Sunday, April 18, 2010

Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Awarded a Community Grant for 'Mapping Miami'

With the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners, Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator presents Mapping Miami.

Mapping Miami: Historic Artist Landmarks in Miami, FL, is a community-based cultural art and scholarship project. Mapping Miami will create an archive of Miami's cultural arts history and produce an interactive virtual and physical landscape, to facilitate learning about our history and the arts. The project focus is to locate and research cultural art history through geographic spaces or landmarks - sites where artists, including visual artists, dancers, musicians and actors have lived.

Artist and anthropologist Lara Stein Pardo is heading this project. An artist, a Miami native and Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Michigan, she has both the professional and personal experiences to produce this project. Under Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, she will develop this project as part of our mission to foster the production of work by emerging artists and cultivate projects that contribute to Miami's diverse cultural and social fabric. Starting with the period of the 1930s ­ 1950's, Stein Pardo will research and analyze the arts in Miami, utilizing in-depth anthropological and historical research methods. This time period in Miami's history is the initial focus as it is sandwiched between the founding and development of Miami from 1896 ­1920's, and the population boom after the 1960's.

Many significant artists visited, lived, and produced creative works here and these sites hold a great deal of value for the community, on both a neighborhood and county level. Locating landmarks in Miami¹s social and physical geography also helps create a sense of history and place. The landmarks are the project touchstone as they provide real places to visit and learn about this cultural arts history. Miami has been touted as the new "hot arts destination" by the New York Times, Art News, and the Miami Herald, and it's important to recognize the historical foundations of our thriving arts environment. With the recent celebration of Miami's centennial, now is the time to archive, and produce programming that brings this to the public through an interactive art and scholarship project.

At the heart of Mapping Miami are the cultural and community-based project elements. We will locate, research, and share our cultural arts history with local, national, and international audiences. In doing so, we are preserving our cultural heritage while making this history available and accessible in the public sphere, on a neighborhood level. Because the project locates itself inside neighborhoods and communities, Mapping Miami is uniquely positioned to reach out to our ethnically and spatially diverse population.


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