Art and industry collide as Art Republic 2018, a communal celebration of public art changes the face of downtown Jacksonville again. Art Republic is known for infusing the city with bold outdoor murals that define an area’s character. Exhibitions, which are curated by industry experts, showcase the top artists in their field of expertise to create a sense of place, spark global conversations, and inspire community engagement.
Muralists for the 2018 collection include 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark, Datastorm, Golden, Sipros and NEAN. Murals will be installed at various locations throughout the Downtown Core from November 1st-11th. This year, Art Republic also will include partnerships with the leading international digital and video artists to demonstrate the shared capacity for affecting change.
In the spirit of walking down different streets, Jacksonville-based photographers Toni Smailagic and Khalil Osborne created captivating photographs of Eyes Wide Open, the photography exhibition on November 2nd in Springfield. The exhibition serves as a portal into the eyes, perspectives and experiences of the city’s diverse population based on cultures, race, ethnicities, age and religions. The opening event featuring art, music, live performances, light installations, cocktails and food is free to the public.
An immersive digital art exhibition created by one of the industry’s premiere digital artists will open November 10th at the Prime Osborn Convention Center. “Reometry” by REO is a full-sensory show designed to challenge perceptions of the surrounding world in the present. REO bridges the gap between high art and technology using music and digital art, taking you into an experience designed to change the way you see the world. REO has developed graphic design, animations and video projections for such high-profile businesses as Nike, Spotify, Aprite, Adidas and Veuve Clicquot and big-name clientele from Beyonce to Bruno Mars. Having just completed visuals for Travis Scott’s VMA performance and the iconic, On The Run II Tour of Jay Z and Beyoncé, REO is heartily welcomed back to Jacksonville for his first solo digital art show. The opening of “Reometry” is a ticketed event that includes music, hors d’oeuvres and an open bar.
REOMETRY Digital Art Show by REO TOMORROW! 7PM at the Prime Osborn Convention Center, only a few tickets left, get yours now!https://artrepublicglobal.com/product/reometry/ *this video is a part 1/2 stay tuned to our page to learn about REO’s mission as an artist tomorrow! Video by Eriden Images
Art can illustrate the importance of passion, leadership, human potential. It also serves as a form of self-maintenance and an escape from the drudgery of daily life. Art Republic invites us to view the world from a broader, inspired perspective. Join in the movement, and get more information at www.artrepublicglobal.com.
Muralists design outdoor collections that allow the public to experience what living with art can do to nourish their soul daily. This year’s featured muralists include: 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark,
Muralists design outdoor collections that allow the public to experience what living with art can do to nourish their soul daily. This year’s featured muralists include: 2Alas, Pastel, Chris Clark, Datastorm, Golden, Sipros, and NEAN.These murals will be installed in various locations around downtown Jacksonville from November 1st – November 11th, 2018.
A Jacksonville business owner is making it easier to shop local this holiday season. Emily Moody-Rosete, who operates the downtown Wolf & Cub boutique on Laura Street, is bringing a pop-up storefront to the space formerly occupied by La Cena restaurant. Located at 211 North Laura Street, Duval Mercantile will grace the historic Elks Building.
Duval Mercantile will celebrate its grand opening November 7th during Artwalk and will remain open through the month of December. As the former owner the live music venue Underbelly in the downtown core and Anomaly in the Five Points neighborhood, Emily Moody-Rosete knows how to create a buzz. She’s hoping to energize Downtown with a concept that will bring together artists and makers in a shared space and inspire shoppers to curate an interesting and eclectic list of locally produced goods this holiday season.
Vendors like Congaree and Penn and Jax Brothel will be among those to stock such items as local gourmet foods and sundries, candles, pottery, and vegan bath products. There are no plans to update the interior space with a major build out save for adding a couple coolers to refrigerate necessary items. “Because its a pop-up, we didn’t want to spend a ton of money making it real pretty,” she says. “It’s going to compliment Wolf & Cub but still have its own vibe, too.”
While the concept is designed to give local makers a dedicated space to showcase and sell their goods, Moody-Rosete is also hoping to increase Downtown’s accessibility to retailers in an area plagued by more empty storefronts than established businesses.
“Being Downtown now for a few years, I hear on a daily basis from clients coming in and people traveling through, tours actually coming through to visit the city. It’s embarrassing to hardly have any retail Downtown, so people walk in my shop and ask what else is there to do down here, and I give them a little run down. There’s lots of places to eat and drink, but there’s not a lot of retail,” says Emily Moody-Rosete.
“That’s unfortunate, but the city doesn’t really encourage the nurturing of small business. They’re more into the multi-million dollar projects, which I get too, but, at the end of the day, the small guys are the ones who are creating the culture and the feel for a district.”
“That’s unfortunate, but the city doesn’t really encourage the nurturing of small business. They’re more into the multi-million dollar projects, which I get too, but, at the end of the day, the small guys are the ones who are creating the culture and the feel for a district. That’s what I seek out. When I travel, I go to all the cool little local businesses, and that’s how I get the feel for a city. That’s where Duval Mercantile comes in.”
Emily and Varick Rosete based the model for Duval Mercantile on their early experiences with Wolf & Cub, which they initially operated at such venues as Jaxsons Night Market and Artwalk. The couple expanded the business and opened a pop-up shop in Riverside’s Brooklyn Station during the 2015 holiday season. The success of that venture led to a permanent storefront the following year. If Duval Mercantile does well, it could become a regular fixture and establish a business model to encourage more retailers to follow suit.
“We’re just trying to make it work for a few months. If it sticks, then we’ll visit maybe signing a lease there, maybe finding a different spot. Who knows. We’re just taking it day by day for now,” she says, “I’m an optimist so I hope that it is possible. Is it possible in a time frame that I feel is reasonable? Maybe not necessarily. That’s why we just kind of took things into our own hands. We don’t have time to wait around for the city to recognize us. We just have to make it happen. Hopefully it’s that ‘if you build it, they will come’ kind of thing.”
For decades, Miami has been an international tourist destination, known for its lavish nightlife and decadent beach lifestyles. Yet lately, in popular imagination, its reputation as a perennial, sunny playground of the rich and fabulous is preceded by predictions of its imminent drowning. Therefore, it is not so surprising that Miami has joined a coalition of the willing with other major US cities to do what they can to counter the Trump administration’s belligerence towards curbing climate change. President Trump’s departure from the Paris Climate Accords has only accelerated this trend and cities are increasingly taking climate policy into their own hands.
The Greater Miami area is the 8th largest metropolitan area in the US, home to over 6 million people and of course, President Trump’s Mar-a-Lago vacation home. The South Florida region is expected to see water rise 6-10in above 1992 levels by 2030, and 31-61in by 2100.Despite these predictions, the city continues to grow, attracting Latin American immigrantsand American retirees looking for golf courses, beachfront condos, and year-long sunshine. The South Florida region has grown around 8% in the past five years. Having both a rising population and sea level puts Miami in the rather unique position of having to curb their emissions that contribute to climate change (mitigation) and protecting itself against the brutal realities of climate change (adaptation).
Combating an Existential Crisis
“We turn on the computer, and there’s five stories a day about how Miami is underwater, but you know, we’re not underwater yet!” said James Murley, the Chief Resilience Officer of Miami-Dade County. For officials like Murley, the fight against climate change is very, very real. He works on the county level, which is made up of the City of Miami, Miami Beach and several other municipalities. Murley was the first to be appointed to this position in 2015, which was created by the Mayor of Miami-Dade County, Carlos Gimenez, a moderate Republican who supported Clinton in the 2016 Presidential election. Yet the work on climate in the Miami area has been a decades-long process.
“From 1991 we started looking at greenhouse gas reduction goals,” said Murley. “That’s been merged with activity around energy efficiency and conservation, resulting in a mixture of goals. By the middle of the 2000s, we were moving into adaptation on the issue of sea-level rise. That ended up enhancing the [Office of Resilience] and creating my position.”
To understand such abysmal rates of renewables for a state known as the ‘Sunshine State,’ it’s helpful to look at the state leadership. Current Governor and candidate for Senate, Rick Scott became internationally renowned for banning the term ‘climate change’ from all official communications. Florida Senator Marco Rubio also made waves while campaigning for the Republican Presidential nomination for saying, “I do not believe that human activity is causing these dramatic changes to our climate the way these scientists are portraying it.“ The fact that two climate deniers are in two of the most powerful roles in the state, both of whom Miami must rely on for both state and federal funds, highlights the significance of the city’s independent climate efforts.
This was clearly shown in the 2017 November elections, when the city of Miami passed a referendum for a new climate change adaptation project called ‘Miami Forever.’ This was a project spearheaded by former Republican Mayor of Miami, Tomás Regalado, who repeatedly reaffirmed the city’s commitment to adapting and mitigating climate change, despite his party’s strong reluctance to act on climate. This project allocates $400 million to resilience projects that address rising sea levels and increasing housing costs.
Getting By With a Little Help from Their Friends
Despite President Trump’s exit of the Paris Accords, many cities in America are a part of climate-focused international coalitions. For instance, Miami-Dade County works with the Rockefeller Foundation as a part of the 100 Resilient Cities coalition as well as ICLEI (Local Governments for Sustainability) and the Compact of Mayors, which along with the 100 Resilient Cities group, have several European members. These initiatives focus on getting cities to set reduction targets and reporting on their progress. Subnational groups such as these help keep American cities relevant on the international stage and formalize the dissent of metropolitan areas over the Trump administration’s climate policies.
“In 2016 Greater Miami and the Beaches became a member of 100 Resilient Cities, a network which also includes the Dutch city of Rotterdam and the American city of New Orleans, but also partners like Arcadis, Deltares, and the Nature Conservancy,” said Esther van Geloven, the Senior Commercial Officer of the Consulate General of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
“This network helps cities around the world become more resilient to the physical, social and economic challenges. Please note that this cooperation is broader than just climate. Rotterdam values this collaboration highly, including their exchange with New Orleans. Collaboration between cities with similar resilience challenge(s) is valuable to both sides, e.g. Rotterdam and Greater Miami and the Beaches as to ‘Coastal/Tidal Flooding’.”
In addition to cooperation through these vehicles, Miami is home to consulate general offices of nearly all European countries. This not only reflects the international dimension of the city in general, it also helps facilitate cooperation with the city and their more progressive European allies on climate. For example, in 2017, former Miami Beach Mayor Levine was awarded the French legion of honor for his work on climate. The French Consulate hosted several events in the city before the COP21 and other European consulates have also participated in events on climate including the Netherlands and Germany.
‘In the Netherlands, the Dutch learned not to fight water, but to live with it. And that’s what South Florida will have to learn to do, in its own way’
“The Dutch hope that best practices from the Netherlands inspire regions like South Florida, when dealing with their climate challenges,” said van Geloven. “Context and local expertise is crucial as every region is different, so solutions might need to be adapted to the local situation or new practices might need to be developed. However, the Dutch are always willing to work alongside with local experts to help make South Florida resilient and climate-proof. As Henk Ovink, Special Envoy for International Water Affairs for the Kingdom of the Netherlands, said when he visited South Florida: ‘In the Netherlands, the Dutch learned not to fight water, but to live with it. And that’s what South Florida will have to learn to do, in its own way’.”
Miami even serves as a useful starting point for Europeans for the world of Latin America. Beyond mitigation and adaptation work, there is also the increasingly necessary task of extreme weather disaster relief which Miami is also playing a role in. The previous hurricane season was tragic for many Caribbean nations, many of which were former European colonies. “They got hit really hard this season by the hurricanes,” said Murley. “Much worse than the Florida peninsula did. You see a lot of relief activities going through Miami on its way to the islands from European countries. We get very involved and its a good relationship.”
The Dutch island of St. Maarten was one of those that was badly hit by Hurricane Irma last year. While the Dutch Navy brought supplies and aid there, they also aided the island of Dominica as well. In addition to hurricane response efforts, they have also played a role in hurricane preparedness. “Experts from the Netherlands have met with the National Hurricane Center, but also with the Emergency Directors of the State of Florida, South Florida Water Management District, Miami Dade County, and the City of Miami Beach several times over the years, to exchange lessons learned and even handbooks,” said van Geloven. “The National Hurricane Center works closely together with the Dutch Caribbean Islands, providing training on the islands prior to hurricane season, and useful information throughout the year.”
Miami is just one example, albeit perhaps the one with the highest motivation, of an American city who is going in their own direction on climate and trying to do their part to mitigate the Trump-climate effect. Jacksonville should take note from their southern neighbors. Hurricane Irma was a tragic reminder of the devastation caused by extreme weather events, which will only increase as climate change intensifies. All of Florida is particularly vulnerable to climate change, and time is not on our side. How Jacksonvillians decide to use that time, is a decision we can all make in our daily lives and perhaps more importantly, the voting booth.
Cultural organizations and artists are poised to assist the City as they address their social priorities, including: Public Safety, Economic Development, Neighborhood Development, Youth Engagement, and Health and Wellness. The work of cultural organizations and artists expand far beyond just our sector. We have to dismantle the misconception that arts and culture exist in a silo and instead provide examples of how art and culture are woven into the fabric of every day life.
In 2017, the U.S. News and World Report noted, “Jacksonville is growing. The region witnessed an ignition of the arts and music scene, stimulating business development that has led to demand for a higher standard of living. As a result, Jacksonville is undergoing an economic boom.” Over the past five years, Jacksonville has experienced an average population growth of 1.46%, or 7,759 new residents each year.
10 reasons to support the arts, per Americans for the Arts
1) Arts improve individual well-being. 63 percent of the population believe the arts “lift me up beyond everyday experiences,” 64 percent feel the arts give them “pure pleasure to experience and participate in,” and 73 percent say the arts are a “positive experience in a troubled world.”
2) Arts unify communities. 67 percent of Americans believe “the arts unify our communities regardless of age, race, and ethnicity” and 62 percent agree that the arts “help me understand other cultures better”—a perspective observed across all demographic and economic categories.
3) Arts improve academic performance. Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs and standardized test scores, and lower drop-out rates. The Department of Education reports that access to arts education for students of color is significantly lower than for their white peers, and has declined for three decades. Yet, research shows that low socio-economic-status students have even greater increases in academic performance, college-going rates, college grades, and holding jobs with a future. 88 percent of Americans believe that arts are part of a well-rounded K-12 education.
4) Arts strengthen the economy. The arts and culture sector is a $730 billion industry, which represents 4.2 percent of the nation’s GDP—a larger share of the economy than transportation, tourism, and agriculture (U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis). The nonprofit arts industry alone generates $135 billion in economic activity annually (spending by organizations and their audiences), which supports 4.1 million jobs and generates $22.3 billion in government revenue.
5) Arts are good for local businesses. Attendees at nonprofit arts events spend $24.60 per person, per event, beyond the cost of admission on items such as meals, parking, and babysitters—valuable revenue for local commerce and the community. Attendees who live outside the county in which the arts event takes place spend twice as much as their local counterparts ($39.96 vs. $17.42).
6) Arts drive tourism. Arts travelers are ideal tourists, staying longer and spending more to seek out authentic cultural experiences. Arts destinations grow the economy by attracting foreign visitor spending. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports that, between 2003-2015, the percentage of international travelers including “art gallery and museum visits” on their trip grew from 17 to 29 percent, and the share attending “concerts, plays, and musicals” increased from 13 to 16 percent.
7) Arts are an export industry. The arts and culture industries had a $30 billion international trade surplus in 2014, according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis. U.S. exports of arts goods (e.g., movies, paintings, jewelry) exceeded $60 billion.
8) Arts spark creativity and innovation. Creativity is among the top 5 applied skills sought by business leaders—with 72 percent saying creativity is of high importance when hiring. The Conference Board’s Ready to Innovate report concludes, “The arts—music, creative writing, drawing, dance—provide skills sought by employers of the 3rd millennium.” Research on creativity shows that Nobel laureates in the sciences are 17 times more likely to be actively engaged in the arts than other scientists.
9) Arts improve healthcare. Nearly one-half of the nation’s healthcare institutions provide arts programming for patients, families, and even staff. 78 percent deliver these programs because of their healing benefits to patients—shorter hospital stays, better pain management, and less medication.
10) Arts and healing in the military. The arts are part of the military continuum—promoting readiness during pre-deployment as well as aiding in the successful reintegration and adjustment of Veterans and military families into community life. Service members and Veterans rank art therapies in the top 4 (out of 40) interventions and treatments.
CULTURE IN JACKSONVILLE
In 1990, the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville was designated by the City of Jacksonville as the official re-granting agency for arts and cultural organizations in Duval County. The agency receives funding through the City as budget line item “PSG-Cultural Council.”
Despite this growth, funding for our sector has remained flat since fiscal year 2013-2014; and declined from over a decade ago with peak funding in 2002-2003.
While funding has remained flat, eligible non-profit cultural organizations applying for funds has increased. In fiscal year 2013-2014 there were 21 organizations that received funding. For fiscal year 2018-2019 there are 27 eligible organizations that have applied for funding. This means that organizations are being awarded smaller amounts, which negatively impacts their ability to serve their missions. Compound this with the fact that the State’s budget cut funding for arts and culture by 90%.
Below is a list of arts and cultural organizations who currently benefit from City funding for arts and culture, which is administered through the Cultural Service Grant Program.
Though funding has remained flat since 2013-2014, the list of eligible organizations applying for funding continues to grow. For fiscal year 18-19, 27 eligible organizations have applied for funding through the Cultural Service Grant Program.
This August, The Florida Theatre conducted an electronic survey. Of the 1,143 respondents, 90% support public funding for the arts, while 87% support increased public funding for the arts.
The next step in advocacy is to appeal to City Council and the Finance Committee. There is a special Finance Committee meeting scheduled for Thursday, August 16 that will specifically review all PSG budget items. Additionally, the Finance Committee meets on the first and third Tuesday of every month at 9:00 AM in City Hall. These meetings are open to the public. Between now and September, the Finance Committee will formulate their 2018-2019 budget recommendations to present to all of City Council.
If you’ve ever dreamed of beachfront living with a swim-up bar, 40-foot waterslides, and unique restaurants and entertainment all in your backyard, you just might be in luck.
Crews completed the process of filling in the crystal-clear Beachwalk Lagoon in northern St. Johns County on Monday, July 23, 2018. The 14-acre lagoon contains 37 million gallons of water and will serve as the anchor for the Beachwalk development off CR-210. Developer John Kinsey tossed a ceremonial final bucket of water into the lagoon where residents will soon enjoy swimming, kayaking, paddleboarding or relaxing along the 100-foot wide white quartz beach. Kinsey hopes future residents will be swimming in the lagoon by late August or early September of this year.
Several model homes stand in the busy construction zone, casting a vision for what this coastal master planned community dreams to achieve. The development will host approximately 800 homes ranging from the high $300,000 to more than $800,000 as well as a 348-unit apartment complex.
The lagoon’s south shore will host an upscale shopping plaza bustling with dining, shopping, and entertainment. There’s room for a grocery store, office space, and even plans for a 12-14 screen movie theater. Kinsey’s goal is to create a “totally unique lifestyle” at Beachwalk, “Everything you see in this community will be new and different from what you might see in older communities.” The location couldn’t be better either. Just south of Jacksonville, Beachwalk is a short hop from NE Florida’s historic and cultural attractions and music and sporting events. “It’s 90 seconds from I-95, 60 seconds off of US-1,” Kinsey says.
When asked how he came up for the idea of Beachwalk, the amiable developer laughs. “I’m just crazy,” he jokes. Kinsey’s company has owned the 1200 acre property for over a decade and has witnessed St. Johns County’s astronomical growth. CR-210 is jam-packed with housing developments. St. Johns County ranks consistently as the #1 county to live in Florida and is the 18th fastest-growing county in the nation. This population boom shows no signs of slowing down soon. Kinsey knew that if he wanted to succeed, he would have to get creative, “We said, let’s create a community that is going to be a higher-end experience with the most unique amenity you could do.”
When Kinsey learned about Crystal Lagoons, a Chile based company with US headquarters in Miami, he thought he might be on to something. Crystal Lagoons promises crystalline, manmade lagoons with the ability to transform any piece of land into a beachfront attraction. Crystal Lagoons use 100 times less chemicals than conventional swimming pools and only 2% of the energy used by conventional swimming pool filtration systems. The clean, turquoise water makes for a year-round playground. “If done right, this technology has the potential to be a complete game changer,” Kinsey says.
“There’s no sea weed. There’s no sea lice, no sharks. There’s no Portuguese Man of War. The staff will know you and your kids and it’s a short walk from your house.”
In addition to beachside living, the approximately 20,000 sq. ft. Member’s Only Beach Club will host a restaurant and swim-up bar, large fitness center, multi-purpose room, heated pool, six Har-Tru tennis courts, sand volleyball courts, a playground, kayak and paddleboard rentals, waterslides, and an 18-hole putt-putt golf course.
To his skeptics, Kinsey says, “Here it is!”
“We’re the first ones doing something quite like this and there have been bumps in the road,” he admits, “But the lagoon and beachfront have come together exactly like we hoped it would.”
The Caribbean inspired architecture and laid-back opulence don’t come cheap, though Kinsey points out that prices are similar to other master planned communities in the area.
Residents can enjoy the resort lifestyle every day. Shopping, entertainment, and dining will be open to all. In a county where state-of-the-art amenity centers are par for the course, a crystalline lagoon just may turn heads. North Floridians are curiously watching John Kinsey’s wild dream come to fruition.