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Yo Mission Statement

November 16, 2012

I get asked all the time, “What is it that Yo Miami does exactly?” and until recently I never really had a satisfactory answer. I was forced to resort to long, vague explanations involving aspects of promotion, management, advertising and a few other fields. What made it all the more frustrating was that I knew if there’s one thing a company needs in order to move forward and evolve organically, it’s an identity. Finally as I was reading a magazine article (on a train in France of all places), a word jumped out and things almost audibly clicked into place:  Ecosystem.

“Everything in the natural world is connected. An ecosystem is a community of living and non-living things that work together. Ecosystems have no particular size.” As I retroactively read through this particular site‘s definition of an ecosystem, I can’t help but feel more certain with every line that I’ve found the word that best sums up the entirety of what I’m trying to create with Yo Miami.  “An ecosystem can be as large as a desert or a lake or as small as a tree or a puddle. If you have a terrarium, that is an artificial ecosystem. The water, water temperature, plants, animals, air, light and soil all work together. If there isn’t enough light or water or if the soil doesn’t have the right nutrients, the plants will die. If the plants die, animals that depend on them will die. If the animals that depend on the plants die, any animals that depends on those animals will die. Ecosystems in nature work the same way. All the parts work together to make a balanced system.”

It’s a little cliche to compare humans to plants, needing sunlight and water and nurturing to grow, so it’s a good thing I’m not doing that. In this case, plants are just a small part of the analogy. Maybe some people are plants, some are animals, some the climate… All of these things interact and effect each other.  The same way that artists need buyers to support them, the buyers need people surrounding them who reassure them that they made a good purchase, and those people in turn need the buyers to look towards for their inside scoop on the art world. This correlates to what I found are the three categories of living organisms in an ecosystem: producers, consumers, and decomposers.

I think the analogy is pretty self-explanatory but for the sake of being thorough I’ll just say that obviously the producers in this case would be the artists; the people who buy their work are the consumers, with the decomposers being the general public, who get a digested version of the original product, simplified to a form they can handle. I guess in a sense, Yo Miami is kind of a way to open a door between the producers and the decomposers, allowing them for once to climb up a rung on the food chain and interact directly with the artists creating things.

Yo Miami began in 2010-11 as an outlet for me to share the fascinating direction Wynwood and it’s environs were headed. I was looking for an easier way to communicate with my friends about things going on at places they hadn’t even heard of at that point. So I figured I’d just post the stuff up on a facebook page since they were free to create, and let people check it if they were interested, rather than going out of my way to send 20 texts every night. In that sense, from the very beginning Yo Miami has been about sharing the things I found fascinating about my surroundings in Miami with people who may not have otherwise known about them through conventional means.

The thing about ecosystems is they need diversity in order to thrive and withstand natural disasters, human destruction and all that. Which may be one of the subconscious reasons I’ve always covered a variety of styles, mediums, and cultures. I deal with street artists as well as their more gritty graffiti writer counterparts; classically trained studio artists along with that one guy you know that owns a bar and then hangs all this amazing artwork up that it turns out he created; and the same goes for musicians, from the guys who jam in their storage unit for fun to the up n’ comers fighting to catch their big break. If you focus too much on any one aspect of art and culture, you run the risk of being sorely disappointed when a stray hurricane or trend comes along and wipes them into obscurity (or obsolescence).

So that’s it folks, the long and short of who what where and why Yo Miami is. Hopefully now I can just cut to the chase when people ask what it is I do with that company I run on the side and tell them I’m working on my very own little Miami artistic terrarium.

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One Comment
  1. Najirrah permalink

    Love your description and purpose. Would love to meet up for a chat/perhaps an interview. I am finishing up my PhD on “Latino/a Artist Educators in Miami and their Tole in Creating and Sustaining Alternative Democratic Spaces.” Spans last decade 2003-2013 and includes over 50 interviews of participants and informants (LAES).

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