Recently the Jam the Hype team visited the Wynwood Arts District in Miami and we shot this video of the level of graffiti art that is finally now coming to the surface. Graffiti art is getting elevated to a level that is attracting serious investment, both as shown here to attract economic development but also as a form as art investment. Even one of “our own” here at Jam the Hype, @camer1sf who runs our annual graffiti battle at the Jam the Hype festival in May, has been featured in Wynwood. Clearly, the effort of the artists have resulted in more revenue to the area, to local businesses, and to the artists themselves. Many consider Wynwood to be the “superbowl” of graffiti art.
However, there has been a concerted effort in many cities around the nation to “gentrify” urban areas, to make them more appealing to the middle class. Some feel that the process of real estate developers coming in to transform an area can destroy the authentic nature of an ethnic district. So, here is another perspective about what can happen to an area when gentrification happens. (Advisory: Strong Language)
Creating balance between economic development yet also retaining the rich history of an area should be a worthy goal. One does not have to come at a cost to the other when done right. What do you think about Wynwood and what have you seen happening in your own city?