Explore Ward Rooming House In Historic Overtown

Historic Overtown

Historic Overtown

Ward Rooming House

Ward Rooming House

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By: Ashlee Thomas

History can be found in each stroke of acrylic paint, behind the lens of the photographer, and in the bronze of each sculpture when entering the Ward Rooming House in Historic Overtown. This building, now a part of the National Register of Historic Places, has been transformed from a safehouse for Blacks and Indigenous people gathered during segregation to an immaculate gallery under the curatorial direction of Hampton Art Lovers. Featuring the elites of the Black Art world, the Ward Rooming House hosts exhibitions that include works from Maya Angelou’s personal collection, sculptures and artwork of Elizabeth Catlett, and the photography of Phillip Shung, just to name a few.

For the cultural explorer, the Ward Rooming House delivers. Curated by Hampton Art Lovers, this intimate setting is great for art connoisseurs, historians and intellectuals. From art talks to sip and paint nights, here are some must-attend events for your Miami travel itinerary.

On Exhibit At Ward Rooming House:

Ebony Broadsides: Celebration of the Masters

Presented by Hampton Art Lovers
249 NW 9th St., Miami, FL 33136

Ebony Broadsides focuses on Black artists whose efforts in the 20th century demonstrate their command of mainstream traditions of racial pride.

On exhibit, as part of the permanent collection the Ward Rooming House, Ebony Broadsides: Celebration of the Masters features more than 90 originally signed museum and gallery exhibition posters from great African American artists, presented as original pieces of art themselves. This exhibition features posters for exhibitions by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Jacob Lawrence, Faith Ringgold, Betye Saar, John Biggers, Lois Mailou Jones, Benny Andrews, Gordon Parks, Roy DeCarava, Ernie Barnes, Oliver Johnson, Ed Clark, Elizabeth Catlett, Romare Bearden, Samella Lewis, Barkley Hendricks, James Denmark, Basil Watson and more.

Enjoy the exhibition in Historic Overtown, the first part of the city where Black Miamians freely communed in the era of Muhammad Ali, Martin Luther King Jr., James Brown and Purvis Young.

Point Comfort Art Fair + Show 2020

December 3, 2020 – December 6, 2020

During the hottest art season of the year, Hampton Art Lovers presents the Point Comfort Art Fair and Show in the Historic Ward Rooming House. With exceptional art, patrons can enjoy live talks, performances, and a unique indoor/outdoor cultural experience that showcases the best of the best in Historic Overtown. Full details about curated shows can be found here soon.

Other Things to Explore in Overtown

A stone’s throw from the Ward Rooming House is the newly renovated Dorsey House. This beautiful two-story home was the actual home of Black millionaire D.A. Dorsey in Overtown in the early 1900s. Visitors can learn the history of Dorsey’s life on the first floor of the home, from his contributions to the community to the controversial sibling rivalry over Dorsey’s fortune. The second floor includes a contemporary exhibition about local and national history, from Barack Obama’s election to the founder of the first established Black newspaper in Miami. Great for photo-ops, selfies and history, the house is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. No need for reservations, just ring the doorbell and enjoy. 250 NW 9th St, Miami, Fl 33136

Traveling on a first Friday of the month? Stop by Folk Life Friday’s open-air market located outside of the Lyric Theater. This market runs from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Attendees can enjoy southern comfort food from local vendors: conch fritters, fried chicken, slushies, mouthwatering bar-b-que and more. Take a seat near the mainstage to enjoy live musical performances and guest DJs like local celebrity Papa Keith of 103.5 the Beat. Stay in Historic Overtown for the iconic Lyric Live show hosted by BET’s Comic View Chello Davis starting at 7:30 p.m. Lyric Live is Miami's version of the Apollo and is sure to entertain. Tickets start at $10 and can be purchased here.
819 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33136

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