Graffiti artwork of a woman with her eyes closed.
Events | 03/30/21

Zen and the Art of Wynwood

Join for a conversation about the re-emergence of WYNWOOD, one of Miami’s historic neighborhoods. Hear stories about its rich immigrant history and a contemporary vision for excellence that…

Story by: The Betsy - South Beach

Join for a conversation about the re-emergence of WYNWOOD, one of Miami’s historic neighborhoods. Hear stories about its rich immigrant history and a contemporary vision for excellence that includes the creation of a new university campus for Florida International University called FIU | CARTA Mana Wynwood. 

Guest presenters at this event include: Ray Elman, Founding Editor of Inspicio Magazine, John Stuart, Associate Dean for Community Engagement at FIorida International University and Alan Ket, Founder and Director, Museum of Graffiti in Wynwood.

john  betsy  betsy

The Miami Herald wrote, Wynwood is a local arts mecca and one of Miami’s hippest neighborhoods - and was once known as the “golden gate” for Hispanic immigrants. A melting pot of Puerto Ricans, Cubans, Haitians, African-Americans, Nicaraguans and Dominicans that had been crippled by a bad image and a deteriorating economy. In the 1950s, Wynwood was home to non-Hispanic white professionals and several factories including Coca-Cola and Garrett Construction. Jobs were plentiful. In the 1960s came Interstate 95, an addition often associated with the slow pattern of deterioration in this community . It was followed by an exodus of the middle class. During the 1970s, Wynwood’s garment district thrived as one of Miami’s most popular tourist attractions, drawing thousands of shoppers — many from South America. But problems with Latin economies, burgeoning crime, and riots of the 1980s took a toll on business. 

In recent years, Wynwood has become a bustling, mixed-use, art and innovation mecca, with one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world created in 2009 by developer Tony Goldman. Rather than paint over the graffiti that filled vacant community spaces, Goldman jumpstarted Wynwood’s growth by commissioning graffiti artists to create new works on the outside walls of vacant buildings in a project that continues to this day, and has garnered global attention, called Wynwood Walls. 

Wynwood’s recent growth now also includes a campus of Florida International University, poised to position the institution as a community anchor called: FIU | CARTA Mana Wynwood, with this mission: to drive the 21st century’s information, innovation, and cultural economy in South Florida and beyond. FIU is one of the largest minority-serving universities, and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the USA and graduates more Hispanic students than any other university in the continental USA. 

Wynwood is located due north of downtown Miami, and is bounded by I-195 (North), 20th Street (South), I-95 (East), and the Florida East Coast Railway (West).

Other Articles You May Enjoy

The Betsy patio at night with a vintage Betsy Ross sign

Six Spots for Night Photography on Ocean Drive

The Betsy Hotel recently had photographer Ryan Connor, Creative Director at Shot By Ghxst, stay at the hotel, capturing Ocean Drive in all its nighttime glory.

Read More
July 8, 2021
A graphic that reads, Juneteenth At the Betsy Hotel

Zen and the Art of Juneteenth

Zen and the Art of Juneteenth is a community conversation on the meaning of Juneteenth.

Read More
June 28, 2021
Five headshots of two men and three women.

Zen and the Art of Vona Voices

This event features four writers affiliated with VOICES OF OUR NATION ARTS FOUNDATION - VONA - the only multi-genre workshop for writers of color in the world.

Read More
June 22, 2021