Media Mentions

Books

Newspapers, Magazines, Radio & TV

Eileen Higgins named Top 2019 Community Champion (2019)

“This year’s top Champion was Commissioner Eileen Higgins who spear headed the completion of the Flagler Construction that was going on for three years and causing small businesses to close.  We also honored Teresa Callava (Kiwanis of Little Havana), Mercy Saladrigas (Camacol), Juan Mullerat (Plusurbia) … Corinna Moebius (Little Havana Experiences) …”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is miamiherald.png
This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-04-01-17.02.10-1024x899.png

“Shepherding the tour on Sunday was Corinna Moebius, a cultural anthropologist who has led Little Havana tours for more than a decade. “You’re gonna have to rebrand yourself, girl,” suggested one of the Hialeah tour’s participants, with a laugh. Moebius said her goal for the day was to point out the complex, mutable quality of Hispanic heritage, which draws from cultural influences scattered the world over.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is miamiherald.png

Rebirth of Little Havana Hotel Brings Back Piece of History (2018)

“The product, though, is still untested. A 15-minute walk from the Tower Hotel, on Ninth Avenue, is the 33-room Jefferson Hotel, which opened in summer 2017. That boutique hotel has been busy with tourists, a sign that demand for hotel products in the neighborhood is high, said Corinna Moebius, a community leader and resident of Little Havana who offers tours for tourists.

“It’ll be interesting to see more people here in the evening,” Moebius said. “Hopefully though, what it will do is it will help to support our small businesses.”

(…) They also have deeper interest in the community’s intricacies, she said, noting that a growing number of the neighborhood’s current visitors are academics, students or professors who are interested in subjects such as housing, community and health. Keeping those people in Little Havana at a gathering place such as the Tower Hotel would be a win for the neighborhood, Moebius said.

“They are interested in Little Havana as a case study,” she said. “It’s for people visiting Miami and wanting to get to know Miami beyond the take a snapshot and buy a souvenir version of Miami.

“I think there is a bigger story for Miami to tell.”


Biscayne Bay Tribune
Little Havana Me Importa

New Exhibit Celebrates 10 Residents Helping to Shape Little Havana Today (2018)

Corinna Moebius: Widely considered an expert on Little Havana, Moebius co-authored a book called A History of Little Havana and has offered walking tours of the neighborhood for more than a decade.” (see online version of exhibit)


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is National_Trust_for_Historic_Preservation_logo_2017.png

Little Havana Me Importa: The Places and Faces That Define a Neighborhood (2018)

“Corinna Moebius is an anti-stereotype, pro-activism cultural anthropologist, invested in highlighting and maintaining the fabric of the place where she’s worked and lived in for years.

She describes Little Havana as a conversation over coffee–an encounter that restores hope, a community that is sustainable, a place that is regenerative.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Screenshot-2020-04-01-16.45.52-930x1024.png

“Corinna Moebius, a Little Havana resident, community leader, and cultural anthropologist, is co-author of A History of Little Havana and regularly leads private walking tours. For her Jane’s Walk, she’ll give special emphasis to “a-ha moments” that can happen when we experience neighborhoods on foot and hopes ‘to get folks thinking critically about how we think we know a neighborhood.’

‘We hear the stories and histories that are typically silenced or made invisible,’ Moebius says. “Walking in this way, in the way that Jane Jacobs walked through neighborhoods, can help us move beyond stereotypes and very limited ways of understanding people and place.'”


New York Times

“It was now time to meet the cultural anthropologist and Little Havana tour guide Corinna Moebius to take in the CubaOcho Museum and Performing Arts Center. Ms. Moebius, along with the sociologist Guillermo Grenier, is the author of “A History of Little Havana,” a thoughtful look at the neighborhood’s history and culture.

This is not a tourist trap,” Ms. Moebius said as we entered the museum. “On any day, you’ll find Cuban artists working on their art in the center’s beautiful courtyard. Famous musicians jam here; this is where the locals go, and this is where Cuban intellectuals, artists and cigar and rum aficionados hang out.”

“Roberto’s philosophy is that art and music and poetry and dance and a good mojito all need to coexist,” she added, referring to Roberto Ramos, the man behind Cubaocho.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo-home.png

Nosotros Existimos’: Profesionales Afrolatinos de Miami Buscan Más Representación en La Sociedad
by Brenda Medina (2017)

“Yvonne Rodríguez y Corinna Moebius conversan durante la primera reunión de Afro-Latino Professionals.”


Sur de Florida Últimas Noticias, Deportes y Crimen | El Nuevo Herald

Miami Celebra El Carnaval de la Calle Ocho a Golpe de Croqueta
by Daniel Shoer Roth (2017)

“Corinna Moebius, antropóloga cultural y coautora del libro A History of Little Havana, bailaba el domingo salsa en medio de una muchedumbre de diversas edades y extracciones sociales que se agitaba frenética al son de la música.

Estamos en Estados Unidos de América y somos parte de las Américas que se ven reflejadas hoy aquí, en un espíritu de convivencia y amor al semejante”, señaló Moebius al resaltar que este año La Pequeña Habana fue incorporada a la lista de lista de Tesoros Nacionales. “Este festival es un símbolo de Miami y la Calle Ocho su escenario”.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is 684px-The_Atlantic_magazine_logo.svg_.png

Cuba: The Brand (2016)

“Often, how businesses in Little Havana use ‘Cubanness’ to market themselves frustrates Moebius…’It’s less sexy if you’re not Cuban,’ she says.

‘It’s so hard for me. I’m a tour guide. I want to share my neighborhood and all its cultural influences. But the demand is literally a little Havana. That’s the perception, and people want to consume this idea of it being traditional and stuck in the past.”


The New Tropic

How to Be a Good Neighbor in Little Havana (2016)

(Quoting me):

Little Havana is very neighborly. Even though my Spanish wasn’t very good at first, at least I tried. Talk to everyone. That includes people in your building, across the street, from all walks of life, and not putting judgements on people. It also means building a tolerance for the differences among us all.

I had neighbors from Mexico. They played mariachi music, and they played it loud. Other friends from Cuba would play their timba, son, and reggaeton. It’s a musical place, so that means coming in and not imposing what you’re used to from somewhere else, learning that there’s a vibe here and being willing to adapt to that and join right in…

In this neighborhood, we trade things with each other. For example, I have a sour orange tree and my neighbor trades her homemade ceviche with me.

Another thing is your body language.

I would say walk, walk, walk. Even if your Spanish isn’t good, greet and interact with people and build that connection. People respond to that very deeply.

Slowly, you’ll meet other locals and business owners who will appreciate you and then they’ll invite you to a coffee or a party or tell you about a great event.

I started a Facebook group called Little Havana/La Pequeña Habana News & Events which is a resource to plug into events and news happening in the neighborhood.

Even if you’re a temporary resident you can think about it as an exchange. You’re going to receive something here if you’re willing and open to learn. There are a lot civic engagement groups working to make Little Havana more equitable.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

La Pequeña Habana Sin Rostro
by Daniel Shoer Roth (2016)

Al igual que en otros barrios céntricos y de clase obrera en el condado de Miami-Dade, en La Pequeña Habana, cambios ascendentes en las características socioeconómicas de los residentes propulsados por la regeneración urbana desplazan progresivamente a la población más desposeída en búsqueda de vivienda asequible. En el proceso, se menoscaba la herencia cultural del lugar, a la vez que se construye arbitrariamente.

En la excursión guiada por la activista y autora Corinna Moebius, los estudiantes de FAU se asombraron al toparse, en plena zona residencial, con un enorme estacionamiento comercial sin paisajismo.

El desaparecido Teatro Martí, un punto de encuentro por excelencia en los albores del exilio, dio paso a un edificio de apartamentos. La seguridad vial para peatones de mayor edad es otro asunto preocupante.

“Es algo muy latinoamericano hablar y socializar entre los vecinos en la calle. Así fue siempre La Pequeña Habana”, me explicó Moebius. “Pero ahora me preocupa que los nuevos edificios son construidos como fortalezas, como barreras, y ya no ves a las personas sentadas en las entradas hablando entre sí. Sus diseños fomentan la división”.


WTVJ - Wikipedia

“$1 Million Project to Give Makeover to Calle Ocho” (2016)

“Transforming Southwest 15th Avenue into a pedestrian-friendly plaza is the most ambitious part of the upgrade, creating a larger gathering place for celebrations and conversations.

“I really think it’s important to look at what’s happening in other parts of Little Havana in terms of transportation, pedestrian safety, beautification and things like that as well,” resident Corinna Moebius said.”


milwaukee journal sentinel logo - SJ Janis

Miami Food Tours Offer Lessons on Cuba (2016)

“Travelers to Miami’s Little Havana will learn plenty, while sampling local delicacies, on a walk with Corinna J. Moebius, co-author with Guillermo Grenier of “A History of Little Havana” (The History Press, 2015, $19) and a doctoral student in anthropology at Florida International University.

Longtime Milwaukeeans may recognize her last name. Carl William Moebius, Corinna’s grandfather, owned the former Moebius printing company in Milwaukee’s Third Ward.

During her Little Havana tours, Moebius talks about the interweaving of history, traditions, politics and spiritual practices in Cuban culture.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is miamiherald.png

Florida’s Climate Crisis Inspires Artists Across the Nation (2016)

“Corinna Moebius chalks a six-foot sea-level-rise line for HighWaterLine in Little Havana.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is wlrn.png

Some Rich And Powerful Would Benefit From Little Havana Upzoning 
(NPR affiliate) (2015)

Cultural anthropologist and Little Havana resident Corinna Moebius is opposed to the upzoning.

Moebius, who recently co-authored A History of Little Havana and leads tours of the neighborhood, fears the changes will lead to the displacement of residents and erode the iconic neighborhood’s identity just so a few may profit.

There are folks who look at our neighborhood, and all we are is a spreadsheet and a map,” Moebius said. “We are just some expendable thing in the way of profit.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nprlogo_rgb_whiteborder_custom-7c06f2837fb5d2e65e44de702968d1fdce0ce748-s800-c85.png

“GREG ALLEN: But people also live here. Resident Corinna Moebius says developers have targeted her neighborhood and are buying up properties.

CORINNA MOEBIUS: Tons – these two buildings were bought. This was bought. It’s been, you know, nicely redone, but I just want to point out this gate.

GREG ALLEN: It’s being redone as a bed and breakfast. There’s a large metal gate with a lock, aimed, Moebius says, at keeping the neighborhood out. Little Havana is a walkable neighborhood, with bungalows along with two and three-story apartment buildings. It’s a place where people talk to their neighbors on stoops and from their balconies. And it has something else going for it – its location. Moebius says it’s just a short bike or bus ride to downtown.

CORINNA MOEBIUS: Developers saw that and they said, oh, maybe this is a place and, look, it is really close to downtown and maybe this can be the next frontier and so…”


Sur de Florida Últimas Noticias, Deportes y Crimen | El Nuevo Herald

Inversionistas Apoyan Cambios en La Pequeña Habana by Brenda Medina (2015)

Sin embargo, Corinna Moebius, una antropóloga cultural y co-autora del libro “A History of Little Havana”, opinó que los más afectados con un aumento del costo de vida en el barrio serían, en su mayoría, las personas trabajadoras, no los presuntos delincuentes.

“Siempre se trata de incriminar al vecindario, y pienso que es desacertado e injusto”, dijo Moebius, quien vive en el área en la que se propone implementar los cambios. “No se debe juzgar un vecindario por las acciones de algunos”.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is TopicalCurrents.jpg

Little Havana “Upzoning”. Could the Historic Cuban-American Neighborhood be Threatened by Developers and Gentrification? WLRN (NPR Affiliate) (2015)


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is FloridaTravelandLife.jpg

A Little Havana,” by Jon Whittle (June 2013)

A LItttle Havana

THE LOVE AFFAIR Sharing cof­fee with Corinna Moebius, it’s easy to forget about the neighborhood’s tumultuous past. She is a tall, thin brunette with a resolutely square jaw, and her eyes flash with excite­ment under a white Panama hat as she talks about Little Havana. Moebius is not a Cuban, but fall­ing in love with one brought her to Miami from Washington, D.C., some seven years ago, and she quickly became obsessed with the culture. “I’m naturally a neighborhood person,” she says with a smile. “And I instantly became passionate about the soul and spirit of this place.” Over the years she found herself getting deeply involved with the com­munity. Not only did she become one of the planners of the Viernes Culturales festival, the monthly celebration of Little Havana’s culture and history, but she also created a merchant alliance among the local business owners. The alliance works to unite the proprietors, gaining a powerful voice to lobby for positive changes in Little Havana, which includes preserving the area’s heritage. “It’s important to make sure that as the city grows, the businesses here aren’t just economic contributors, but help maintain the soul of the neighborhood,” she says. Her eyes drift briefly to a McDonald”s across the street, and her expression momentarily ours. “That’s one fight we lost. We don’t want to see things like that happen again.”

Moebius also leads walking tours of the neighborhood, highlighting the undertones of Cuban history that aren’t always apparent. I wondered if the locals might reject a trans­planted white woman digging around in their cultural affairs, but after a few short steps, my misgivings slide away. It seems every 10 steps somebody stops to say hello to Moebius and converse for a few minutes in Spanish. She is appreciated for what she’s doing here, and her understanding of and respect for Cuban culture has helped her become a fix­ture in the community.


The Miami Herald

Festivals & Tours Spotlight Little Havana’s Cultural Gems (2013)

Corinna Moebius, a Miami tour guide, said you can’t understand the neighborhood if you drive or even bike through it. “Sometimes you’re going to go off the Calle Ocho track,” Moebius said. “You can walk into a place and feel like you’re in Spain, or you’re in Honduras.”

Moebius also encourages visitors to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to spiritual shops called botanicas. “Each botanica is a little different,” she said. “Every cigar place is different. You want to smoke your cigar? Go to a lounge.”

It’s a great time to visit the neighborhood, she said, and a lot’s been done to bring people into Little Havana. “Even though you’re in this big city called Miami, there’s this intimacy in Little Havana,” Moebius said. “I think it’s really exciting to discover your own city.”


“Women & Girls Lead: Meet Corinna Moebius (2013)

I am the subject of a PBS mini-documentary that is part of this series.


Géographie: les deux Amériques (2013)

Featured in French documentary that includes Little Havana


The Miami Herald

Little Havana Shop Owners Hope to Lure Tourists (2013)

Back in July, Corinna Moebius opened a store that sold locally produced crafts with the hope of drawing in some of the hundreds of tourists that visit Little Havana each week.

The tourists never came, though, and her savings began to run out.

So, after just two months Moebius decided that next week she’ll close Bordercross, her cultural shop at 1333 SW Eighth St.

”My passion is this neighborhood,” Moebius said. ”But I just can’t compete with the tourist trap up the street. The tourists just don’t walk down here.’

(…) Inside Bordercross, Moebius sold paintings, musical instruments, sculptures, crafts and locally produced foods such as honey and jelly.

‘Maybe I’m crazy, but what I want to do is create a sense of pride for the things that are produced here in Miami, and not for that superficial image the city has,” Moebius said. ”That superficiality doesn’t have to define us.”

Now, Moebius hopes to give pedestrian tours of the neighborhood called Secrets of Little Havana, a project she’d planned on anyway when she opened her store. The tours will include stops at fruit stands, artist studios and local businesses patronized by people from the neighborhood.

”I want the small businesses in this neighborhood to benefit from tourism, not just those in those two or three blocks near the park,” Moebius said.”


CityLab

The Death and Life of Little Havana (2012)

( Initially titled How Creative Entrepreneurs are Enlivening Miami’s Little Havana by Kaid Benfield, NRDC [Natural Resources Defense Council] (2012)

Today, though, some very interesting developments, supported by energetic neighborhood champions and entrepreneurs, suggest that things are looking up for the district’s future. One can hardly do any kind of research on the neighborhood, for example, without running into multiple references to Corinna Moebius, co-founder of the Little Havana Merchants Alliance and founder and editor of a growing online guide and magazine serving the neighborhood, LittleHavanaGuide.com.

The site, like its neighborhood, is colorful and lively, full of articles about Little Havana’s arts, culture, businesses, and goings-on. Drum-making, graffiti art, ice cream and midwifery were among the subjects highlighted when I looked at the site yesterday.

But it’s also serious. Earlier this year the site published a letter from Bill Fuller, businessman and co-founder of the Merchants Alliance, warning of the intrusion of big-box stores that do not respect the neighborhood’s character.

“Without any historical designations or design review processes within the neighborhood, we are left at the mercy of traditional, ‘off-the-shelf’ store designs that push our urban oasis closer to surburbia than ever before. Drive-thrus, large signage and demolition of historical buildings [are] all part of their plan to convert Calle Ocho from its current status as a historical and cultural mecca to just another big-box non-descript version of Miami street.”

(…) Indeed, LittleHavanaGuide.com lists a dozen important neighborhood assets, including architecture, art, baseball, botanicas (shops carrying traditional spiritual and religious products), cigar factories and stores, cuisine, legendary games of dominoes, festivals, a central location, music and dance, affordability, and theater and film.  The community is overwhelmingly Hispanic, now including residents whose families derive from Central America as well as those linked to Cuba.  It contains some of the oldest and most historic buildings in Miami, including many fine examples of classic bungalow architecture.  It is, in short, a place brimming with what, for lack of a better word, we call “character.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Turismo en la Pequeña Habana (2012)

Corinna Moebius no perdió su fascinación por La Pequeña Habana cuando su tienda para turistas en la Calle Ocho acabó en la quiebra hace año y medio.

De hecho, decidió pasar los siguientes meses explorando e investigando la historia de su barrio adoptivo a fin de producir una guía detallada para turistas.

“Cuando yo tenía esa tiendita y la gente entraba, lo que siempre me preguntaban es: ‘¿Qué hay que hacer? ¿Dónde puedo escuchar música? ¿Dónde debo comer algo?”, comentó. “Eso fue el motivo de lanzar esta guía”.

En enero, Moebius lanzó LittleHavanaGuide.com, un sitio de internet interactivo con más de 100 páginas de información sobre los pequeños negocios, eventos anuales y tradiciones del barrio. Cubre las procesiones de los santos, explica la diferencia entre la charanga cubana y la bomba puertorriqueña, y enseña cómo se debe ordenar un café en la ventanilla de un restaurante.

“El turista viene a La Pequeña Habana para conocer el alma del barrio. Si quisiera ir a las grandes cadenas de Lincoln Road, allí iría”, consideró. “Yo creo que el turista puede jugar un papel en la preservación del alma del barrio. La voz del visitante puede ayudar a nuestros líderes municipales a entender que no todos quieren un minimall, un lugar plástico”.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is logo.png

Cuisine and Culture in Little Havana (2012)

“Tour guide Corinna Moebius will advise you to bring proper walking shoes and an appetite. You’ll need both; the three-hour outing comprises a multi-course menu of food, customs and culture.”


Preservationists Push to Save Neighborhood’s Historic Flavor (2012)

“The grassroots group is fighting a rezoning application aimed at demolishing a vacant 82-year-old building to make way for a TD Bank. Activist Corinna Moebius recently launched an online petition supporting the preservation of the property at 204 SW Eight St. “


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dailytelegraph.png

The Best things to do in Miami, from Art Deco Landmarks to an Amazing Pool
(UK) (2011)

“Opt for the private, customisable tour, which is led by Corinna J. Moebius, a cultural anthropologist and Little Havana resident …”


South Florida Business Journal: Top PR Firms of 2018-19 - Schwartz ...

Emerging Neighborhoods: Little Havana, a Neighborhood at a Crossroads (2011)

“If Little Havana appears like ‘West Brickell’ it will kill tourism,” said Corinna Moebius, the author of “A History of Little Havana” and a resident of Little Havana.” …

This growing interest in Little Havana has been both good and bad, according to Moebius. On one end, tourism has increased to levels that could not have been predicted 10 years ago, but, on the other side, it has attracted new out-of-town investors who don’t have the same attachment or understanding of the community’s needs.

“There are now more outside and foreign investors who don’t have the same relationship to the area as local owners,” Moebius said. “They’ve been hiking up the rent to absurd levels, forcing people to leave or to bring in additional family members into units so they can afford the higher rent.”

Highlighting Moebius’s point, the average rent in East Little Havana has increased more than 28 percent since last year to $1,900 per month, according to the real estate listing site Trulia.”


Sotru_profile-pic_01_small

Miami, FL: Bridging the Divide NPR (2011)


DBCom Media

Ports d’Attache (On the Waterfront): Miami
(Montreal), Planète+ bac (2011)

Led a tour of Little Havana for a documentary film by Canadian producers.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is nationalgeotraveler.png

Tweet Me In Miami (2010)

“I can’t mistake her. In Miami, a subtropical city that classifies hot pink and neon violet as earth tones, Corinna Moebius is a snowflake, dressed in white skirt, blouse, and hat. Eagerly, she threads me through the streets of Little Havana. “Up here,” Moebius says as we pass a dozing coconut seller and climb the stairs to a second floor dance studio. She introduces me to Marisol Blanco, a Cuban émigré who teaches the Afro-Cuban dances associated with Santería …”


Miami Examiner

Imagine Miami Changemaker Conference II Placemaking at Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus (2009)

“Placemaking” is Focus of Upcoming Imagine Miami Changemaker Conference II.

The second in a three-year series, the Imagine Miami Changemaker Conference II on July 18, 2009 focuses on the power of place. Local residents will learn how to create and sustain the public spaces that build community, from community gardens to family-friendly parks and city blocks.

Presented by the Human Services Coalition (HSC), the event will be held in downtown Miami at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus, in the Chapman Conference Center, from 9:30 am – 5:30 pm.

“By bringing together more than 200 aspiring, emerging and seasoned community leaders from diverse backgrounds, including participants in HSC’s civic programs,” says Imagine Miami director Corinna Moebius, “we’ll cross-fertilize good ideas and practices and inspire people with real-life examples of how residents are transforming local places. We’ll also help people connect with each other and with specific opportunities.”

Participants will learn to use innovative place-related tools and approaches for advocacy, resident engagement and community development, including community mapping and GIS, asset mapping, and placemaking tools developed by Project for Public Spaces (PPS). PPS (pps.org) has worked in 2,000 communities in 26 countries around the world, helping people turn their public spaces into vital community places, with programs, uses, and people-friendly settings that build local value and serve community needs. Hands-on workshops will be led by Cynthia Nikitin of PPS (pps.org), Dwayne Marsh of PolicyLink (policylink.org), Delia Caderno of Partnership for Community Transformation and Jacqueline Sartan of the University of Miami. In the placemaking workshop, residents will break into groups and use the PPS Place Evaluation tool to evaluate specific sites in downtown Miami.

Conference attendees can win $500 for their local place-based project (like a community garden). Local groups have until July 1 to submit a one-page proposal to create/improve a local public space. During the conference, attendees will vote for one of ten semi-finalist proposals. The three finalists will have five minutes each to pitch their project during the conference, with additional time to answer questions from a panel of judges and conference attendees. Judges include Charles Auslander of The Children’s Trust, Kris Smith of the Funders’ Network for Smart Growth and Livable Communities, Cynthia Nikitin and Corinna Moebius.

Funded by The Children’s Trust and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the conference is designed to be family friendly. Eco-educational activities for kids will take place all day, led by Kiki Mutis (Director of the Community Science Workshop at Citizens for a Better South Florida) and environmental educator Sofie Geckler. Near the close of the conference, kids will share their own ideas for better neighborhoods with the rest of the attendees. Parents can bring children 5 and up for no extra cost, and up to 80 parents are eligible for a discounted $5 registration fee if they apply by July 3rd . The regular conference price is $25.

Other conference highlights include a keynote presentation by Cynthia Nikitin, a World Café dialogue on creating family-friendly neighborhoods, hands-on demonstrations of online mapping tools (e.g., policylink.org and the Children’s Trust’s KidsMap), exhibits showcasing local place-related projects, a video Story Booth (courtesy of WPBT’s uvuvideo.org), and a culminating drumming activity led by local artist/activist Lela Lombardo.

Following the conference, participants can continue their connection and collaboration with local changemakers via our “Community Cafes”: neighborhood-based dialogues led by local residents trained in community dialogue techniques. They can also connect via our online civic network (imaginemiami.ning.com), and continue building skills, awareness and connections via HSC’s advocacy and leadership programs and workshops. (…)

About the Changemaker Conference Series HSC launched its three-year series of Changemaker Conferences (two a year) in response to the success of its 2008 Imagine Miami Summit on Arts, Culture & Civic Engagement, which South Florida residents described as uplifting, connecting, energizing and transformative. The series is part of HSC’s broader strategy to cultivate networks of trust (social capital) and increase residents’ capacity to be catalysts for participatory, community change.

The conferences build upon each other, and each increases awareness and knowledge of particular techniques, success stories and opportunities. The first conference (April 4, 2009) focused on asset-based approaches (leveraging community strengths); storytelling for social impact; and community dialogue techniques. By 2011, we expect at least 1,000 local residents to become champions for civic engagement and community involvement in South Florida.

A committee of hard-working and dedicated volunteers, interns and contributing HSC staff has been meeting weekly to help Imagine Miami director Corinna Moebius plan the conference. Core volunteers include Sam Van Leer of Urban Paradise Guild, Linda McGlathery of the Garden Project, Harold Silva of Miami Dade College, Roger Horne of Belafonte TACOLCY youth center, Brad Knoefler of the Omni/Park West Redevelopment Association and Luz Agudelo, an HSC Public Ally who works with Little Havana residents. Interns include Alexandra Torres and Julia Atkinson.

In-kind support is provided by Miami Dade College and uVu (www.uvuvideo.org, the community video project of local public TV station WPBT).


The Miami Herald

Imagine Miami a Better Place. Look Hard and Listen (I wrote this piece) (2007)

Underneath the overpass of I-395, one of the highways that split Overtown in half, is a garden planted by local residents. Look closely, and you’ll notice flowers in front of homes that face the garden: new growth.

It’s a different kind of “growth” than the half-constructed skyscrapers dominating Miami’s downtown skyline. The flowers in this neighborhood, known for its poverty and crime, were planted by people who have a stake in the future of their community: people who may remember when Overtown was a thriving African-American enclave.

But see, Miami is like that.

Criticize it for its neighborhoods torn in half, its rampant corruption, sprawl and traffic. Snicker at the extremes of wealth and poverty, the worship of fast cars and artificially created beauty and the seeming apathy of residents.

But look harder. And listen.

Because people here are resilient and, like the flower that grows through the sidewalk, we find ways to emerge through even the hardest of times. There are a million untold stories of people like Marvin Dunn, who started the gardens in Overtown, who in their own way — however big or small — are turning Miami-Dade into the place it can be: more just, inclusive and sustainable. . .

When we see a garden, or hear a story, it revives our sense of hope and possibility.


The Miami Herald

Neighborhood News (2006)

On Friday – the busiest shopping day of the year – Little Havana’s Viernes Culturales, or Cultural Fridays, will celebrate the neighborhood’s arts, culture and heritage with a sidewalk sale offering artwork and other holiday gifts.

The 6:30 p.m. to 11 p.m. event also has its regular feast of music and dance with street performers, sidewalk cafes and salsa dancers spilling out of local restaurants on Calle Ocho between 14th and 17th avenues.

“This Viernes Culturales offers visitors the opportunity to shop with friends and family while also having a great time,” said Corinna Moebius, executive director of the community-based nonprofit that produces the festival every first Friday of the month.

“It’s a great alternative to the malls!” Moebius said.

Headlining the main stage at Southwest 15th Avenue at the post-Thanksgiving fete: La Orquesta Inmensidad, a top-rated, 11-piece Cuban salsa orchestra led by Panamian-born Raul Galimore.”


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image.png

Más Variedad de Artistas en este Viernes Cultural

La Pequeña Habana se engalana mañana de 7 a 11 p.m. para celebrar otro Viernes Cultural, en pleno Mes de la Hispanidad. La Calle Ocho, entre las avenidas 14 y 17 del S.W., se llenará de kioscos donde más de 80 artistas y artesanos exhibirán sus obras.

También habrá entretenimiento en vivo en la tarima de la avenida 15, con la presentación del grupo juvenil de danza folclórica boliviana Bolivia Mágica a las 7:10 p.m.; el conjunto de reggaetón Havana Fama a las 7:50 p.m.; el cantante costarricense de cumbia Marcelo Flores a las 8:20 p.m.; la cubanoamericana Dyanna y su banda a las 8:55 p.m., y la propuesta de música popular latina de La Orquesta América a las 10 p.m.

Según la nueva directora ejecutiva de Viernes Cultural, Corinna Moebius, la muestra de arte de mañana incluye a dos nuevos colaboradores, el pintor Frank Monteavaro con coloridas composiciones abstractas y la orfebre Susana Ruiz, quien decora botellas de vino con fantasiosos diseños en plata y otros metales.

Además, en el Centro Cultural Latin Quarter habrá una exhibición de 40 artistas locales, de 8 a 10 p.m., en celebración del Mes de la Hispanidad y develará un póster titulado Travesías del pintor y galerista Ramón Unzueta.

Por otra parte, en el teatro Tower, el escritor cubano Josevelio Rodríguez presentará su libro de poemas Herejías anónimas y firmará autógrafos desde las 7 p.m.

Los amantes de la comida gourmet se deleitarán con los pasteles de cangrejo o pastas italianas del nuevo restaurante de comida continental Romo, en la 15 que abre sus puertas mañana. Esto sin contar el menú tradicional cubano de otros restaurantes del área como El Pub, El Exquisito o El Siglo Nuevo o las deliciosas tapas españolas de Casa Panza.

“Viernes Culturales tiene mucha más vida. Hay cada vez más variedad de artistas plásticos y música porque a la gente le encanta bailar bajo las estrellas,” asegura Moebius.


This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is intowner_logo.gif

Adams Morgan Day to Build on Las Year’s Success: Dance Added (2005)

New this year, according to Festival Director Corinna Moebius, is a Dance Plaza, with an exciting lineup of dance performances and workshops at Marie Reed. Coordinated by Joaquin Figueroa, the Plaza will feature talented groups performing West African dance, Afro-Cuban rumba and Mexican folk dances, as well as the youth step group that has been nominated for the DC Dance Awards, and a popular Bolivian dance troupe. The Dance Plaza is part of a special focus on fitness and health for all of the family-oriented activities on the grounds of Marie Reed, including the Kid’s Fair.