Join us for a community discussion on the new and exciting green space in downtown Miami—Omni Park. Activist Rev. Houston R. Cypress, entrepreneur Brad Knoefler, artist Michael Loveland, Pete Osceola, Jr., Commissioner Ken Russell, and Omni CRA Executive Director Jason Walker will discuss how Omni Park came about and its importance for the downtown scene.
Before the discussion, enjoy a screening of Omni Park: Under Construction, a short film by Aaron Glickman, that tells the story of community leaders coming together to create more green space in downtown Miami by transforming seven acres of blighted land into a temporary park with the help of CRA funding. Immediately following the discussion join the panel for a walk and tour of Omni Park.
The new Omni Park connects the Overtown and Bayfront neighborhoods and offers five city blocks of green space for recreation and social gathering to an urban core with few parks. Miami-based artist Michael Loveland's large-scale public sculptures entitled Better Use of Barrier: The Chain Link
Rev. Houston R. Cypress, also known by his Miccosukee name Yahalétke, is a poet, artist, environmental activist, and ordained minister. Through his organization, Love the Everglades Movement, Cypress has become a major force within Miccosukee society as an advocate for cultural preservation, environmental protection, business development, and sovereignty. Cypress also acts as a cultural ambassador, leading the way for meaningful exchange and connection between his society of clans and the outside world.
Aaron Glickman is a Miami native. After earning his degree in
Michael Loveland was born in 1973 in Miami, Florida, where he currently lives and works. He graduated from New World School of the Arts in Miami in 1991 and earned his Bachler's of Fine Arts degree (BFA) from the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore in 1994. He also studied and worked in New York for seven years before returning to Miami in 2001. Loveland's works
Commissioner Ken Russell speaks English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Japanese, and has conducted business in over 40 countries. He is a former professional yo-yo player. He holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a focus on International Marketing and a minor in Japanese. Currently, he resides in Coconut Grove, Florida, with his wife Juliana and their two children, Julia and Eva. When Russell is not enjoying time with them or working to make Miami better, he can usually be found making furniture and wood sculpture. Several of his pieces have been auctioned off to raise money for various charities.
Jason Walker started as the Executive Director of the Omni CRA in April of 2016. Walker worked as the Village Manager of the Village of El Portal for ten years, where he planned organized and oversaw the work of all Village departments. Prior to his work in El Portal, Walker worked as a Senior Staff and Policy Advisor to City of Miami District 2 Commissioner, Johnny Winton where he was responsible for the neighborhood oversight of Coconut Grove, Brickell, Omni CRA and the Overtown/Parkwest CRA.