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Building Community Through Innovation in the Arts

April 23, 2015

The report focuses on projects that live the ideal of making art an integral part of people's lives. For example, the report explores larger institutions that are literally changing the way their community interacts with art -- whether it's Opera Philadelphia surprising an entire city with its Random Acts of Culture, or the Akron Art Museum's goal of bringing residents closer to the artistic experience. You can also read about smaller, grassroots efforts, like a poetry festival in Miami that has experimented with ways to bring a poem to each one of the area's 2.6 million residents, and a St. Paul group that has sparked a national movement to make buying art as easy as participating in a local farm share program.

O, Miami: How a Festival Infused a City with Poetry

March 14, 2013

After receiving his MFA from FIU in 2008, P. Scott Cunningham launched his own poetry-focused faux-school, the University of Wynwood, which stages colorfully offbeat events in the geographic heart of Miami's art scene, reflecting Cunningham's desire to take contemporary poetry far from its academic comfort zone. What he eventually envisioned moved dramatically beyond the University of Wynwood's playfully unorthodox readings. Spurred on by a Knight Foundation arts grant, Cunningham brainstormed a project which would not only be a "world-class" event in itself, but transformational for Miami writ large. His idea? O, Miami -- a poetry festival as wry in tone and all encompassing in scope as its very name, one which would attempt to, with a nod to Joyce, make poetry general throughout the city. This is a report of the inaugural festival.