ArtPlace March Question: Thinking Beyond the Grant Period

Wynwood at night
[Photography by Gesi Schilling]

The Wynwood Arts District is currently entering the BID formation process. As part of this process, we will be entering an exciting new period in our urban development evolution. As a Business Improvement District, Wynwood will be able to develop its urban infrastructure and explore services that will ensure a safer and more pedestrian-friendly experience.

ArtPlace spoke with the Wynwood BID Project Director, David Collins, about the project and how it will continue after the ArtPlace grant period is over.

ARTPLACE: How will the work you’ve begun be sustained after your ArtPlace grant? 

DAVID: First, the Wynwood Business Improvement District initiative will have a single voice, so that the property-owners and tenants will be able to work together as one entity. This will be especially helpful in terms of everything we do with the City and the County. Second, we will have the financial resources that will allow us to make stronger the art and culture, which is already strong in Wynwood, and will allow us to make better those elements of our community that we need to roll up our sleeves and improve. Third, the BID will empower us to talk about Wynwood as a place, which we are creating, a wonderful pedestrian cultural destination.

ARTPLACE: Will this work live beyond the grant period?

DAVID: Yes, property-owners will be self-investing real money in Wynwood. What will happen here is this – in Morocco, I saw clay-sculptors up to their waists in clay, selecting their material. In Wynwood, there will be a palpable sense of creating our future with our hands. The fact that we have a ten-year renewable term for the BID is very important, it allows us to think about creative placemaking with a longer breath than just living moment to moment. In other words, ten years gives us time to try and do something here, as opposed to just thinking year-to-year.

ARTPLACE: How has this work affected the work you will do beyond the grant period?

DAVID: Thinking beyond the grant period, the establishment of a Business Improvement District in Wynwood will allow us to focus our efforts on how to self-invest in our community. Once the BID is established, it will then become a separate entity from WADA with its own financial resources and its own priorities. Since the BID will have the means and influence to do so, it will focus on providing the services and improvement efforts for Wynwood (i.e. private security, sanitation, lighting, advocating for City services, etc), leaving WADA to focus on marketing efforts and as the 501(C)-3 for all the non-profit, creative placemaking initiatives.


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