Yo Miami Celebrates Tenth Anniversary

For someone who always has something to say, I was somehow daunted at the prospect of writing this article. I am a mere cog in the giant wheel that is the Yo Miami network and it doesn’t seem possible to encapsulate the contributions of this little-engine-that-could in a thousand words or less, but I’ll do my best.

Yo Miami always plays a winning hand when it comes to nurturing and fostering the culture of Miami. My hat is off to Yuval Ofir, the creator, founder, owner of Yo Space Gallery & Studios, and a friend. I am not nearly informed enough on his contributions to the visual arts, but I know it’s massive; from showcasing artists’ work and providing a space for them to create in, to rallying support for the street art movement and elevating awareness of it to a new level. His brand of dedication and appreciation for local talent is what every community can only hope to find. We got lucky.

I can only speak more personally from a comics’ standpoint, as I have had the pleasure of performing on dozens of stages and twice as many shows made possible by Yuval. I am in awe of his dogged determination to ALWAYS provide a professional space for us to promote our talents. It is challenging to secure venues, consistently curate talent, prove value to the venue owners, drum up a crowd, market and create memorable experiences for comics and audiences alike. It takes a big heart and mountains of patience to deal with the likes of us performers; to say we are a fickle bunch is an understatement. He is out here competing with the world renowned Miami nightlife scene, and still he champions us as artists and made sure we had our opportunity to shine these past 10 years.

We are grateful Yuval and we love you. I speak for the collective when I say thank you for the respect that you have always shown towards us and our craft. Your effort has carved out a place for us and South Florida is better for it. We are all better for it.

Yuval’s generosity gave me confidence in my stand up journey. My favorite quotes from him are “Do as much time as you want up there”, and “Is this your cocaine?”

Enough about me, here are some statements from the finest movers and shakers in our industry from the good old 305.  We only speak the truth.

“Yo Miami fills a much-needed role in the local scene as they’re a fantastic entry point for those curious about Miami’s more underground culture(s). It’s been great to have them at Yo Space up the street for so long and we’re glad they also made it through the pandemic to celebrate this anniversary. Our favorite event that we did with them over the years was definitely the Analog Art show where artists used vinyl records as canvases and created some truly incredible works!”

Lolo Reskin, founder of Sweat Records

“Yuval (and YoSpace) created an opportunity for me to showcase and display my work through his Sunday “Average Joe Art Sale” in the beginning of my career when no one else would. Not only did it get my foot in the Miami Art scene, it put me in a position to get to know and work with some of Miami’s very best artists. Yuval is a true Miamian and continues to push our culture.

Sergio “Surge” J. Quinones, Contemporary Artist & Co-Founder of Thunderous Genius Creative House

“Yo Miami and the shows Yuval has put together for comedians are an important part of the fabric of the comedy community in Miami. Always grateful for the space and stages he helped nurture and provided to help local artists still living in Miami, but also to the ones who have moved and still call Miami their hometown. Cheers to the 10 years!”

Jessica Anderson, Comedian

Please join the party and celebrate a decade of Yo Miami on Friday 12/10/21 from 6-10pm at Yo Space Gallery & Studios 294 NE 62nd St. RSVP here. Congratulations Yuval. Thank you for the memories! I can’t wait to see what the next ten years bring!

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Mary C. Smith

Smart, funny, honest, practical and sometimes in-your-face advice on relationships, being single, and self care. Catch her radio show GenXtra Sundays at 11 on www.ShakeTheRadio.com.