Why I’m Ready to Host Live Events Again

Over the past decade Yo Miami has been responsible for producing over 500 events throughout South Florida, fostering the growth of the local creative ecosystem. Like many organizations, the pandemic forced us to pivot and shift focus away from events to their mural production and creative direction services. I looked at it as an opportunity to do some much needed restructuring and administrative work on the things that most people don’t think about behind the scenes.

With vaccines becoming more widely available and businesses adapting to the new normal, it finally felt right to have an event. While still being overly cautious personally, I felt that things are at least reaching some level of stability and so decided to get back on the horse. While I’m not super comfortable myself being around large crowds yet, I do feel like there is some degree of comfort as more and more people get vaccinated.

We’re going back to our roots for Yo Miami’s first event in over a year, inspired by an event I’ve hosted informally before at the company’s HQ in Little Haiti, Yo Space Gallery & Studios. The concept initially catered to visual artists swapping old paintings as a way to clear out their studios, with a bonus opportunity to collect work from fellow artists they admire. With the new event happening Sunday, May 2nd 1pm-5pm at Beat Culture Brewery it was only natural to invite the lesser known craft beer nerd community to join in on the action.

Many beer enthusiasts actively trade rarer brews with their fellow hop-heads, either online or at in-person bottle shares. This is an opportunity to socialize and taste beers otherwise not easily available. Most craft breweries already incorporate the visual arts into their facilities and products, and this concept is just a manifestation of that existing synergy. Attendees are invited to bring their own artwork and/or sealed beers to trade with their fellow hoarders during the event, and can post their wares in the event’s facebook page to line up trades in advance.

Of the three Spotlight Swap Artists who’ll be on-site to socialize and accept trade offers during the event, two already have long-standing ties with the craft beer world: Claudio Picasso (CP1), LEBO, and King Redd. There are also five Featured Vendors who all feature products inspired by and incorporating the visual arts and beer cultures including Some Good Hops and Bellas Candle Co. The brewery is also offering 10% off all cans purchased to go, and will have their kitchen fired up and ready to provide delicious lunch fare.

One of my main goals with Yo Miami has always been to gather like-minded communities to socialize, network, and form connections which lead to a more collaborative and dynamic creative landscape. The idea has always been to make Miami a sum greater than its parts by embracing the melting pot of cultures that exists here. So we’re moving forward and focusing on how to provide those same authentic vibes in safe and responsible environments for all involved (i.e. making sure all CDC guidelines are followed).

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Yuval Ofir

Yuval Ofir is a Creative Project Director, Consultant, Cultural Advocate, and all-around Miami Ambassador who launched Yo Miami in 2011.