Lee Ann Lester, director of Next Level Fairs, and Sean McCormick , McCormick Place Miami, have announced the formation of the Miami Downtown Arts District (MDAD). McCormick will serve as board chair the and Lester as vice president.
MDAD is a non-profit organization that serves cultural institutions and museums; galleries, local artists and studios, as well as businesses, event venues, and restaurants that showcase both local and international artists. MDAD aims to unify the Downtown and Brickell Arts District by providing a variety of programs that allow the community to explore the arts district, such as First Friday Downtown Art Night, or provide exposure to smaller independent events through a variety of membership support services.
“MDAD will work in unison with community leaders and the DDA’s [Miami Downtown Development Authority] initiatives to develop Downtown Miami as the cultural and business epicenter of the Americas,” Lester said. “Already over a billion dollars have been invested in arts and cultural institutions in the District drawing new culturally-minded, international visitors. “Our goal is to provide artists, gallerists and the public with dynamic art venues, regular art programs and education to the greater Miami metro area,” he said.
A growing number of organizations have already extended their support including: Artisan Lounge, Life is Art, MDC Museum of Art + Design at the Freedom Tower, Dimensions Variable, Stephen Gamson Studios, SeaFair, McCormick Place Miami, CU-1 Gallery, AIA Miami, Florida Grand Opera, and The Art Experiences.
The association will hold a VIP kickoff event and press conference at 6 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 19, at McCormick Place Downtown Miami, 111 SW Third St.
The MDAD Association will announce its board members and guests will have an opportunity to know more about district events as part of DWNTWN Art Days, Sept. 19-21, as well as future First Friday Downtown Art Nights and special events commencing Friday, Nov. 7, “Art Basel Preview,” and Friday, Dec. 5, Art Basel Miami Beach/Miami Art Week shows. The evening will include live performances, art installations, and more. A complimentary transportation service will be provided by FreeBee to participating arts venues.