Opa-locka Community Development Corporation's Community Paint Day Turns Main Avenue Into "Art" Using Paint

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Artist Walter Hood leads volunteers in one of the largest community transformations in Miami-Dade

A revolutionary community event is taking place on Saturday, April 18, 2015, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., starting at 675 Ali Baba Avenue in Opa-locka. With the help of more than 200 volunteers organized by Miami Rise, the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) under the guidance of renowned artist and landscape architect Walter Hood, will transform a main corridor from a barren, uninviting stretch of asphalt into a vibrant corridor featuring colorful geometric patterns. The project, Site/Cite, is the first phase of Hood’s vision for Opa-locka, and is a major part of the dramatic changes in one of Miami’s most iconic and storied neighborhoods.

The OLCDC and Miami Rise are inviting art enthusiasts, volunteers, and those with an interest in sustainable development to participate in the reimagining of Ali Baba Avenue during the Community Paint Day. Materials including paint, brushes, a T-shirt and meals will be provided to hundreds of people participating in painting the avenue, surrounding sidewalks and street furniture, during one of the largest and most iconic participatory public art displays in South Florida.

“We are grateful to be working with Miami Rise, a team from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s Leadership Miami Program, who have joined us in transforming the city of Opa-locka,” said OLCDC President and CEO Willie Logan, Ph.D. “This project is not only meant to beautify the area, but also to highlight the barriers we place in our community and to make our streets more walkable and our neighborhoods more livable.”

The transformation of Ali Baba Avenue takes place in two phases: the series of Community Paint Days and phase 2, Oasis/Oases, which addresses the long-term physical development of street infrastructure by capturing storm water to nurture a series of landscaped places or oases providing shade, which encourage pedestrian and community activity. “There will be significant infrastructure changes to make these enhancements permanent and sustainable. Hood’s design will help make Ali Baba Avenue an oasis where residents will be able to enjoy walking or relaxing,” said Logan.

Miami Rise Member George Abbott leads a group of Miami’s young talent, supporting the project in Opa-locka. “What attracted us to this project was the truly innovative approach to urban planning in a community that needs to see that people across Miami-Dade County care deeply about Opa-locka.”

The OLCDC has spent the past 34 years working to improve the quality of life in North Miami-Dade and is working to help transform the greater Opa-locka community. These gateway/ landmark projects will create distinctive images for the city and serve as platforms for civic and cultural discourse. The public art projects will enhance the civic realm, providing a sense of character and rendering the place memorable. More information, including a video about the event can be found online at http://www.olcdc.org/news.php. Volunteers can register at http://www.eventbrite.com/e/miami-rise-paint-day-tickets-16088471050.

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) was established in November 1980 as a nonprofit community development corporation in order to address the distressed unemployment conditions, particularly in the Opa-locka and North Dade County, Florida, communities. Its primary mission is to transform neighborhoods by capitalizing on community assets, empowering residents and creating community and economic initiatives that serve as a catalyst in promoting sustainable development. For more information about OLCDC, please visit http://www.olcdc.org.

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Sophia Fiat
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