The Arts have always been a good catalyst for reviving local districts and neighborhoods, this is the case for Wynwood via the ARTPLACE Grant.


Wynwood Art ArtPlace is the product of a pioneering initiative of 11 of America’s top foundations, including Knight Foundation in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts, NEA, and seven other federal agencies.

To date, ArtPlace has raised close to $50 million to work alongside federal and local governments to transform communities with strategic investments in the arts.

“The aim of ArtPlace is to drive community revitalization by putting arts at the center of economic development.”

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Patrons of the Arts have always fared better than your average investor it seems!

Take the House of Medici for example!

One could argue that they were primarily in banking which was the source of their unimaginable fortune in Florence, Italy.

What perhaps some fail to see is that they were fierce Patrons of the arts, banking and backing just about anyone with recognizable talent.

The artists supported by the Medici included Ghiberti, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Alberti, Fra Angelico, and Ucello.

During their rule, Florence became the cultural center of Europe and the cradle of the new Humanism.

They brought on the beginning of the renaissance by building the art industry and hence the market grew abundantly. This also gave opportunity for any artist to introduce his/her creativity and get sponsored by wealthy patrons.

Once peculiar characteristic is that they treated artists not as workers, but as creatives. So they gave them reign and and unstructured setting that fostered the creative spirit!

Sound familiar?

Not a bad business model for our local economy right?

The family went as far as building an art school which raised the greatest artist of the century such as Michaelangelo and Boticelli.

The Medici were smart!

They understood that making money, though essential, wasn’t enough, and that investing in the Arts raised the cultural standard of their society. This cycle would then become a breeding ground of prosperity and cultural development. In essence a long term investment in their local culture and people.

What ARTPLACE has accomplished as an organization that supports Artists Nationally is an incredible feat. I believe the effort must continue to be hyperlocal and grow from there!

Miami has proven to be a fertile ground for up and coming young artists. The long list of Artists born and bred here, our cultural history from so many different societies and of course The ARTPLACE Grant proves it!

But we need more Foundations and Patrons to step up and get more involved. This is a win-win for everyone!

When was the last time you sponsored a local artist?