June 1, 2023


Without Art It's Really Boring!!!

Miami arts firm makes membership for youthful gurus

4 min read

Artists from across Miami-Dade County open up their studios to the public this Saturday for Artists Open, a one-day event organized by Fountainhead Arts.

Artists from across Miami-Dade County open up up their studios to the general public this Saturday for Artists Open, a just one-working day occasion organized by Fountainhead Arts.

Photograph courtesy of Fountainhead Arts

Art is supposed to be for everybody, but let’s be real. Understanding the ins and outs of the art world can be daunting for young people, especially if you’re not a millionaire art collector.

Fountainhead Arts, a Miami-based arts nonprofit, says it has a solution for Miami’s art-curious young professionals.

Fountainhead Contemporaries is a new membership that offers young professionals under age 35 an insider look into Miami’s bustling — and sometimes confuddling — art world. The nonprofit announced the membership program earlier this month and will be celebrating its launch Monday with a cocktail party.

The program is meant to be an educational, affordable and approachable introduction to appreciating and participating in the arts. If you’ve ever wondered what Art Basel Miami Beach is, how artists create their work, why a ceramic balloon dog sculpture would be worth $42,000, or why anyone would want to buy its broken pieces, this might be the membership for you.

The program was the brainchild of Francesca Levy Nabors, the Fountainhead program manager and a former elementary school art teacher.

“You get to meet people, socialize and get involved in your community,” Nabors said. “The arts is such a huge pillar in the Miami community, like the arts built Miami in a sense. You get to go deeper in that and meet the artists that make Miami what it is and meet the institutions that make Miami what it is.”

Nabors, 27, said she noticed an interest among her friends who see her Instagram posts about art and Fountainhead. When she invites her friends to check out Fountainhead’s open house to meet artists, they leave eager to learn more about the arts but they’re not sure how.

“If had a dollar for every friend — and these are smart people — who asked me, ‘When I go to a museum, what do I look at? How do I know what I’m looking at?’” Nabors said. “That’s a fair question! You shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask that question. That’s part of what we’re trying to do here.”

Fountainhead already has a “Visionary” membership program at a higher price point, which is geared toward people who are already collectors or well-versed in the art world, Nabors said. The Contemporaries program is specifically catered to young people who are looking to dip their toes into Miami’s art scene.

For $30 a month, Contemporaries includes access to all Fountainhead membership events, curated educational events and panels, opportunities to meet artists, gallery and museum visits and networking opportunities. Visiting Art Basel once a year isn’t a great way to learn about art, Nabors said. But speaking to artists one on one is.

The membership’s first event will be a tour and talk with Elizabeth Margulies of the renowned Margulies collection in Wynwood.

“One of the things I love about art the most is the conversations that you have when you’re looking at art and talking about art. Thinking about art just open the doors to think about different ideas and current events,” Nabors said.

The membership is also a unique way for young professionals to meet new people with similar interests. It’s something fun to do besides eating out and drinking, Nabors said.

Sabrina Beraja, a 25-year-old Fountainhead member, agreed. It’s important to connect with the community, she said.

Beraja, who works in real estate, said the arts world seemed very exclusive and foreign to her before a friend of a friend introduced her to Fountainhead. As a Miami native, she learned that the city’s art scene is much more than an annual art fair.

For now, Beraja is Fountainhead’s youngest member. She said she’s excited for more young people to join and experience art.

“It’s attracting a different audience, a younger crowd to the art world,” Beraja said. “Typically, you think of art collectors as being like later in life. I think it’s an amazing way to be exposed to that earlier on.”

Fountainhead Contemporaries

Membership costs $350 a year for individuals and $600 a year for couples. Can be billed monthly. Learn more at www.fountainheadarts.org/join

This story was produced with financial support from The Pérez Family Foundation, in partnership with Journalism Funding Partners, as part of an independent journalism fellowship program. The Miami Herald maintains full editorial control of this work.

This tale was originally revealed March 27, 2023, 5:00 AM.

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