South Miami Rotary Arts Festival – The Stream

Art festivals are a chance for creatives to craft and develop their skills for the world to see. The South Miami Rotary Festival features art from all walks of life and has a unique culture and individuality.

South Miami is known for its creative and diverse touch of anything and everything, but especially works of art. The South Miami Rotary Arts Festival held a special place for Miami natives to come and witness the greatness. This year was the thirty-seventh annual festival which showcases a range of art and different dynamics of what the artists have created.

The festival became famous in 1984, when a selection of members of the Red Sunset Merchant Association decided to attract more people by organizing an arts and crafts festival. The show started off with a small number of booths, with only 25 groups showing their work.

The event took place February 26-27 in downtown South Miami on Sunset Drive. The respected area is home to many special shops, historically known buildings and many restaurants. The festival was now home to 129 performers, a huge range of food courts, a beer garden and entertainment including live jazz. Also, something special that the festival has done is that funds from the event go towards college scholarships for South Miami scholars, in addition to local and national projects, which provides exponential opportunities to many aspiring students. Admission to the event was free and parking was available nearby.

Freshman music student Zolani Henry explained that there is a wide range of opportunities for artists when it comes to art festivals.

“I think the festival is a great way to get exposure, get known and meet new people, especially new artists. [who are] like-minded people. You can also showcase your art and tell a story,” Henry said.

Artists came from all over the United States and even Canada to show off their talents and unique pieces. The festival was produced only by committed people who are part of the Rotary Club. The creation of the festival not only allows artists to participate and submit their work, but also allows musicians to come out and exhibit their pieces.

Henry expands on the first-hand experience she has had with festivals.

“I major in music, but my aunt is an artist and she made clothes. She designed clothes and she creates these very beautiful portraits; she did one of Bob Marley. She had a really nice business, she was going to festivals and I was going with her, and I could see all these people seeing her art and buying it,” Henry said.

The South Miami Rotary Arts Festival provided a unique experience for all. There’s plenty to see when exploring different art forms, such as jewelry designs, glass exhibits, photography showcases, dynamic paintings, intricate sculptures, and mixed media. The various choices of different ways of art have contributed to the growth of the festival.

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Reggie S. Williams