"Our Community" Mural
Miami-Dade County, Florida
The Our Community mural project is an important community-building effort, aimed at capturing and sharing the voices of Miami-Dade’s residents. Similar to murals I have created for the White House and the World Bank, this mural is collaborative in nature. It seeks to include the voices of the very people the mural is about; in this case, Miami-Dade County residents.
With the support of the Miami-Dade Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade Office of Community Relations, and the Miami-Dade Department of Art in Public Places, funds are being raised for the mural project.
The first phase of the project began during September 2003 Community Relations Board’s “Uniting our Cultures” Conference, when I began work on the first two panels of the mural. The messages in that mural were mostly from elected officials, and business, community and civic leaders who attended the CRB conference and 40th Anniversary Dinner Gala.
The second phase of the project should begin during March 2004 and completed before the end of 2004. During that time, I will travel to neighborhood associations, schools, community centers and town hall meetings (in each of the 13 commission districts) across the diverse county, asking people to simply drop create their mural message on small pieces of paper. The messages can be about:
- THOUGHTS: What does community mean to you?
- IDEAS: How can we improve community relations?
- CULTURE: Tell us about your community or culture; or about your (ancestors’) journey to Miami-Dade.
- HISTORY: Inform us about an event that or person who helped change this community.
- COMMITMENT: Pledge to make a better community.
When working on the mural, I will incorporate these voices into the finished mural. For me, this is an essential component of a community mural. If the goal is goal is to build a better sense of community in this ever-transforming place of two million residents, then the people of this diverse metropolis should be able to have a sense of belonging, a connection with the place where policy is made for them.
Some may see art as something with which to decorate, I see art as a vehicle of expression. And nothing speaks more loudly for Miami-Dade’s residents than to have their voices at County Hall. On permanent display.
In order to fund the project, each Miami-Dade County Commissioner was asked to please contribute $5000 from their discretionary fund and/or seek private sector support for the underwriting of the project. Private sector support is also being sought. Please write checks to:
CRB TRUST FUND
111 NW 1st Street, Suite 620
Miami, FL 33128
Attn: “Our Community” Mural Project
For more information, please contact:
- Xavier Cortada, the artist at 305-858-1323
- Dr. Larry Capp, Executive Director, Office of Community Relations at 305-375-5730, or
Ivan Rodriguez, Department of Art in Public Place, 305-375-5632.
Xavier Cortada prepares to add Miami-Dade County Mayor Alex Penelas' message to the "Our Community" mural during the 40th Anniversary Gala of the Community Relations Board in Miami, Florida. To learn more about the process, please click here.
Xavier Cortada has exhibited his works in museums, galleries, and cultural venues around the world and has pioneered the use of the Internet in collaborative art-making. The Miami-based Cuban-American artist, attorney, and activist has worked collaboratively with diverse groups across the United States, Latin America, Europe and Africa to create pro-social community murals and participant-driven art projects.
Cortada has created murals for:
The White House