Neighborhood Transformation
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Digital Journal - May 15, 2014

Opa-locka Community Development Corporation Awarded Grant from Surdna Foundation

Funds for arts-based revitalization initiatives.

OPA-LOCKA, Fla., May 15, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is one of a select group of nonprofit organizations nationwide to receive one of the Surdna Foundation's most competitive grants through the Thriving Cultures Program. The OLCDC will receive $450,000 over the next three years to support its growing arts and cultural initiatives to engage the community and align design projects with broader community goals.

"Cultivating strong partnerships with individuals, organizations, and foundations like Surdna will help us pave the way for more community engagement and an enhanced sense of pride for residents in Opa-locka," said Willie Logan, Ph.D., President & CEO of OLCDC.

The grant supports the planning and implementation of several arts-based revitalization projects that foster community engagement, improve neighborhoods by addressing housing, infrastructure and public spaces, enhance economic and educational opportunities, and provide cultural programming. Projects are guided by the Opa-locka Public Art Master Plan which presents a vision of how art can be incorporated into the fabric of the city to enhance the lives of its residents and optimize its transformation. The plan outlines a network of dynamic public spaces that incorporate functional and aesthetically-enhancing public art in Opa-locka, particularly in the Magnolia North (formerly the Triangle) neighborhood. One such project is Made in Opa-locka, an innovative pilot project conceived by artists Jennifer Bonner and Christian Stayner to support the design, branding and realization of home-grown micro-enterprises and community spaces that will help serve the neighborhood and provide residents with space for entrepreneurial and economic opportunities.

In addition to funding projects in the arts master plan that involve the community in the creative and implementation processes, the grant will help jumpstart a small artist residency program. It will also allow for increased collaboration with local artists, organizations and educational institutions to bring quality community arts programming to Opa-locka.

The long-term goal is that by 2026, Opa-locka's centennial year, the historic city will become one of the region's better known centers for arts, culture and living.

About Opa-locka Community Development Corporation The Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) was established in 1980 as a non-profit community development organization to address distressed unemployment conditions, particularly in the Opa-locka and North Dade County, Florida communities. Its primary mission is to transform neighborhoods by capitalizing on existing community assets, empowering residents, as well as creating civic and economic initiatives that serve as a catalyst in promoting sustainable development. For more information, please visit

About the Surdna Foundation The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States -- communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Learn more at