Homestead Councilwoman Jenifer Bailey had a vision of an afternoon dedicated to celebrating the arts in many forms. She drew together partners, sponsors, and collaborators for ArtWalk Events for children and adults to meet artists, participate in creative activities, listen to music, watch dance, and learn about different community services and resources. The annual event has been held in different places; the concept and scope always bringing hours of enjoyment. While COVID did have an impact, last year’s gathering saw a large turnout to reinforce everyone was glad of the return.
In its sixth year, Councilwoman Bailey, the Southwest Advisory Committee, ArtWalk Presents, and other sponsors are taking ArtWalk to even higher levels. It will be held downtown once again on Saturday, May 27, 2023, 5:00-9:00 p.m., in both Losner Park and along Krome Avenue. The temperature is generally uncomfortably warm in May. Moving to an evening timeframe will help, plus there might well be some interesting lighting effects involved as part of the entertainment.
Speaking of activities, there will of course be music with a DJ, stilt walkers, and various art stations set up to appeal to all ages. New this year will be a Percussion Petting Zoo to allow children to explore different instruments. Future plans for murals on Mowry Avenue is another theme as artists will “try out” their concepts by drawing on the sidewalks and drones will capture the look. Another new dimension is a “Community Book Project”.
The Councilwoman explained the non-profit organization, Guns Down, Books Up, will be present to meet with authors and illustrators to then create a book which will be published and carried in the Homestead Cybrarium. Le Jardin of Homestead, whose goal, “is to continue improving the quality of life for children and families in our community while providing the tools for them to become our future doctors, scientists, businessmen and women,” is always a participant.
This year though they are incorporating their Jazz music and Art sales which have grown increasingly popular with each year. The non-profit, Dibia Dreams, has been holding STEM Saturdays in Homestead since 2019 and they are bringing one of their Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math projects as they continue to make these subjects approachable in a fun way. Community Health of South Florida (CHI), also a longtime participant, will be on-hand with screenings and important information.
Individuals and organizations are sought to be Community Partners, Community Resources, Live Artists, Sponsors, and Volunteers for what is usually 1,000 or more attendees. Individual artists can be at stations of either their own design to promote their technique and style or they can host a station proposed by event planners. Non-profit organizations are encouraged to include some form of creativity, whether visual arts, music, movement, or a dash of engineering in their outreach.
Vendors such as the individual who makes soaps and lotions can demonstrate how they craft their items. All ideas are welcome and the primary contact is Jday@cityofhomestead.com .
The committee is currently reviewing organizations who have contributed to the community in arts, culture, and education and those scholarship recipients will be announced during the event.
The enthusiasm generated was expressed about last year's ArtWalk. Impact Paintings, Painting For A Cause, posted to their Facebook page. “Thank you for having us at Artwalk this Saturday! It’s always a joy to PAINT and PARTY in our community. We have been a part of Artwalk since 2017 and the creators of Artwalk work so hard to put on such an awesome event completely free to the attendees. A great team and a great dream that we are so grateful to been included!!!”
Miami-Dade Commissioner Kionne McGhee, District 9, who is a major sponsor, helped present scholarships. “Job Well Done to my sister Councilwoman Jenifer Bailey. You and your team ROCK! I am proud to support and serve as a sponsor of Artwalk Presents at City of Homestead! Great job to all those involved in making this an amazing event for the children of South Dade! It was great to spend time with my Homestead family!”
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