The popular South Miami Rotary Art Festival returns February 23-24, 2013, running each day from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.. Celebrating its 30th year, the event features fine arts, high-end crafts, an international food court, and live music along Sunset Drive between US 1 and Red Road. The juried show, featuring 153 artists and exhibitors from around the country offers cash prizes and bestows “Best in Show” and “Artists of Note” awards.
“We have added five more artists to the festival, making it bigger and better this year. We are excited by the quality of the artwork we have seen during the jury process and we believe the show is going to be great,” said Wendy Lapidus, Rotarian and Festival Chair.
The First National Bank of South Miami is the founding and presenting sponsor. South Miami Hospital and Williamson Automotive are two major sponsors who, like FNBSM, have long been associated with the festival. Williamson Automotive will have the latest model cars on display and SMH will offer giveaways, health information and screenings at the event. Merchants have generously donated dozens of raffle prizes worth thousands of dollars for merchandise, gift certificates and movie tickets.
The South Miami Rotary has been involved in the festival since its inception 30 years ago when merchant and Rotarian John Sorgie was working with the Red Sunset Merchants Association to highlight South Miami’s downtown shopping district. The show, as has been proven, remains an ideal vehicle for bringing tens of thousands to enjoy the festival, the city’s businesses and eateries, and the hometown ambiance unique to the City of Pleasant Living.
Over the years, the South Miami Rotary Club has assumed the entire responsibility for planning and staging the festival. The free-ofcharge event relies on over 40 club volunteers and their friends and family to make everything run smoothly. All revenue from the twoday street fair benefits the Rotary’s charitable programs. The local chapter donates to an annual college scholarship for an at-risk South Miami student (in partnership with Big Brothers Big Sisters); conducts free dictionary and atlas giveaways to students from lowincome families throughout Miami-Dade County; participates in Caribbean Charities for Children; and gives to ad hoc relief efforts, such as providing Shelter Boxes to the victims of the Haiti earthquake (among many other charitable initiatives).
The Rotary, a service club that has as its motto, “Service above self,” practices what it preaches. Chair Wendy Lapidus was drawn to the South Miami Rotary 20 years ago because of the art festival. After her first Rotary meeting, she was hooked. Raising funds to improve people’s lives whether a local literacy project or a global one, like helping to fund the eradication of polio make all the long hours and hard work of the festival worth the effort.
For more information, visit the website at www.southmiamiartfest.org or contact Catherine Miller, Marketing Director at 305- 665-1146.
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