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Imagining Miami Inspires Miamians to Think Creatively

Ever sit around complaining about Miami, wishing it were more like New York or L.A., and vowing to move away from this place totally devoid of culture and human connection? Well, the New Tropic thinks its time we all get together and do something about it.

The fledgling media and events brand will host Imagining Miami, a day-long discussion inviting participants to think of creative ways to use arts and culture-based initiatives to address social issues impacting Miami. Imagining Miami will be an arts-infused event that will invite community members to envision Miami 20 years into the future, sparking ideas about how to get there.

Miami is just one of over a dozen cities to host an "Imagining" discussion this summer, a nationwide initiative by the freshly minted U.S. Department of Arts & Culture, created to spark a grassroots, creative change movement. The USDAC has appointed cultural agents all over the country to lead the charge on its "Imagining" series, with cities like Chicago, St. Louis, Boston, and Phoenix among the ranks.

Miami's cultural agent Naomi Ross says that Imagining Miami is only the beginning. "The event on Saturday is going to focus on low-cost projects we can implement now that will have a lasting impact in the next 20 years," she said. Naomi hopes to use art's power to address issues centered on economic inequality, climate change, and especially gentrification in Miami, an issue that's become increasingly relevant in the wake of another Miami development boom.

The day will kick off with a vision board activity, lead by South Florida artist Niki Lopez, which will encourage participants to envision Miami in 2035. Program facilitators and Design Thinking Miami will then break participants into small groups for project brainstorming and prototyping, creating an action plan for putting their best ideas forward. "The idea is that we will start putting these projects into motion at once in an effort to keep the community engaged in bringing our vision of the future into fruition," said Ross. Ross is expecting the proposed projects to be nothing short of creative — from instituting a community arts center in a low-income neighborhood, to pushing new programs for garbage collection and trash pick-up in poorly maintained areas.

But since implementing community-wide projects do tend to cost some money, Ross and her team will be hosting an "Imagining" fundraiser the night before the Imagining Miami event, in order to raise the funds necessary for implementing our brilliant ideas come Saturday. 2035: Powered by PechaKucha will be held at the 004 Connec space in Wynwood, and will feature visual presentations by local organizations already utilizing arts and culture to positively impact the community. To attend or make a donation, visit their Eventbrite page.

You don’t have to be an artist to attend Imagining Miami; just someone that cares about our future quality of life here in Miami. On hand will be refreshments, snacks, and a drum circle, provided by Prince Emmanuel Abiodun Aderele, the international artist in residence at Osun’s Village & African Caribbean Cultural Arts Corridor.

It's fitting that Imagining Miami is being hosted by the New Tropic, who since launching earlier this year has made it their mission to help people explore and connect with Miami through human connections.

It's free to attend Imagining Miami, but you do have to RSVP. Visit the New Tropic's website to get your ticket, and prepare to imagine your perfect Miami.

Imagining Miami will be held on Saturday, June 6, from 1 to 5 p.m. at the New Tropic Headquarters, 7230 NW Miami Ct. #5, Miami.

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Nicole Martinez
Contact: Nicole Martinez