On the last weekend of February, the South Miami Rotary Club presented its 35TH ANNUAL SOUTH MIAMI ROTARY ART FESTIVAL, attracting over 20,000 visitors to our hometown “main street.” For two days, Sunset Drive was converted into a promenade where 142 artists from around the country, exhibited fine arts and high-end crafts, and visitors enjoyed multinational food, live music, a beer garden and great raffles. The festival included the “Children’s Alley” inside Sunset Place with interactive and educational activities geared just for kids.   The Saturday evening jam session has gained in popularity this year, and with the reconfigured food court, more tables were set out for relaxing and listening to music while eating and drinking.

What began as a Craftsman Festival in 1984 grew to include fine art in 2006.  The Rotary Art Festival was named a Sunshine Artist 200 Best Show in America 2018, having already achieved the and the AFSB Blue Chip 100 Fine Art Event.  The festival is clearly one of Miami-Dade’s mostanticipated events

Festival Chair Wendy Lapidus, a Rotarian for 20+ years, says she joined the club because of the good work they were doing with the art festival.  “It was and still is a project with which I wanted to become involved.  Rotary is a wonderful opportunity for service
and camaraderie and I get to have both while doing what I love.”  She reported that their survey of visitors noted the largest percentage ever of patrons said they would return to South Miami to shop, dine and go to the movies.  “Folks loved our small
town vibe.”

The art festival is produced entirely by volunteers of the South Miami Rotary Club.  Proceeds from the festival fund college scholarships for South Miami students, elementary and middle school dictionary giveaways and other service projects, all in keeping with the Rotary club’s motto to place “service above self.”   

Mark your calendar for next year’s event on the weekend of February 22 & 23, 2020.

Pictured are the winners of this year’s art festival.

Photos provided by Rotarian Lewis Feldman.


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