Staff Report

NORTH BAY VILLAGE, Fla. – Recently, North Bay Village Commissioner Andreana Jackson hosted the city’s inaugural “Treasure Island Art Meets Technology Fair” for a crowd of inquisitive children and their parents. Some of South Florida’s most influential visionaries in art, tech and modern culture came out to Treasure Island Elementary School to offer families a free afternoon of kid-friendly workshops. Attendees had the opportunity to explore educational games and demonstrations incorporating graffiti, painting, virtual reality, computer programming and robotics.

Inspired by Miami-Dade County’s forthcoming Art Basel festivities, Commissioner Jackson created the Fair to expose local youth enrolled in grades 2-12 to emerging career options in STEAM fields in hopes of preparing them for today’s increasingly-competitive workforce. She and her team collaborated with a group of sponsors ready and willing to support her vision. They included Myra Wexler, known as the ‘Queen of Wynwood,’ Atlantic Broadband and Philip Stein, Inc.

“We invited tech companies, local artists, designers, app developers and industrial designers who believe in community outreach and were willing to showcase their talents to young students,” said Commissioner Jackson. “For the most part, all the workshops were hands-on so parents and children could enjoy working on projects together.”

The afternoon’s opening ceremonies included remarks from Treasure Island Elementary School Principal Dalia Villar, a traditional Ubuntu Ceremony led by V FLOCKS designer Lauren “LoLo” Evans and a liturgical dance performance from the Inner City Dance Club of Miami. During the fair, children had the opportunity to work alongside some of the best and brightest creators in their respective fields, including the following workshop presenters: The Genius Factory, Leandra Hall representing Bots For All, The Gratitude Project, Dutch Hippies, Miami Arts & Design Education, Aquarela Sabol ART, Chy Tea Shaulin, El Xupet Negre and Miami College of Design. The planning committee included: Commissioner Andreana Jackson: Melissa Frantz, Humberto Lee, Myra Wexler, Jeff Morr, Joyce R. Forchion, and Miguel Martinez.

After winning her recent election, Commissioner Jackson is already contemplating the future of the fair, which she believes was a successful example of her mission to host educational, culturally-influenced events during her term.

“By the end of the afternoon, I think we succeeded in sparking an untapped interest among these children, along with a stronger desire to learn and grow,” she said. “We want to enrich the lives of our residents, and I wholeheartedly believe that offering inter- generational experiences will solidify this mission. Hopefully the fair will serve as a vi- able asset for both children and their parents,” she said.