Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator and Diaspora Vibe Gallery:
Organizational History: 1996 to Present
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc. (DVCAI) became a Florida not-for-profit organization in 2002 and was granted its federal not-for-profit status under Section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code in 2003. Its mission is to promote, nurture, and cultivate the vision and diverse talents of emerging artists from the Latin and Caribbean Diaspora through the artists-in-residence program, international exchanges and community and youth education activities that celebrate Miami-Dade County’s rich cultural and social fabric. While awaiting its not-for-profit incorporation and status approvals, Diaspora Vibe began fulfilling its not-for-profit mission from 1996 to 2003 through its Caribbean Crossroads Series programs, artists-in-residence programs, youth/intern programs, and International Cultural Arts Exchange Series programs under the auspices of Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Inc. (DVG) with cultural arts fiscal agent assistance Cultural Development Group, Inc. in Miami-Dade County.
First beginning at the Morningside home of Founder/Curator Rosie Gordon-Wallace as a meeting place for cultural arts enthusiasts and emerging artists, the Diaspora Vibe programs later moved to The Bakehouse Arts Complex in Wynwood. From December of 2002 until December 2010 DVG mainly resided in Miami’s Design District in partially-donated space from DACRA. We say “mainly resided” because Diaspora Vibe has been sought not only by other South Florida community organizations, but also by regional, state, national and international organizations to bring its unique open forum format and cross-cultural skills to significant collaborative efforts. For example since January 2002, the Diaspora Vibe programs, curators and artists have collaborated in well over 300 educational, governmental, tourism, cultural arts, business, and international exhibitions, events, presentations, exchanges, seminars and workshops throughout South Florida and the Caribbean, as well as in New York, Paris, and Switzerland, in addition to its ongoing Caribbean Crossroads Series exhibitions/events held monthly in Miami. In January of 2011, we entered the social and virtual realm, becoming Diaspora Vibe Virtual Gallery (DVVG). We will present a minimum of three brick and mortar exhibits throughout each year in addition to our International Cultural Exchange (ICE). These exhibits will be a collaboration with various businesses around the Miami-Dade area, bringing together artists and the local community.
Based in Miami, Diaspora Vibe is Miami’s leading Caribbean art gallery, providing contemporary emerging artists with a venue to explore and experiment with new forms and themes that challenge traditional definitions of Caribbean and Latin American art. We are guided by the conviction that contemporary art is a vital social force that extends beyond the art world and into the broader culture. Our purpose is to engage diverse audiences ranging from arts professionals to those less familiar with contemporary art. Diaspora Vibe’s programming includes 1) the Exhibitions Program including the Caribbean Crossroads Series and «The Off the Wall Experimental Lab Series»; 2) the International Cultural Exchange Series; and 3) Education and Outreach programming including the Artists-in-Residence program.
Cultures/Countries/Backgrounds represented by Diaspora Vibe artists include African American, American, Aruba, Argentina, Asian American, Bahamas, Barbados, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Cuba, Ecuador, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Finland, France, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Netherlands Antilles, Peru, Puerto Rico, St. Croix, Suriname, and Trinidad & Tobago, and China. Ages of the CCS artists range from 17 to 76. Interns and youth participants have included local middle school, high school and college students from Booker T. Washington, Turner Tech, D.A.S.H., New World School for the Arts, Parsons Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, the University of the West Indies, and the Edna Manley School of the Visual Arts.
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc. has a multi-cultural board of 10 volunteer members. Diaspora Vibe Gallery, Inc. has 1 full-time curator and 3 visual artists-in-residence and 1 spoken-word artist-in-residence. Diaspora Vibe’s board and volunteers include males and females of African American, Anglo American, Asian American, Bahamian American, Bolivians, Brazilian, Canadian, Cuban, Cuban American, Croatian, Ecuadorians, European Americans, Grenadian, Grenadian American, Haitian, Haitian American, Israeli, Italian American, Jamaican, Jamaican American, Jewish American, Native American, Nigerian, Peruvian, Puerto Rican and Puerto Rican American backgrounds and from a broad variety of religious cultures as well. Board members and volunteers are from business, tourism, educational, art/culture, community relations, journalism and international trade backgrounds and speak a variety of languages.
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) is a virtual multi-disciplinary art space serving as a laboratory for emerging artists of the Caribbean Diaspora and other artists of color, providing them with a contemporary sensibility to explore and experiment with new forms and cultural themes.
DVCAI programs include:
Caribbean Crossroads Series
The Caribbean Crossroads Series (“CCS”) is an ongoing series of community exhibitions and events since 1999. The CCS was created specifically to address the need for new and emerging black and Hispanic artists of Caribbean and Latin American backgrounds to bring their works, talents, and visions to the attention of South Florida’s various cross-cultural communities. From November to April, artists living in Miami-Dade County are provided with workspace and the opportunity to present their works to the public. During this time, artists meet regularly to discuss in-depth aspects of their creative processes and gain valuable assistance from local, regional, and international curators about creating, exhibiting, documenting and marketing their works. From May to October, 30 artists are provided with mini-residencies to create a body of work during the month, then present that body to the public at Final Friday events. (www.diasporavibe.net)
International Cultural Arts Exchange Series
The International Cultural Arts Exchange Series (ICAES) has brought Diaspora Vibe artists to countries including St. Kitts, Dominican Republic, Aruba, Jamaica, Grenada, and Barbados, in an effort to extend the “creative space” beyond Miami. The goal of the ICAES program is to build artistic infrastructure and provide significant professional development for artists, educators, and arts administrators in both Miami and the host community. Since its inception, Diaspora Vibe has taken over seventy-five Caribbean, Latino, and African-American artists abroad for residencies and exhibitions.
Other key components of this unique artist exchange are: Exhibition, studio / gallery visits, artists’ talks, intellectual property protection and licensing, documentation, museum curatorial participation, and career development for the artists. All genres of artworks will be addressed in the discussions, multi-media installations, video, sculpture, print making, photography, ceramics, painting and performance – with the aim to dispel the impression that art from this region is limited to folk styles and traditions. Artists will discuss hyphenated existence, the production of artwork while living in the Diaspora, border communities, creating and documenting generational memory, and documenting the process in Caribbean countries, side by side emerging artists.
Off the Wall/ Experimental Lab
Off the Wall/ Experimental Lab Series is a newly formed two-week interdisciplinary residency in which artists present time-based, out-of-the-box work including performance, video/film screenings, poetry reading, research, sound art, music and workshops. A component of the program includes interacting with the diverse communities of Miami-Dade and engaging the audience in nontraditional ways. Artists are encouraged to activate the neglected space of the gallery and transform the space into a multi-sensory lab. “Off the Wall” provides a forum for 4-D/ new genres art-making and places equal emphasis on the value of the creative process, as well as the finished product.
Education and Outreach
DVCAI intern and artists-in-residence programs place young artists in programs around the globe, building on relationships with curators and administrators at major museums and cultural arts institutions. DVG collaborates with educational institutions such as New World School of the Arts and Design & Architecture Senior High (D.A.S.H.) to provide workshops for students on how to create their own artist’s statements, resumes/biographies, photographs and slides of their works. As interns and artists-in-residence, young artists receive hands-on training involving creating, organizing, curating, hanging, marketing, installing and dismantling exhibits, events and presentations.
Diaweb: Archive and Portal
This program exists online, and is a historical digitalization of all our programs for the past 16 years. It functions as an online programming medium to enhance artists’ critical skills, by providing them with media educational tools. It is the nexus for housing our program documentation within a cohesive archival system. Additionally, Diaweb serves to share the global services we provide for artists to further their careers. (www.diaweb.diasporavibe.net)
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator 501(c)(3)
To promote, nurture and cultivate the vision and diverse talent of emerging artists from the Latin and Caribbean Diaspora through the artists in residence program, international exchanges, community and youth activities that celebrate Miami’s rich cultural and social fabric.
About Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Inc (DVCAI)
Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator (DVCAI) is a local arts organization offering support and exhibition opportunities to Emerging Artists from Latin America and Caribbean Diaspora. Working closely with young artists within the community, DVCAI actively promotes the skills and creative expressions of its artists. We continues to reach into the community at local, national, and international levels, seeking fresh new faces and expanded support. With an expanded exhibition schedule, participating artists look forward to exposure in the coming months as close to home as Fort Lauderdale and as far a field as Paris, France.
With this in mind, we would like to take this opportunity to extend an invitation to visit our site and absorb everything we can offer our artists to enhance and develop their artistic careers. Additionally, you can visitwww.diasporavibe.net to view our programming and diversity, www.diaweb.diasporavibe.net for our archives since Diaspora Vibe’s inception, and www.diasporavibegallery.blogspot.com.
Diaspora Vibe Virtual Gallery
Our new interactive blog site, integrated with the social media of FaceBook, Flickr, Twitter, YouTube, LinkIn, and RSS feeds enables a virtual platform through video, artist access and links. Through the virtual realm, artist access and support will increase.