Dear Diary,

Roseanne Barr was right when Johnny Carson ruled, and she's still right. Why is it that women so often clean up the messes that other people, especially men and kids, keep making??

Take the program called "Women in Wynwood," a terrific idea to clean up the not-terribly-tidy streets of Wynwood, recently proposed by Constance and Martin Margulies as well as by Thea Goldman, Rhonda Mitrani, and Nina Johnson of Gallery Diet. It involves hiring the homeless women of Lotus Shelter started by Constance Margulies, for sure a visionary philanthropist in Miami, to operate cleaning carts on the streets of Wynwood. Their initial idea has been to locate 15 women to raise $5,000 each or 30 women to raise $25,000. Each woman could be photographed by a talented photographer, and featured in a marketing campaign as one of the pioneering Women of Wynwood. What a bold idea!!

Why didn't someone think of this earlier? But, hey, I am NOT complaining! Let's count our blessings that at least a few artcentric folks are thinking about ways for Wynwood to clean up its act and be more user-friendly. A former Wynwood gallery director told me that, on Sunday mornings after gallery openings the night before, she often swept up piles of empty plastic cups tossed on the sidewalk near especially popular galleries. Why am I not surprised??

I recall how Roseanne Barr, before she had her own famous TV show, cracked HILARIOUS jokes on the Johnny Carson show about being "just a housewife." As I remember, she said she hated pushing a vacuum cleaner and thought someone should invent one that you could ride, similar to lawn mowers men ride on their mine-is-bigger-than-yours lawns. I also remember that she wondered why everyone in her family seemed to think her uterus was a homing device, because they all came to her looking for things they had lost.

Can I relate!!! For years when my head was stuffed to the max with newspaper deadlines and HEALTHY dinner recipes, I fielded questions about why favorite t-shirts were not washed yet, and where did those school books and must-have shoes hide? And why didn't I know and could I run to the mall and find new ones?? And would I mind picking up cookies and ice cream on the way because there's never anything fun to eat in the house?? Thank goodness those days are over, and my terrific husband and I have raised our kids into wonderful adults!!!

So how about this fab idea for the Women of Wynwood? I wonder who will be the first to step up to the plate (er, cart) to get things going? And will this visionary idea spark even more big ideas to make a difference for Miami's artcentric community?? Never mind that Sarah What's-Her-Name gave up her gig in Alaska. Once again we see that the REAL action is where the grrrlz are!!!

As Thea Goldman wrote in a June 2009 e-mail, "We forsee each cleaning cart being sponsored by various galleries eventually and this program funding itself in the future but it needs to be made tangible and real for Art Basel this year."

WOW!!! So what in the world is Miami waiting for? I want people to send me their ideas inspired by these audacious Women of Wynwood so I can post them on my new ArtCentric BLOG. Come to think of it, this reminds me of a famous verse by Spanish poet Antonio Machado I recently discovered in a school book in the never-totally-neat room of my adult son.
Machado wrote, "Wayfarer, there is no way, you make the way as you go."

Now is the time for Miami to make its own way to an improved Wynwood!! No more delays!!

3 thoughts on “Now Is the Time to Clean up Wynwood!

  1. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Elisa for bringing this amazing program out to the art scene, if anyone is interested in joining us please come to our first meeting on Wednesday July 15th from 6 – 8 PM at Joey's restaurant in Wynwood, we need your support and EVERYONE's imput is valuable… writers, philantrhopists, and artists. And if you're a man join the women in this exceptional project by sponsoring a Woman of Wynwood; your wife, girlfriend, favorite artist, etc.


    -Nina Johnson

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wanted to update all the Art Centric readers on the progress of made at the first Women of Wynwood meeting! The turn out and energy was spectacular, we had over 100 women in attendance and moreover Tony Goldman pledged to donate $1 for every $2 that we raise in honor of the WOW's in his life, his wife and daughter (hint hint gentleman). Remember though the core of this program lies in the fact that we want everyone, all layers of our community included, and as such we've made the starting amount for founders to raise or donate by September 1'st 2009 nominal. We're asking for 100 WOW's to step up and each contribute $250, for this $250 your face will be included in our WOW campaign and your name in all of our promotional materials. We need all of the Women of Wynwood to make this happen, so please join us. Getting in is simple, just make a check out to The Wynwood Arts District Association (and a memo marked "Women of Wynwood) and bring it by with your name and contact information to Gallery Diet or Joey's Wynwood… remember we NEED YOU ALL TO MAKE THIS WORK.

    All my best,

    Nina Johnson

    a proud Woman of Wynwood

  3. Anonymous says:

    Hi Nina,

    If you're still looking for a photographer, I'd love to come out and take pictures!
    Please send me an email and we can further discuss! Thanks!!


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