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When Entrepreneurship and the Arts Collide

The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is bringing together the best of arts, entrepreneurship and health in a free, full-day family-friendly community block party in the heart of downtown Opa-locka on Saturday, February 9. This event, which will take place at The ARC, 675 Ali Baba Ave, Opa-locka, FL 33054, is just one example of the OLCDC’s commitment to supporting entrepreneurship, arts and families in the North Miami-Dade corridor.

Families will have the opportunity to enjoy shop and support food, apparel and hair care entrepreneurs at the Small Business Bazaar, which opens at 11:00 a.m., followed by Poppin’ the Lock, a bi-monthly live hip-hop show at 1:00 pm. The show will feature local freestyle artists taking the stage in improvised sessions, known as cyphers, where emcees, singers, beatboxers, and musicians collaborate in a spontaneous combustion of pure skill. In addition, the Florida Department of Health will be on site in honor of National Black AIDS Awareness Day to host free, on the spot HIV/AIDS screenings.

“Servicing the Opa-locka community for more 30 years has been, and continues to be a joy,” says Willie Logan, CEO/President, Opa-locka Community Development Corporation. “Being able to merge entrepreneurship and the arts in the City of Opa-locka will hopefully inspire residents to continue to support their fellow neighbor in helping sustain their small business and continue to engage and encourage our local artists.”

Both the Small Business Bazaar and Poppin’ The Lock are bi-monthly events taking place in Opa-locka in partnership with the Community Fund of North Miami-Dade (CFNMD), Miami-Dade College, Roots Collective and Miami Foundation.

The Community Fund of North Miami-Dade (CFNMD) joined forces with Miami-Dade College and Roots Collective to create an impactful public-private partnership to bring a community marketplace to the City of Opa-locka. The partnership grew out of the collective wiliness to support the small business community, the artistic community and the community as a whole in Miami. Roots Collective has hosted a marketplace at the Little Haiti Cultural Center for the past year. Now, the organization has found a partner in the CFNMD and will be moving their marketplace to another one of Miami’s historic communities.

Separately, Poppin’ the Lock, which is a winner of Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge, was born from the cypher concept, which is a cyclical freestyle rap challenge, in which rappers consistently jump in one after the other. Cyphers began in the early days of hip hop, when deejays and emcees would often have to "pop the lock" on public spaces like parks and basketball courts in order to set up for what would become a community block party.

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