Hialeah is coming up in the world. The neighborhood's cultural and artistic gains have led to increased attention and respect. Tired, clichéd stereotypes about this South Florida city are on the way out.
In honor of the first anniversary of the area's Leah Arts District (an affordable live/work zone for regional artists), a series of free events will kick off in early June. From a movie screening to a bustling block party, Hialeah will be busy this summer.
"The summer series is an expanded endeavor that builds upon the momentum that we started last year with our block parties #HialeahNOW and #OnlyInHialeah," says Hialeah city councilman Paul Hernandez, who, along with public relations guru JennyLee Molina of JLPR, cofounded of the district. "It's a continuation of our goal to highlight Leah's true potential and significance in this community. It's going to be a blast."
There are plans to partner with local charities for events, he adds. The series of gatherings are all family-friendly and designed to help foster a greater sense of community.
"The Leah Arts District is meant to be a cultural and creative corridor. It has always been meant to provide an outlet for creative people within the city to call their own," Hernandez explains. "It is also meant to change the perception surrounding this city by bringing people in from the outside and allowing them to see Hialeah in a different light."
The councilman says he's impressed with the turnout at every community event put on by the District. "We've seen how both local and national news outlets and publications have started to write positive stories about Hialeah because of the Leah Arts District. It is amazing to know that the conversation surrounding Hialeah has changed because of Leah."
Molina adds the series couldn't have happened without presenting sponsor Mist TWST, plus Heineken, T-Mobile, Jameson, and Unbranded Brewery (scheduled to open in the neighborhood in 2017). Mist TWST is helping fund the creation of multiple murals across the area, adding to the district's aesthetic charm.
So give Hialeah some summer love, and mark these dates on your calendar:
June 11: Second-Annual #HialeahNOW Block Party
The party will feature music, murals, live art, food, and more — all in celebration of the Leah Arts District's first birthday. The event runs from 4 to 8 p.m. at 1025 E. 15th St. in Hialeah.
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June 18: Movie Night in the Leah, Presented by Mist TWST and Miami Film Festival
Attendees can sit outside (on their won lawn chairs) and watch Amor Crónico, a flick directed by one of Cuba’s most renowned actors, Jorge Perugorría. The film follows Grammy-nominated and internationally acclaimed artist CuCu Diamantes and covers the history of cinema in a surreal style — like a stylized love poem to the not-so-distant island. The event runs from 7:30 to 11 p.m. at the Leah Arts District, 1025 E. 15th St. in Hialeah.
June 25: Leah Summer Series Sunset Wrap Party Presented by Mist TWST
The parking lot of La Fresa Francesa (Hialeah's favorite eatery) will be taken over by art, crepes, tunes, and cocktails by Mist Twst. RSVP is required. Must be 21 or older to drink. The event runs from 6 to 9 p.m. at La Fresa Francesa, 59 W. Third St. in Hialeah.
Leah Arts District Summer Series
June 11, 18, and 25. RSVP for any of the above events at leahartsdistrict.eventbrite.com.