Arts & Business Council of Miami

Miami Beach creating artist residency program in vacant spaces along city’s commercial corridor

Miami Beach is embarking on a cultural artist residency using empty spaces in the city’s commercial districts to create a working arts district, and it is offering local artists a place to work, collaborate and exhibit while bringing cultural business to the city.

Called “Miami Beach Open House,” the application process for the experiential residency is under way now and artists can submit applications through Friday, Nov. 13. The program will provide free space and financial support – a stipend of $2,500 – to artists and non-profit organizations that will be selected by a cultural advisory committee.

According to Mayor Dan Gelber, the program is a way to activate empty spaces in the city’s commercial districts while supporting the revitalization of the arts community.

The peer-to-peer exchange opportunities and the ability to encourage new art forms to benefit the city’s arts community will be the hallmarks of “Miami Beach Open House,” he said.

“It’s been very difficult in the pandemic with its horrible health and economic effects, but it has also had an impact on art because the one thing about art – either visual or performing – is that it’s supposed to be a shared experience,”  Gelber said.

To that end, he says, “Open House is geared toward stimulating our commercial corridors and uniting residents and businesses through art,” Gelber said.

The vacant spaces are expected to include properties on Washington Avenue, Lincoln Road, 41st Street, and North Beach, but other areas may also be part of the exchange.  Those selected for the project will work collaboratively with the city’s Cultural Affairs staff and participating property owners to determine specific locations.

The residency’s total project budget is $200,000. The $2,500 stipend is to cover anticipated costs to the artist or group, which may include moving expenses; insurance, supplies, parking and utilities; and marketing and publicity, according to the city.

Those selected are responsible for any additional costs and artists who are matched with a property must agree to be in the space for at least 30 days.

The advisory committee’s selection, according to the application, will be based on “the quality of the work, strength of the concept, design capabilities and established track record of successful project implementation will be considered of highest priority. All mediums will be considered.”

The Open House is meant to be accessible to the public and the city is suggesting hours from noon to 9 p.m. each day of the week, but hours of operation can be decided upon by the owner of the property and the artist.

Open House members will participate in a Culture Crawl, which takes place on the third Thursday of each month from 6 to 9 p.m.

Finalists will be selected between Nov. 16 and 20 with the open house project beginning in December of 2020. Deadline is Nov. 13. Application can be found here.

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