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Current Status

Right now The Wallflower Gallery is searching for NEW LOCATION - after almost 13 years in the same place, we are being forced to move on. In some ways, I'm very excited at the possibilities and in others ways I am very nervous and tense about the upcoming transition. There is much that is unknown and many things to consider.

One of those things is the actual area and surroundings of The New Wallflower Gallery. This is tricky since we are aiming for a ground level, handicap accessible venue that provides the physical room to arrange the various elements of The Current Wallflower Gallery into a new space. This would ideally include the stage, backstage, performance area with more audience space, a bigger and expanded snack bar, gallery space, store space, a library, an entrance area and handicap accessible bathrooms, plus office and storage space. There are also ideas to be able to have areas that could be artist work spaces and rooms for classes. In addition, we should aim for high ceilings to work with the art and performances better.

In addition, we would need ample and safe parking. Ideally, we would also want to be near public transportation - particularly metro-rail or the metro-mover.

This challenge is somewhat compounded by the fact that we want to be in an area that families feel generally save. We acknowledge that many of our performers are younger and also draw broad range of ages - from the kids to the teenagers to the parents and the grandparents.

As an artistic community center, we are working to create a space that people can connect with others and express themselves. At the same time, we want to have a space where other people can share in that expression and appreciate the various forms of art on display. Within this format there is an exchange of ideas and sensations.

As I have said many times, "The Wallflower Gallery is NOT a bar". We are an artistic venue that serves a wide variety of purposes. We provide an assortment of services and community resources that most venues do not feature like studio space for audio or video recording, graphic design, photography, duplication services, promotional writing, plus exhibition and store space. The design and direction of The Wallflower Gallery makes the venue what we strive to be - a platform for community interaction and expression. This is the forefront mission of The Wallflower Gallery - not our drinks sales.

I think it is our artistic integrity and the connection to the artists that has greatly helped in sustaining The Wallflower Gallery for almost 13 years.

Now we have to take this to the next level and find a new place to establish The Wallflower Gallery. I will need a great deal of help to make this happen. First we need to find the actual space, and then we will need to fundraise to cover the expenses to move into the space and prepare the location for the transformation into a multi-media artistic center. We are going to NEED lots of community involvement to help develop the outreach and get people working together to make it happen.

Part of the progression includes establishing Artists for Community Evolution as a full non-profit organization. This will help in a variety of ways, including fundraising, grants and providing services to the community. The non-profit organization is something that we have tried to do in the past, but it never came together due to various factors. Now this is going to be a primary task, so it has to succeed.

Like I mentioned, I am nervous about this transition - everything that I have worked for over the last 13+ years now rides on how I can coordinate the team to make this work effectively. I know I will work incredibly hard to pull this together. My hope is that more people come together to support the effort and make this a larger group project.

I know I can't do it on my own - and quite honestly, I don't want to - that's not the point of The Wallflower Gallery. This is a platform for the community to connect and for individuals to share in positive experiences. I will do my part and other people have the ability to fit in and participate with their skills and enthusiasm.

This is going to be a challenging transition, but there are only 2 choices - to meet it head on and work through it or give up and get involved in something new. Personally, I am not the type to give up and I hope that more people can join me as we work through this challenge. People can offer their time, skills and energies. People can also donate money ("green energy" as it has been called) through our PayPal account. Either way, we need all types of help to make The Wallflower Gallery blossom.

There will be more information and updates at the Organizational Meeting on Monday, April 12 - 7:00 p.m.

Let's see what we can do together!


Thank you for your effort.

Funk Finder, The Wallflower Gallery
10 N.E. 3rd Street
Downtown Miami 33132
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Miami New Times Article

Help Save the Wallflower Gallery

By Arielle Castillo
Published on February 02, 2010 at 10:51am

The Wallflower Gallery, downtown Miami's improbable pocket of bohemia, has faced a number of challenges. For one, it's a venue that doesn't serve alcohol in a town bent on partying. It inhabits a lonely corner in a neighborhood that until recently was a ghost town after dark. And it's a multipurpose, nonprofit organization that lends space to everything from live music to underground visual art to independent theater and beyond — all forms of expression that are not exactly among the city's cultural priorities.

"If people want a hip and culturally creative downtown Miami, they've got to support support places like this."

Still, the little gallery that could, helmed by its single-monikered "Funk Finder" and founder, Flash, has stuck it out for almost 13 years. More than ten of those have been spent in its current location at 10 NE Third St. But all of that might soon come to an end. Flash and company were dealt a recent crushing blow. The building is slated to be demolished in April, the owner announced. The Wallflower Gallery must either raise enough money to persuade him to change his mind, or find the cash for new digs.

"I'm a bit beside myself," says Flash. "I had plans of what I was going to do through the summer: another series of renovations, get more people working together to get the finances in order and work out some sponsorship packages."

Instead, his priority now is figuring out how to keep the programming running with minimal interruptions. The Wallflower Gallery often donates its rooms to community groups who depend on its space for meetings. A number of out-of-town performers are booked to perform, and plans for the 13-year anniversary party are also already underway.

A move would certainly be to the detriment of downtown. "Compared to most businesses, we have a community dynamic. We're not a bar; we're a cultural institution," Flash says. "I don't think what we do is going to be replaced by anything else. People say all the time: 'I wish I knew about this place earlier.' If people want a hip and culturally creative downtown Miami, they've got to support places like this."

Still, he is open to other locations. He notes he would especially like a place that is more handicapped-accessible and offers better parking. But he readily admits he needs help. "Money is the quickest thing, because I want to make sure that I can move to whatever new place or pay for here. Or [I'd like] people that want to help, physically... help move if necessary," Flash says. "We've been fighting the good fight for 13 years, and it's sad that now the walls are literally coming down around us."

If you'd like to offer your time or resources, email flash3@wallflowergallery.com or call 305-579-0069.

If you like the above article, we encourage you to visit the Miami New Times site and post a comment!
Help Save the Wallflower

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Last Modified: 10/02/10
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