Op-Ed

Creative Time Summit will explore art’s ability to transform our world

Miami artist Antonia Wright, in a scene from her film “Are You OK?” It will be screened at the Creative Time Summit at PAMM.
Miami artist Antonia Wright, in a scene from her film “Are You OK?” It will be screened at the Creative Time Summit at PAMM.

For the first time in its 11 years, the Creative Time Summit, the world’s premier conference at the intersection of art and politics, will convene in Miami from Nov. 2-3 at the Adrienne Arsht Center, Perez Art Museum Miami, Little Haiti Cultural Complex and other venues.

This international platform for socially engaged art not only will consider topics of relevance to Miami, but that also were generated by Miami. For instance, sea level rise and borderlessness will be highlighted by Miami’s unique positioning as the major U.S. mainland link to the Caribbean and Latin America, and as a place particularly vulnerable to climate change.

Miami is Ground Zero for these important topics and also provides global models for how to approach them.

The summit is a key program of Creative Time, the adventurous public art commissioning organization with more than 40 years of groundbreaking work in New York and other cities. The Summit has partnered with institutions and cities around the world, including Stockholm, Venice, Washington D.C., Toronto and, this weekend, Miami.

The summit seeks to foster meaningful connections among a growing global community while also highlighting locally driven programming. The event will be live-streamed to more than 100 satellite screening sites hosting live events in cities around the world.

In short, this is an important moment and an opportunity for cultural growth beyond what, how and where Miami is understood in the world.

Building on many years of rich cultural production, the Creative Time Summit can do something that individual institutions here cannot — form coalition. To echo the main theme of this year’s event, the ability to gather across silos and engage a diverse range of artists, thinkers, cross-disciplinary specialists and cultural practitioners is an extraordinary opportunity. And those from Miami will be front and center.

Carol Damian, former director of the Frost Art Museum, will discuss “Facing climate realities, reimagining a green future.” Miami-based artist Onajide Shabaka will lead a session in the hardwood hammock of Simpson Park with FIU professor Fereshteh Toosi, part of “Constellations: Deep Mapping Miami’s Past, Present, and Future.”

Antonia Wright, another Miami will screen her 2014 film “Are you OK?” as part of the Creative Time Summit’s inaugural film series in Soundscape Park, in relation to the theme of resisting displacement and violence. This will be explored further in the session “Our Long Term Goals: Creative Practitioners in their Communities,” led by Marie Vickles and William Cordova at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex.

“On Boundaries and a Borderless Future” presented by Miami’s Rosie Gordon-Wallace of Diaspora Vibe Cultural Incubator, and “Creating/Living in a Transnational Art Community” with Alix Pierre, Ph.D., will be discussed in “The Global Caribbean” breakout session led by celebrated Miami artist Edouard Duval-Carrié, in which participants are welcomed to his studio.

As a former Creative Time intern and part of the New York-based Summit, “Living as Form,” I am pleased to be a part of co-presenting the Summit in Miami, my adopted subtropical city, on behalf of Art in Public Places of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs.

In many ways, our organizations share both a four-decade-long history and goals: supporting artists, fostering a thriving cultural ecosystem; speaking truth to power, listening to our community and learning from new voices. I am touched by the brave and generous spirit of our leadership at Cultural Affairs and by the embrace of the people and institutions that have contributed to making the Summit a reality, including the John. S. and James L. Knight Foundation’s leading support through the Knight Arts Challenge.

We are overwhelmed by the generative, productive and creative energy swirling around the Miami Summit, and extend a warm invitation to join.

Amanda Sanfilippo is curator and artist manager for Art in Public Places, Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. To register to attend the Creative Time Summit, go to creativetime.org/summit/miami-2018/

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