When Daniel Milewski and Gallery Diet-owner Nina Johnson opened Wynwood venue Lester’s, the intention was to create a space that fostered a creative dialogue and allowed visitors (neighborhoodies and artists alike) to have a space in which to study or work or think or eat or drink. There just hadn’t been a similar non-commercial space in the area before, save for bars. It was necessary. In an interview with NBC Miami, Milewski explained, “I think not just creative types, but people in general, who live in neighborhoods need these kinds of permeable spaces to move in and out of. People need spaces to co-mingle and [create] dialogue, places that aren’t nightclubs or party joints.”
With his new monthly event, Submission, José Garza is attempting, as he says, to “put Daniel Milewski’s mantra behind Lester’s in full effect: ‘a place where both products and ideas can be exchanged.’ ” While Submission is essentially a showcase of local talent, its name reveals its philosophy: all are invited, and expected, to participate, network, and — by their presences alone — contribute. Says Garza, “Submission is a safe haven for artists of various mediums to expose their craft and be critiqued in a constructive manner by a community of their peers.”
Some of the live acts Garza rounded up for Submission include Deaf Poets’ Sean Wouters, DJ Benton Galgay, and the awkwardly disarming and wonderfully absurd comedian Aristotle Georgeson. But lesser-known acts, like Copan and Dear Darling, were selected exactly because you probably haven’t heard of them yet. Instead of going through the typical motions — going to a show, expressing excitement or disappointment about it afterwards — Garza invites you to learn about and engage with all participants. “I want local philanthropists to interact with the acts and local entities being showcased at Submission,” he explains.
To assist with this process of fully comprehending and experiencing the artists in an encompassing way — and to extend Submission’s reach at least a little bit beyond Wynwood — Garza and Jolt Radio will conduct interviews with each artist throughout the evening. The interviews will stream live. “The interviews and live stream portion will be one of the main focuses of Submission,” says Garza. “The stream will be an educational service for those who want to get into the local scene but don’t know where to start … [It] will serve as a catalog of the Wynwood art scene for outsiders to dissect and learn from.”
As if it isn’t fantastic and ambitious enough that Garza has used the model of a community outreach program to conduct his showcase, he has bigger plans still.
“Ideally, if things go well in the first few months, I want to expand Submission from a monthly party to a weekly one,” he says. That’s his more measured, current goal. There’s also this one: “My main goal for the future is to have a block party-slash-festival that will showcase a plethora of artists and performers all along the 25th Street city block. The festival will integrate the local vendors that surround Lester’s.
“My vision,” he continues, “would be Mardi Gras meets Food and Wine Festival meets Woodstock, all while stimulating the local economy.”
Where: Lester’s (2519 N.W. Second Ave., Miami)
When: 9:00 p.m. to 2 a.m.
Contact: For more info, visit the Facebook event page here.