Thursday, June 13, 2013

Miami Todays' Best of Miami 2013 features Diaspora Vibe

Founder and director of Diaspora Vibe Virtual Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Rosie Gordon-Wallace was featured in the newspaper Miami Today as “Best of Miami 2013”.

Read the article below:

Miami Today
Best of Miami 2013

Diversity thought builds our gateway

By Blanca Venegas

Miami is the gateway to Latin America and has also become a major business capital of the Americas. But it is only through its global-minded residents that welcome the diversity of backgrounds and who supporter arts and culture that the city continues to uphold such position.

Delancyhill attorney Marlon Hill said one of the individuals who have been strong contributors and supports of global culture is Laura Quinlan, executive director of The Rhythm Foundation, a Miami Beach-based, non-profit cultural organization.

“Laura brings the best if Brazil and Africa to our shores and develops strong cultural and trade ties with those regions,” Mr. Hill said.

Ms. Quinlan, a Miami Beach native, has served as executive director at The Rhythm Foundation since its beginnings in 1988. The Rhythm Foundation has been the leading presenter of “world music” in Florida, with over 500 concerts and festivals by a variety of international artist from places such as Brazil, Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, Asia and Europe performing throughout South Florida.

“One of the strengths of The Rhythm Foundation is that we truly live here,” Ms. Quinlan said. “It is very gratifying, as we celebrate milestones like our 25th anniversary, to recognize the small but meaningful part that our work has played in the development of Miami as a true capital of the Americas.

“Music is an universal language, and sharing cultural experiences helps us better relate to each other,”
she said. “Our audience, which continues to grow every year, is Miami’s global-minded residents and visitors… who think internationally and who care what is happening right now in other world cities.”

In addition, Mr. Hill also attributes the cultural growth in Miami to individuals such as Rosie Gordon-Wallace, founder and director of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator Inc., a local arts organization offering support and exhibition opportunities to emerging artists from Latin America and Caribbean.

“Our mission is to promote, nurture and help [artists] cultivate their vision,” Ms. Gordon-Wallace said.

Ms. Gordon-Wallace – born in Jamaica, a licensed medical microbiologist and former senior consultant for Searle Pharmaceuticals – is the founder, curator and director of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator.

Ms. Gordon-Wallace has initiated and produced transnational creative programs that “redefine concepts od ‘diaspora’”, including the International Cultural Exchange program, the Caribbean Crossroads Series, the Artist-In-Residence program and an ongoing contemporary exhibitions program, as well as multiple community-based outreach projects.

Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator specializes in Caribbean and Latin art focusing on emerging artists and supporting the development of new work by resident artists by offering exhibitions opportunities, artist talks, workshops and other skill-building core values for emerging artists.

“We empower Caribbean artists to become architects of their artistic lives,” she said. “We assist them in navigating their resumes and we assist them in expediting the work.”

“This is a vocation,” Ms. Gordon-Wallace said. “I absolutely love working with the individual artists, looking at their portfolios, helping them navigate through the art world.”

“That’s what I do every day,” she added.

Ms. Gordon-Wallace said that, even though the organization is only 17 years old and has the same matrix as any other “diasporic” organization, Diaspora Vibe Gallery and Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator is different because it specializes in visual arts.

“If you compare us to a mainstream organization, we would be a baby,” she said, “But we are a new community.”

“I love that Miami is geographically close to the Caribbean,” she added. “It’s am emotional connection to me to live here.”

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