Longshoremens Mural in Ovetown, Photo by Deon M. Gedeon, Nov. 2022

The Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora Immersive Art Experience Set to Kick-Off Soul Basel at Their Creative Conversation and Celebration on Sunday, November 27, 2022, at the Ward Rooming House in Historic Overtown from 4 pm-7 pm.

The Rich History of The International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1416 in Historic Overtown Provides a Space for the Intersection of Art, Oral Histories, And Technology

Technology has changed the world in many ways. Miami Museum of Contemporary Art of the African Diaspora (Miami MoCAAD) is finding new and inventive ways to combine art, technology, and oral histories for its immersive digital art landscape. Their programming encourages the community to reflect and reimagine through art, history, film, music, and art tech trends. Miami MoCAAD, in collaboration with Hampton Art Lovers, will host a creative conversation and celebration at the Historic Ward Rooming House(249 NW 9th St. Miami, FL 33136) on Sunday, November 27, 2022, 4 pm-7 pm.

Panelists include artists Reginald O’Neal; Anthony “Mojo” Reed II; Donnamarie Baptiste, curator; Torin Ragin, President, International Longshoremen’s Association, Local 1416; Corbin Graves, Miami MoCAAD. The conversation will be moderated by Charlton Copeland, University of Miami Law School Associate Dean of Intellectual Life, grandson of a New Orleans longshoreman, with closing remarks by Marilyn Holifield, Partner, Holland & Knight. Attendees can attend in person or tune into the conversation online at https://bit.ly/MiamiMoCAADSoulBaselKickoff.

The digital art landscape is evolving, including the myriad ways it is produced and viewed. Miami MoCAAD commissioned Overtown native and muralist/artist Reginald O’Neal to create a mural on the side of the union hall building owned by the predominantly Black International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1416 in Historic Overtown. Residents and visitors can scan QR codes and view interviews that tell the history and key contributions ILA Local 1416 has made throughout the community since its founding in 1936. The mural will be unveiled on November 27 as part of the Kickoff Celebration of Soul Basel.

“The ILA Local 1416 is an important part of African American history. It has always been a place where people can find familial support, economic safety, activism, and political organization in the ongoing fight for equity. I’m honored to help tell the story of The International Longshoremen’s Association Local 1416 and incredibly proud of this project,” states Miami MoCAAD curator Donnamarie Baptiste.

Miami MoCAAD to Kick-Off Soul Basel with Creative Conversation and Celebration Event in Historic Overtown
Donnamarie Baptiste | Curator, Cultural and Creative Producer

“Art is a critical piece in sharing knowledge, creating change, and powering progress,” said Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “By telling stories through art, we connect to larger audiences and raise awareness about the most important issues of our time. What Miami MoCAAD is doing by combining art with technology will revolutionize the way we communicate to our community. I cannot wait for the Soul Basel experience honoring the International Longshoremen’s Association. The ideas it will spawn are sure to inspire our residents to reflect on the history of the African diaspora, especially in our county.”

 “For 80-plus years, the ILA has provided brother/sisterhood, mentorship, and structure in the Miami community. As an Overtown native, I have always heard about the Shoremen and passed by their headquarters across from the “Lyric Theater” but never understood what was going on in detail. As I got older and became a muralist, I dreamt of painting the wall on the north side of the building, and I am more than honored that the ILA and Miami MoCAAD are allowing me to do so. In deciding what to paint, I got to know a little more about the Association and what they represent, and in the idea, I attempt to encapsulate that,” states Reginald O’Neal.

“The Southeast Overtown/Park West is excited to unveil the second interactive mural in Historic Overtown. It is fitting that Miami MoCAAD has joined with the ILA 1416 in preserving the history and culture of our community”, states James McQueen, Executive Director, The Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA, City of Miami.

This Soul Basel Celebration is made possible with the support of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners., Southeast Park/West Overtown Community Redevelopment Agency, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau.

About Donnamarie Baptist – Curator, Cultural and Creative Producer.

Donnamarie Baptiste is an Arts & Culture Curator and Creative Producer who is highly experienced in arts management, exhibitions, and events. She has worked with artists, organizations, and corporations across disciplines and genres on brand strategy, public art, special artist projects, and high-profile events.

Baptiste organizes exhibitions in traditional and non-traditional spaces. She has held roles in programming, sponsorship, marketing & communications, operations, and production with organizations that include Photo Miami, Art Basel, The Armory Show, and Creative Time. Her clients include a mix of tech, art, design, luxury brands, and spirits.

Born in Trinidad & Tobago to musician parents, she has spent most of her life between Florida, New York City, and the USVI. After studying Humanities in the Caribbean, she moved to Miami and subsequently to New York City. Currently, she is based in Miami, providing arts & culture management consulting to national and international creative clients while supporting the local art community as a board member of Oolite Arts. They are working to bring a world-class arts institution to Miami.

Baptiste’s most recent work focuses on community-based initiatives, including cultural planning, exhibitions, corporate philanthropy, and collaborations between international artists and local creative communities. 

For more information, visit https://www.donnamariebaptiste.com.

About Miami MoCAAD

Miami MoCAAD is moving towards a tech-forward hybrid museum. Miami MoCAAD is a digital-first museum rooted in Miami and global in its reach, which meets audiences in diverse digital spaces and creative venues. With funding from the Knight Foundation and Miami Dade County, Miami MoCAAD has reached a transformative development point as it master plans its future. Miami MoCAAD’s Core Steering Group for Master Planning is currently working with the AEA Consulting Group in Phase One of master planning, a hybrid museum, digital strategy, and an innovative virtual art exhibit. Phase Two will implement the initial virtual art exhibit. 

For more information about Miami MoCAAD, visit https://www.miamimocaad.org and Miami MoCAAD’s mural website at murals.miamimocaad.org

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Media Contact: Yvette N. Harris/Harris Public Relations -786.897.8854 or [email protected].


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