Building Imagination

The arts are good for us. It improves connections within and between neighborhoods. It animates public spaces. It serves as both an invitation and a safe place. It mobilizes communities and turns neighborhoods into places of interest to their residents.

In the communities in which we work, Rural Neighborhoods’ invests in art in public places and arts training to help neighborhoods and individuals tell their stories.

Art in Public Places

Buildings without art and architectural features are just plain boxes. Our murals, sculptures and building designs reflect the talent of well-known and respected local artists and architects. From painter Stephen Bauman’s collection of murals at Everglades Village, Nicholas Nehaniv’s kinetic sculpture at Cypress Cove to documentarian Ted Hoffman’s photographs at our Gallery @ Pollywog Creek Commons, artwork instills a sense of place for neighborhood residents. It creates value in the form of physical amenities and the quality of the built environment.

Artists represented in our arts in public places installations include:

  • Roman Andrade
  • Stephen Bauman
  • Rosemary Covey
  • Steven Forster
  • Ted Hoffman
  • Brenda Kurz
  • Roney Mateu
  • John Moses
  • Nicholas Nehaniv

Arts Training

New York-based Artists Striving to End Poverty (ASTEP) and local partner enFamilia join Rural Neighborhoods in offering arts training to 100 at-risk youth at Everglades Village. Through our summer arts programming, we bring together a diverse group of middle- and high school students from across south Miami-Dade to collaborate with one another through hands-on performance and visual arts. Taught by students from our nation’s best arts schools, the summer program strengthens language development, develops critical thinking skills, promotes literacy and improves learning outcomes overall. We believe the arts enhance participants’ self-esteem as they learn new skills, find undiscovered talents and receive positive recognition from peers and others when they perform or exhibit their work.

Robert Jensen Learning Center and Stage

Arts events are a source of pride for neighborhood residents (performers and non-performers alike). Music, theater, spoken word and dance increase a sense of connection to the community. In 2014, Rural Neighborhoods breaks ground on the Robert Jensen Learning Center and Stage, a 5,800 square foot building located in Everglades Village and its Cinco de Mayo Park. The open air stage and lawn seating will feature local performances. Indoor classrooms will host after-school tutorial and enrichment activities.