Hasn't Art Basel proven that Miami's already become a center of the art universe? Yes, and yes, but in this case we're talking specifically about that other "downtown," the one that encompasses Brickell and the commercial hub of those concrete canyons.

Credit McCormick Place, a onetime warehouse repurposed as a haven for artists, events and exhibitions, and the Downtown Development Authority with the upcoming launch of the Miami Downtown Arts District -- conveniently known as MDAD -- an extensive initiative that will combine support for museums, galleries, artists, art studios and various cultural institutions with participating businesses, live venues, hotels, and restaurants, all in an effort to promote art, culture and historical preservation throughout downtown and Brickell. The proposed boundaries for the district will be YoungArts on Biscayne Boulevard and 21st Street to the north, I-95 to the west, 26th Road to the South, and Biscayne Bay to the East.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

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DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

Courtesy of Fringe Projects
Conceptual work by Domingo Castillo.
Downtown Miami will become a living canvas during the third annual DWNTWN Art Days. The event, developed by the Miami Downtown Development Authority (Miami DDA), brings together Miami's cultural venues with artists from Miami and around the world to celebrate the city's vibrant love affair with visual art.

Sonja Bogensperger, team leader of business development, real estate, and marketing for Miami Downtown Development Authority, and Claire Breukel, the creative director of DWNTWN Art Days, say that the weekend-long event was developed from a desire to showcase the area's growing art community.

See also: André Mehmari: Mixing Classical Music and Improvisation at DWNTWN Art Days

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Miami Gifted Piece of Berlin Wall for Permanent Display

Photo via Wikimedia Commons
A bit of German graffiti will soon join our own.
Miami is about to get a piece of world history, just in time for the Art Basel madness to come this winter. German officials announced that Miami will receive a two-ton piece of the Berlin Wall to join our city's sprawling public art presence.

WLRN reports that the chunk of wall will become a permanent exhibit across Biscayne Boulevard from the Freedom Tower.

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FEAST Miami Feeds You, Funds Groundbreaking Local Artists in Style

Art, food, and mingling are a few of Miami's favorite things. It's no wonder there's a constant flow of gallery events ready to feed hungry mouths and egos, one artist showing at a time. But something's missing, and that something is consideration of what artwork can do outside of white walls.

Toward filling that void, Knights Arts Challenge winner, FEAST Miami, plans to inject a little comfort and a lot of substance into their upcoming gathering.

FEAST Miami (Funding Emerging Art with Sustainable Tactics), created by Chef Loren Pulitzer of Meals That Heal and curator/producer Susan Caraballo, is a meals-based micro-funding project. FEAST Miami aims to produce a series of vegan pop-up dinners at art venues to financially support new and emerging creative projects, ones that are "innovative, feasible, and impact the community." The dinners will be held at various art spaces throughout South Florida, the first of which starts at 6 p.m. Sunday, April 27, at The Light Box. Cocktails will be provided until dinner is served at 6:30, which features a vegan, locally-sourced menu designed by FEAST Miami co-founder and head chef, Loren Pulitzer.

See also: Posters Campaign for Small Boobs, Last Name Equality in Wynwood, Midtown

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