Letters to the Editor

Beyond Art Basel

Art Basel has done it again! It has captivated the world of art, culture, fashion, design, music, and our world — Miami!

However, an important concept is often overlooked during this time when the glitterati and those who are part of the art and design world visit our home for Art Basel.

I’m talking about education. Art Basel is a unique and truly excellent opportunity to expand, promote and support the arts in our schools.

During this year’s Art Basel, we saw a powerful example of what can be done for our community with the support shown by local and international artists toward Jose de Diego Middle School in the Wynwood Arts District. Like many other schools in Miami, Jose de Diego Middle School has suffered budgetary cuts to art and music programs.

Through the Wynwood Arts District Association, the Re-imagining the Arts in Wynwood (R.A.W.) Project teamed with the school in collaboration with the Bakehouse Arts Complex, bringing over 30 local and international artists to transform the white walls of the school into a canvas for creative expression. Students, teachers, residents, and parents of the school were invited to witness, embrace, and imagine the power art can have in impacting one’s community and more importantly, our children’s future.

We need more of this. As our communities open up for display and enjoyment, it behooves us to capture this energy and ignite the creative spark for our children, many of whom are, unfortunately, not exposed to the magnificent art that is around us during Art Basel.

Art Basel is the opportunity to elevate art of all kinds in our schools. We, the residents and stakeholders of Miami, need to support these initiatives and ask the same of all our visitors who make Art Basel Miami a truly world-class event.

Alfonso “Alfie” Leon III, Miami