Community Voices

Transforming Little River into a cool, creative hub

Local innovators and artisans are combining efforts to bring more awareness to the historic Little River neighborhood. Celebrating at the launch of Little River Creative Collective are, from left: Carlos Reyes, Robert Ayona, Rudy Marquez, Darin Held, & Marlon Ammann.
Local innovators and artisans are combining efforts to bring more awareness to the historic Little River neighborhood. Celebrating at the launch of Little River Creative Collective are, from left: Carlos Reyes, Robert Ayona, Rudy Marquez, Darin Held, & Marlon Ammann. Photo provided by World Red Eye.

One of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods is Little River. It was established in the late 1800s and incorporated into Miami in 1925. And if you haven’t been watching, Little River is gradually being transformed into a cool, creative hub.

More than 100 artisans and business people celebrated the latest push to bring awareness to the neighborhood at a party for the new Little River Creative Collective.

Launched by Bloommiami, the group aims to “bring together other local businesses and like-minded individuals to promote and facilitate the neighborhood’s growth.” The motto of Little River Creative Collective is “Growth Through Collaboration.”

The party also celebrated those who are protecting the historic neighborhood’s culture and heritage.

“It’s inspiring to see the innovative work of Little River creatives, and we’re proud to bring awareness to local businesses while encouraging developers to understand the artists who give our neighborhood its edge,” said Darin Held, partner at Bloommiami, in a release. “It’s important that the business and creative communities work together to ensure the responsible growth of the area.”

With a theme called ‘Creative Rides,’ the kickoff event featured Little River-based artisans who are specialists in creating custom rides ranging from Fixie Bikes to epic surfboards.

Rudy Marquez of Loco Cycles, Marlon Ammann of Holz Longboard Co. and Carlos Reyes of C-Shapes collaborated with Held for the first installment of the collective.

“Little River Creative Collective gave the participating creatives the opportunity to broadcast their talents and expose them to a larger and more diverse audience,” Held said. “Conversations were happening about collaborations with hotels and specialty retailers, and we look forward to how their stories develop.”

Join chefs for a cause

Nationally renowned chefs will be focusing on raising funds for charities close to their hearts at the upcoming “Chefs Stand Up” at Lido Lounge, The Standard Spa, 40 Island Ave., Miami Beach.

Featured in the one-night-only cooking event series are: July 19, Nina Clemente of The Standard Plaza in New York and The Smile's Di Alba in Los Angles for No Kid Hungry; Aug. 23, Sara Kramer and Sarah Hymanson (Food & Wine Best New Chef 2017), Kismet in Los Angeles for Planned Parenthood; and Sept. 21, Angela Dimayuga (James Beard Rising Star Chef Nominee 2016), Mission Chinese Food in New York for National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum.

All events are at 8 p.m. and the cost for each dinner with food, drinks, tax and gratuity is $135. All proceeds will go to the charity of the chef's choice. Reserve your seat at

Learning with Dade Legal Aid

The Venture Law Project team of Dade Legal Aid hosted a pro bono panel for start-ups and entrepreneurs about Labor and Employment Law recently at The LAB Miami, a co-working space in Wynwood.

Featured were Jennifer A. Schwartz and Naveen Paul of Jackson Lewis P.C., who presented on the differences between “Employee vs. Independent Contractor” laws for start-ups.

“On behalf of Dade Legal Aid and Put Something Back Pro Bono Project, thank you to all of our hosts, The LAB, our speakers and participants,” said Karen Ladis, director of Dade Legal Aid's Venture Law Project in a release.

Other members of the Dade Legal Aid’s Venture Law Team include Kristen Corpion, Jessica Shraybman and Ashley Juchawski. Learn more at

Lions Club to celebrate centennial

In 1917, Chicago businessman Melvyn Jones approached other businessmen to discuss ideas of how they could help out in their communities. Over the years, the effort grew into Lions Clubs International, which now has a presence in almost 200 countries through its member clubs. The motto is “We Serve.”

One member club, the Miami Buena Vista Biltmore Lions Club, will be hosting its “Roarin’ into the Centennial Picnic” 2-6 p.m., Aug. 19 at the Mary Abreu Community Center at Tropical Park at 7900 SW 40th St.

The picnic is open to all. Cost is $10 and tickets for children under 10 are $5. Admission includes food and entertainment.

The Miami Buena Vista Biltmore Lions Club is part of Florida Lions District 35-N, which comprises the area from the Florida Keys to Jupiter Inlet and the Bahamas.

The club’s foundation is committed to local projects such as eye health screenings for children several times a year, providing back-to-school supplies for about 100 children, and toy giving at Christmas for children at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital. Members also raise funds to support Miami Lighthouse for the Blind and Florida Lions Eye Bank that provide eye surgeries for residents who cannot afford them.

Advertising and sponsorships from $75-$500 are still available. Visit for more. If you have questions, contact Daniel I. Pedreira at 786-252-3928 or and Cathy Triana at 305-338-7620 or

If you have news for this column, send it to Christina Mayo at

If you have news for this column, please send it to Christina Mayo at