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Wyncode Academy and #MiamiTech – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 80

9 June 2015

Wyncode Academy and #MiamiTech – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 80

Episode 80 of the #OnlyInMiami Show featured interviews with some of the participants of the recent WynCode pitch night.

Grant began the show by commenting about multiple issues facing the Miami-Dade County government. He talked about the nine-month shutdown of the Venetian Causeway and the impact that it will have upon annual events like Art Basel. Grant urged the county to release more funding to be able to speed up construction to finish in time for the winter season. Grant also talked about the three projects proposed for the Park West neighborhood. One project would include a 600 foot tower whose sole purpose would be LED advertising. He encouraged the project developers to create affordable housing first rather than advertising so that the technopark they want to create will have people to work there. Finally, Grant talked about the Miami WorldCenter project whose application for funding had its first reading in front of the  Miami-Dade Commission this past week. He mentioned that there is a lawsuit that has been filed claiming a lack of adequate public notice for some of the hearings.

Grant was then joined by members of Outnix, a cadre of developers from WynCode Academy who won the recent Cincode pitch night. They are building an app that will allow local bars to post the games they will be showing so that sports fans can find the game they want to see at the bar they want to go to. The team talked about how they came together and about the WynCode Academy, a nine-week intensive bootcamp that teaches people from all experience levels how to code using current technology like Javascript and Ruby on Rails. For more information on WynCode Academy, visit their website at or follow them on Twitter at @wyncode.

Grant continued talking about Wyncode Academy by speaking with another development team from Wyncode Academy. Their app, Coffee Break, saves user preferences and places orders automatically to speed the time from when you feel the need for a caffeine fix to when you actually get it. The app’s developers spoke about their experiences at Wyncode Academy as well.

At the beginning of the second hour, Grant spoke with Mark Hart, the Executive and Artistic Director of the Community Arts Program, which consists of two basic components. The Summer Concert Series hosts renowned classical and jazz artists every other Thursday night at Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ. Mark talked about this summer’s series and the artists who are coming up. The other component is a community outreach that provides musical education to area middle and high school students in both the classical and jazz arenas. They are the recipients of a recent Knight Arts Challenge grant to develop a Jazz Institute to offer instruction in this uniquely American art form. For more information about the Community Arts Program, visit their website at or follow them on Twitter at @CommArtsProgram.

Finally, Grant, Darrin, Brandon, and the Drastic Fanatic talked sports, specifically the NBA Finals. The guys talked about the past two games and their expectations for the rest of the series.

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Paul B. Hernandez Talks About the Leah Arts District – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 74 – 04/27/2015

28 April 2015

Paul B. Hernandez Talks About the Leah Arts District – #OnlyinMiami Show, Ep. 74 – 04/27/2015

Episode 74 of the #OnlyinMiami Show featured an interview with Hialeah City Commissioner Paul B. Hernandez.

Grant began by talking about a new development project in Overtown, the “Miami Innovation Tower”.  While the project might possibly be worthwhile, special attention needs to be paid to the visual elements on the building exterior to ensure that visual pollution from extensive advertisements does not occur.

Then, Paul B. Hernandez joined the show to talk about the current happenings in the Miami-Dade County’s second-largest municipality, the City of Hialeah. He talked about the governmental structure of Hialeah, where every commissioner is at-large and represents the entire city.

He also talked about how Hialeah is looking to become a new haven for artists in Miami-Dade County by creating a new arts district within the city boundaries. The new arts district will extend along East 10th Ave from 9th Street (NW 62nd St in the county numbering system) to 17th Street (NW 71st St). It will be a place where artists can live, work, and display their art. KazillaMural

Grant Stern and Commissioner Hernandez also gave a brief history of Hialeah. They talked about the financial demographics of the area and the dynamics of real estate within the city.

Finally, Commissioner Hernandez talked about a kickoff event that will happen on May 17. For more information and updates, search the hashtag #HialeahNow or follow @LeahArtsDistrict on Instagram.

Later, Xavier Gonzalez joined the show to talk about the second annual eMerge Americas convention at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The main event will be Monday, May 4 and Tuesday, May 5. It’s a chance for executives to network and talk about technology.

Special guest presenters include the Small Business Administration head Maria Contreras and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development chief Julian Castro.

For more information, visit the event website at or follow @emergeamericas on Twitter or Instagram.

At the beginning of the second hour, Grant was joined by local poet Antonia Wright. She talked about her start in poetry and the closing events for the O, Miami poetry festival that has been running throughout the month of April in various places around Miami-Dade. Antonia also shared an original poem, You Must Be An Artist.

For more information about the festival, visit or follow them on Twitter at @omiamifestival.

Finally, Grant was joined by the Drastic Fanatic and Jose El Rey to talk sports. They spoke about the upcoming NFL draft and whether the top draft pick will be Jameis Winston, Marcus Mariotta, or a dark horse. They also talked about what teams might be trying to move up or down in the draft. They gave their opinions on what approach the Dolphins should take and what holes need to be filled. They guys also talked about the Marlins turnaround and the NBA playoffs.

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Miami’s Wynwood Middle School getting Arts intervention

27 October 2014

Miami’s Wynwood Middle School getting Arts intervention

Story by J.J. Colagrande republished from Huffington Post with author’s permission. Edited by Grant Stern

It starts with this irony: Wynwood’s middle school doesn’t have an art department.

Due to budget restraints the Art’s Program was eliminated.

Jose De Diego Middle School is located on the cusp, but basically in Wynwood atat 3100 NW 5th Ave in Miami.

This public middle school in the Wynwood Arts District not only lacks arts programs, it’s bare white walls betray the lack of funding for even a coat of paint.

Over 600 kids, grade 6-8, ages 11-14, are being denied access to the arts because there’s no money to hire a teacher.

For that matter, there’s no music program either.

It wasn’t always like this.

There’s a room at the school filled with 20 Kawasaki keyboards and grand pianos collecting dust.

There are closets filled with art supplies.

How can the most burgeoning art neighborhood on the planet have public schools that don’t teach art or music?

This is the question Patrick Walsh and Robert de los Rios asked themselves.  If Wynwood is truly an outdoor museum, these two dudes are its greatest docents.

Mr. Walsh is the director of WADA, the Wynwood Art District Association, and Mr. de los Rios operates Wynwood Map, a website and app chronicling the ever-changing art in the area.

They do things not for money but because they care about the hood.

They understand the tragic irony.

Imagine you’re a student at JDD Middle; you’re surrounded by warehouses and walls painted in the most vivid ways imaginable, constructed by the world’s most treasured and talented artists.

Your schoolyard is literally in the world’s largest outdoor museum yet you can’t learn how to paint or draw in school.

Talk about being on the outside looking in. Talk about the gentrification of the future. It’s not acceptable.

It’s a crime that an art neighborhood has public schools without art departments.

What needs remembering, almost constantly, is that the residents of Wynwood and its surrounding neighborhoods — Edgewater, Allapattah, Brownsville, Overtown — are poor minorities.

Eighty-nine percent of students at JDD Middle are eligible for free meals. In 2014, a family of two needs to make an annual income below $20,449 to be eligible for free meals.

Fifty-three percent are Hispanic, and 46 percent are black; these students and their families need to feel included in their own neighborhood.

They need to be a part of what’s going on and they need access to an education.

There is a Special Event being planned for JDD Middle during Art Basel, it will be big and very inclusive.

It starts, of course, with art. The school itself will be used as a venue.

Starting around November 25, the walls of the school will be painted by an army of international and local artists. We’re talking big name artists like David Walker, Pixelpancho, Anthony Lister, RYCA, D*Face and over 30 more confirmed.

There will be a concert on December 6 featuring an internationally popular musician.

There will be a raffle for a chance to win art and merchandise.

Other artists may donate pieces and if they do they will be sold privately. It only takes one or two pieces from some of these guys to generate hundreds of thousands (buzz is some big dogs know about this project and approve).

The rest of the community is lending a hand.

Gallery owners like Robert Fontaine, Gregg Sheinbaum and Anthony Spinello are paying for the lifts so their artists can work. Liquitex is donating the paint.

This is the beginning. It’s just coming together.

The goal is to raise $500,000 with all proceeds going to the school to hire teachers. Their vision goes beyond this school with the premise that this “template” could potentially be applied at other schools.

I wish this project the best.

This is awesome and it’s totally grassroots community engagement.

Coming soon, students at JDD will be bragging because their facilities are getting a serious makeover that might just make them the coolest looking middle school on the planet.

Just imagine how those barren white walls will look after Art Basel, only a few short weeks away.

Keep your eyes peeled for major upcoming announcements by the Wynwood Arts District Association (WADA)

Keep your eyes peeled for major upcoming announcements by the Wynwood Arts District Association (WADA)

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