Visual Arts

Monthly Nomadic Nights could turn North Miami’s downtown into booming art district

Casa Mondo Miami during October’s Nomadic Nights in downtown North Miami.
Casa Mondo Miami during October’s Nomadic Nights in downtown North Miami. Photo provided to the Miami Herald

With the popularity of Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, monthly Nomadic Nights in downtown North Miami might help make the neighborhood the next booming area where businesses and the arts collide.

“I was looking and kind of taking an inventory of what businesses there are in North Miami, culturally, where people can invest their dollars,” said Germain Bebe, 30, president and CEO of the North Miami Chamber of Commerce. “I started to notice that there was a very long row of antique [stores] and galleries across the street from [North Miami’s] City Hall and downtown area. I started to see a trend; everybody is in this central location.”

The monthly event, hosted by the North Miami Chamber of Commerce, occurs every fourth Friday and has been running since February. The next event is Friday night.

So far, about a dozen shops have been able to participate in Nomadic Nights. The art walk covers the area of Northeast 125 Street, between Northeast Seventh and Eighth avenues. According to Bebe, the community event has proven to be a melting pot that stretches across all demographics.

“It varies,” Bebe said. “We do get a bit of a millennial crowd, but we also get a bit of the older crowd, like in their 40s, 50s and up. There are a lot of antique shops so the age bracket for something like that is a little higher up.”

Diversity in the arts was one of the main goals in mind when, Moti Vinograd, 50, owner of Casa Mondo and one of the key players in creating Nomadic Nights, began the art walk.

“We have people here from all sectors of the community,” Vinograd said. “And they are all coming and they are interested. That was actually a very pleasant surprise. We have things that range for $15 all the way up to thousands of dollars. We want people to be able to enjoy all of it”

Paula Villegas, owner of Haute Marche, which means “high-end market” in French, held the grand opening for her store in August. She says that the art walk has given her business more exposure in the community.

“It is very satisfying,” Villegas said of the growing success of her shop. “It is a lot of hard work, but we see the results and we are working really hard. Not just for us to be successful, but for exposure to the area. That was the whole purpose … to bring exposure to other tenants as well.”