Thanksgiving is next Thursday, but before Miamians give thanks at the dinner table, they've got a chance to give money to local nonprofits and charity organizations. The Miami Foundation's Give Miami Day returns this Thursday, November 15, and it's the best opportunity for locals to support the organizations doing hands-on work to improve daily life in our city.
Nonprofits benefiting causes having to do with animals, affordable housing, education, and beyond are participating this year. In addition to accepting individual contributions, the Miami Foundation is awarding prizes to incentivize gift-giving during the 24-hour donation period. For example, the foundation will donate $1,000 to the organization that receives the most unique gifts during midnight to 1 a.m. on Thursday and $1,000 to the organization that receives the 31,821st gift, in celebration of surpassing last year’s 31,820 total donations.
Last year, more than 20,000 people raised just over $10 million for 700 local nonprofits. So get your wallets ready to support the organizations doing the hard work within our community. Here's our roundup of the best arts and cultural organizations you can support on Give
1. The Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida.
Historic Lyric Theater
Courtesy of AFreeman Photography
Harlem has the Apollo Theater, but Miami has the Lyric Theater. Some of the greatest singers of all time sang at the historic Overtown theater back when it was a part of the district known as Little Broadway during the early 20th century. Today, the theater belongs to the Black Archives, History and Research Foundation of South Florida. The foundation continues to build its legacy with programs such as Lyric Live, an Apollo-style talent competition which recently concluded its fifth year in existence. Beyond the preservation of the theater and its ethos, the foundation houses an archival collection of manuscripts, photographs, and other artifacts relating to African-American history in South Florida. The archives are accessible to students, teachers, researchers, scholars, media, and the public. Donate to the Black Archives History & Research Foundation of South Florida here.
PageSlayers teaches children-of-color that their voices matter.
Photo by Alex Delbeau-Charles
It's not enough to teach children how to read and write. In order for students to be engaged, they need to know that their voices matter. And in order to do that, they need to see themselves reflected in the pages of the books they read. PageSlayers goes a step beyond that. The organization provides fourth and fifth graders in Opa-locka
the opportunity to meet and learn from published and award-winning professional writers of color. In turn, students are encouraged to express themselves through their own writing. Donate to PageSlayers here.
Photo by Morel Doucet at Arcola Lakes Branch Library
The value of libraries as community institutions isn't given much thought until they're gone. With information at the palm of most people's fingertips and the answers to questions a few keystrokes away, a trip to the library feels like an unnecessary inconvenience to many of today's students. But libraries are more than rooms filled with information: They are cultural hubs and invaluable community meeting spaces. ProjectArt is reminding folks about the value of libraries through residencies where contemporary visual artists teach free art classes to underserved student populations. ProjectArt hosts programs in Miami, New York, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Chicago, and Los Angeles, and after-school classes are available through the duration of the school year. Donate to ProjectArt here.
4. Viernes Culturales.
Photo by Midtown Miami Magazine / Dimarco Barea
South Florida is home to countless monthly art walks in various neighborhoods, but have you ever taken a stroll down Calle Ocho during Viernes Culturales? The already vibrant neighborhood lights up every last Friday of the month for Cultural Fridays, an arts
and culture festival in Little Havana. Live music blares out of the bars and clubs located between 13th and 17th avenues as artists paint in front of crowds underneath the neon glow of Little Havana's tourist district. Viernes Culturales will host the Umbrellas of Little Havana Art Festival during Miami Art Week. Don't forget to take a photo or two with one of those rooster sculptures. Donate to Viernes Culturales here.
5. Fantasy Theatre Factory.
They've been around since 1978, but when it comes to matters of imagination, the folks over at Fantasy Theatre Factory never grew up — and that's a very good thing. The organization puts on plays for children in Miami, often partnering with schools to put on performances for students. Its artist-in-education partnership programs feature workshops for children and training for teachers. While performances often take place at the Sandrell Rivers Theater in Little Haiti, the Fantasy Theater also makes itself available to schools in traveling productions. Donate to Fantasy Theater Factory here.