With a music line-up of numerous Grammy-nominated artists, exhibitions for every age and interest, and a platform for open dialogue on diversity, the Overtown Music Festival exceeded all expectations. Hosted by Headliner Market Group, City of Miami Commission Chairman Keon Hardemon, and the Southeast Overtown/Park West Community Redevelopment Agency, the event took place on Saturday, July 23rd to promote the arts, cultural enrichment, and support local businesses.
Performances in various music styles set a laid-back, festive mood in the neighborhood. The weekend bash set in full force with artists such as R&B neo-soul singer Eric Benet, British singer and songwriter Estelle, R&B songstress Kelly Price, Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter Ameriie, R&B artists Carl Thomas, Jeremih, Jon B along with Tito Puente, Jr. (son of the legendary ‘Mambo King’ Tito Puente). Local artists including, Samara, Sensere, Ronnie VOP, J-Shin, Jody Hill & Deep Fried Funk Band also appeared at this year’s festival.
Surrounded by upbeat, lively music, six local artists demonstrated their talents through live art, the designs displayed on site in the Art Den. Such pieces including ‘Being,’ a live art mural installation by Miami native Danielle Myers. These exhibits promoted awareness of the inequality in America and allowed both artists and festivalgoers to share and discuss their experiences. Everyone and anyone could come up to the 6×6 mural to write a story that has affected them, their loved ones and their community.
Miami Youth were also encouraged to explore their creative side at the Teens Exercising Extraordinary Success (T.E.E.S.) Zone presented by the Green Family Foundation. DIY arts & crafts had the children (and some adults!) creating their own t-shirts, hats, jewelry and more. For the more active, fitness activities and competitions were also available, along with bounce houses, a multi-lingual story time tent, live cooking demonstrations, and more. Several times during the events, DJ Chipman spun every child’s favorite track “Peanut Butter Jelly,” and started up impromptu dance parties.
The Youth Zone also had its own stage, with live performances by Miami Girls Choir and Young Lyric from Jermaine Dupri’s Lifetime television show, The Rap Game. On a more serious note, Motivational Edge participated with spoken word, percussion performances that addressed several cultural and social issues.
Alongside the event, local Overtown businesses and vendors also showcased artwork,
ethnic cuisine, food trucks, unique crafts, jewelry, clothing, and more. The annual festival brings together the Historic Overtown neighborhood through arts and music. The fun and games speak loudly to locals and newcomers alike as a reminder about just how much we share in this community in spite of our differences.
We look forward to next year’s celebration, which is always brighter and even more wonderful than the last.