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#WeAreMiamians inspires locals to embrace culture, capture beauty of city

Marty Steinberger (pictured), educator and founder of CARE Elementary School, provides quality education to underserved kids in the Overtown community who are eager to learn. This photo, taken by Courtney Welbon, won second place in the #WeAreMiamians Instagram contest. Welbon plans to donate her winnings to furthuring CARE. Photo courtesy Courtney Welbon

Marty Steinberger (pictured), educator and founder of CARE Elementary School, provides quality education to underserved kids in the Overtown community who are eager to learn. This photo, taken by Courtney Welbon, won second place in the #WeAreMiamians Instagram contest. Welbon plans to donate her winnings to furthuring CARE. Photo courtesy Courtney Welbon. Miami is known for its beautiful beaches, unique culture and vibrant city life. In an effort to encourage locals to capture the neglected beauty of the inner city, the #WeAreMiamians Instagram project was created.

Miami is known for its beautiful beaches, unique culture and vibrant city life. In an effort to encourage locals to capture the neglected beauty of the inner city, the #WeAreMiamians Instagram project was created.

On Thursday, Oct. 1, the Lowe Art Museum, in partnership with media company Fullbottle, presented the Instagram project #WeAreMiamians during its Lowe After Hours event. It showcased 25 submissions from community enthusiasts using the hashtag.

“We are interested in embracing new technology and finding projects that interest students by connecting with them in a meaningful way,” Lowe Art Museum Director Jill Deupi said.

Created by Fullbottle, the marketplace that brings brands and their influence together to execute campaigns, the #WeAreMiamians project aims to capture and share stories of individuals who create Miami’s culture.

“We are interested in leveraging the power of social media in all the different platforms that are being used routinely,” Deupi said. “Not only to provide the opportunity for students on campus to connect with us, but to also send out to the wider community messages about what we are doing.”

The project’s 25 submissions included photos of a homeless man riding a bicycle, an educator with her students and men playing dominoes.

The exhibit may evoke a feeling of familiarity because of its resemblance to Humans of New York, the project’s inspiration. Unlike Humans of New York, however, the pictures of #WeAreMiamians are taken by a myriad of individuals across the city.

“There had been some other attempts here in Miami to start a similar project, but we wanted to use our company and our platform to launch this,” CEO and co-founder Reed Berglund said. “It’s great to see what is going on here in Miami in terms of media, technology and art, but on an individual basis.”

Originally hailing from Los Angeles and Boston, the two men had several options when picking which city to start the project in, but were both enchanted by Miami’s energy.

“Coming in, we bought into the stereotype thinking it was a party town. When we got here and saw how incredible the energy is, we realized the opportunity that many people aren’t aware of,” Berglund said.

The project also awarded prize money to the top three images with the most likes and comments.

“When I heard about the contest, I thought I would be able to get a few likes and hopefully be able to donate the money to a cause that really needs it,” said second-place winner, Courtney Welbon, who received 854 likes. “When I went to the ceremony that recognized their impact on the community, there was this energy in the room that was infectious.”

This isn’t the end for #WeAreMiamians. Fullbottle plans to take on similar projects in the future.

“It’s a chance for our company to be active in the community and an opportunity to grow and bring exposure to the city,” Berglund said.

 

October 4, 2015

Reporters

Alyssa Cruz


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