OPA-LOCKA, FL, September 14, 2020 –In the midst of a national racial justice movement following the murder of George Floyd, O, Miami, and Opa-Locka Community Development Corporation are working with a team of local artists and art therapists to host the Flower Memorial Project in Opa-locka. The project honors the lives of Black people killed by police, locally, and nationally, while creating a communal space for residents to express grief and practice collective healing in the face of a continuing national tragedy.
The project centers around the public art installation of a temporary memorial - a flower sculpture and honorary - displayed for public viewing the weekend of October 2, 2020 in the Triangle, a historically segregated neighborhood in east Opa-Locka. It will be open for public interaction, encouraging audience participation through exchanging floral pieces from the
installation with mementos and objects commemorating lost loved ones.
Originally envisioned by Miami-based artists Elia Khalaf and Sara Darling, Blooming Names depends on community participation through three online workshops open to families with children ages 8 and up. Art therapists Deanna Barton and Elia Khalaf will facilitate each workshop to support healing and create a therapeutic space for families to process personal, political, and communal loss. Participating families will receive a creative care package with materials for their chosen workshop:
● Local poet Darius Daughtry will lead the first of two workshops on Saturday, 9/26,
collaborating with families to craft the language for the memorial plaque.
● Local muralist Chire Regans (VantaBlack) will lead the second of two workshops on
Saturday, 9/26, collaborating with families to design the plaque’s
typography/lettering of the names and poems.
● A week after the installation, in the final workshop on Saturday Oct 10th, local floral
artist Sara Darling will engage families in making their own mini floral memorials, to
commemorate their own loved ones and continue the workshops’ goal of self care.
This project will be recreated across different neighborhoods in Miami, helping to bring attention to the acute and universal experience Black communities face in the United States, while also offering a space for communal healing, creation and joy. It is a revolutionary act of remembering - in naming - our people and our stories.
For more details and to sign up for workshops, visit www.olcdc.org/flowermemorial
About The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation
The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) was established in November 1980 as a nonprofit community development corporation in order to address the distressed unemployment conditions, particularly in the Opa-locka and North Dade County, Florida, communities. Its primary mission is to transform under-resourced communities into vibrant, desirable, engaged neighborhoods by improving access to health, education, employment, art, safety and affordable housing. For more information about OLCDC, please visit www.olcdc.org.
About O, Miami
O, Miami builds community around poetry’s power to forge connections and bear witness. Through collaboration with citizens, students, artists, communities, and organizations, we create platforms for amplifying Miami’s voices, investing in a new shared narrative of our city and a more equitable picture of its future. For more, visit omiami.org.