5 Creative Things You Love and the People Who Started Them to Miami
May 29, 2018admin
It’s no secret that Miami’s creative scene is booming, carving its own space among some of the greatest metropolises in the world. From world-renowned art fairs that take over the city, to intimate concerts in living rooms, it’s got it all. Sometimes though, the hard-working creatives who helped bring these happenings to Miami get overshadowed by the experiences themselves. So here’s a handful of some of our favorite things and the people behind them:
Founded in 1997, The Moth made waves as a collective platform for poets and storytellers around the country. In 2009, along with the release of The Moth Radio Hour on national public radio, it began a series of StorySLAMS in cities across the states. They reached out directly to Miami’s WLRN and Trina Sargalski, former producer at the station and local culture vulture was on it. She secured venues and lit the fire under Miami’s storytelling community to warmly welcome The Moth’s presence in our city. Sargalski is currently Communications Director for The Yard Hospitality team, while The Moth still stands strong every month at the historic Olympia Theater in Downtown.
Not much can be said about the international art fair that hasn’t already been told, but we do know that the moment Art Basel opened, it transformed the face of Miami. Originally, the very first fair was supposed to take place in 2001 but was thwarted by 9/11 and surrounding travel scares. It was saved, however, by local art collectors like Carlos and Rosa de la Cruz and Don and Mera Rubell. It was these believers who opened their homes for a week, inviting galleries and artists to display as planned. Although 2002 is considered the first Art Basel, taking place at the Miami Beach Convention Center, it was the faith and commitment from these local art powerhouses that paved the way to its current and future success.
The original secret concert. Started in 2009 by friends in London, Sofar Sounds was created as a response to people talking over artists at shows. Songs From a Room as it’s known, is a secret society of monthly gigs now covering over 300 cities worldwide. As early as 2011, they made their way down to Miami founded by Vincent Roazzi Jr, a leading local photographer. The free intimate shows are still going strong 7 years later thanks to music aficionados like Miami producer Andres Daza. These are wonderful moments where voices are heard the way they were meant to, without distraction. The concerts have evolved but the rules stay the same and their essence have never changed.
Nearly 14 years ago, a meticulous and entirely funky group of Texas musicians gathered together to found one of the most visionary ensembles yet: Snarky Puppy. The musical fusion outfit inhabits sounds that can rarely be fit into one genre. Over the years, Snarky Puppy’s collective of musicians has grown out of its near 21 collaborators, and eventually into its own label at GroundUP Music. Artists and music from all over the world are now represented in the label and, in 2017, they decided to celebrate with an epic music festival. Thus, GroundUP Fest was born. They chose Miami not only for its beautiful venue at the North Beach Bandshell but also for the city’s aligned identity as a cross-pollination of cultures. Thanks to Paul Lehr, former YoungArts CEO and now GroundUP’s Executive Director, the festival came to life and has already announced its third festival in 2019.
In 2008, Tina Roth Eisenberg started CreativeMornings out of a desire for an ongoing, accessible event for New York’s creative community. The concept was simple: breakfast and a short talk one Friday morning a month. Every event would be free of charge and open to anyone. Fast forward to around 2014 and local cultural pioneers Malik Benjamin, Wilfredo Fernandez, and Bruce Pinchbeck opened up Miami’s first chapter. Over the years, it has hosted the city’s most influential creatives in all avenues of expressions. They have also ensured that the morning talks spotlight essential spaces in the city, popping up at landmarks both emerging and historical along the way.