By Janey Tate (HyLoNews@gmail.com)
The community of Overtown transformed into an art epicenter Wednesday evening with the opening reception of the Art Africa Miami Arts Fair 2015, the Soul Basel Lounge at the historic Ward Rooming House Cultural Gallery and inaugural ride of Overtown’s Soul Basel Trolley (a free trolley who’s route begins in Overtown and travels throughout the Wynwood Arts District).
A few hundred people ascended on the re-emerging Black Miami Mecca in Downtown Overtown to eat, drink and consume art from local and national artists.
Event goers freely walked the streets between venues, hopping from one event to the next and back again. Most people started their night at the Urban Experience Opening reception, hosted by Eye Urban TV’s Andre Williams, then headed to the Art Africa opening reception featuring live models wearing body art and walked the galleries in the Black Archives, after that most people headed to the Soul Basel Lounge stationed at the Historic Ward Rooming House.
Neil Hall, a well known Miami based architect, noted how great it was to see people enjoying themselves in an area once only known for its appearances on the A&E network television series, The First 48.
“This is awesome. Look at all these young people here Tweeting and Instagraming about Overtown to the world,” said Hall of the area, now full of multi-million dollar developments being built.
Around 9 p.m. a few dozen riders packed the Soul Basel Trolley for its first ride. During the trip passengers were given headphones to participate in the “Silent Revolution” event where listeners jammed to the Hip Hop and R&B music being played on them.
The Headliner Market Group (HMG) team, who’s parties and events garner national attention, was all in attendance as well to show their support to the city of Overtown and the Southeast Overtown/ Park West Community Redevelopment Agency.
“When you think of trolleys, more often than not, San Francisco is the only city that comes to mind. But the fact that the historic city of Overtown has its own trolley here in Miami is something everyone should know and experience,” said DJ Fly Guy of Headliner Market Group.
“It was great to take a ride from the Lyric Theater to the heart of Wynwood, in the midst of the Art Basel madness that’s currently going on,” said DJ Fly Guy (@AFLYGUY). “It gave riders a chance to see there’s more to Overtown than what’s mentioned in the news. Kudos to the Miami CRA for putting that together.”
Community Affairs Liaison and Public Information Officer for the Office of Commissioner Keon Hardemon, Kiara Garland, said the trolley aims to attract more people to the Soul Basel route.
“In an effort to attract more visitors into Overtown community during Art Basel, our office has secured a free trolley for the week,” she said.
The Soul Basel Trolley will be making trips all week. Check out the trolley route, trolley schedule and a list of Soul Basel events below and let Hy-Lo News know if you’ll be “Soul Baseling.” Tag us under your social media pictures using the hashtag #HyLoNews so we can feature you on our blog.
Soul Basel Trolley Hours of Operation
Thursday and Friday: 7 p.m. – 12 a.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m.- 12 a.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m.- 8 p.m.
Soul Basel Publication 2015 (Has list of Soul Basel Events)
ABM Brochure 2015 with Trolley Route (Has Soul Basel Trolley Route and Galleries near the stops)