​Public Space Challenge Winner Profile: Newt Miami

Written By Josie Gulliksen
October 15, 2015 at 1:48 PM

​Public Space Challenge Winner Profile: Newt Miami

The InterContinental Miami hotel’s digital wall is set to become a vertical canvas during the week of Nov. 9 thanks to the Newt Miami Project, one of the Miami Foundation’s Public Space Challenge winners. It’s thanks to the creative minds of Dejha Carrington of YoungArts and composer Kelly Nunes, who collaborated to formulate the event to pitch the hotel about the idea.

The two put the planning wheels in motion a year ago but weren’t even sure if it was even possible, so at the time it was considered a passion project. They looked into the technology and were doing all this work on their own.

Once the InterContinental was on board, it was a matter of obtaining the funding and one of the sources was from the Miami Foundation. They also implemented a Kickstarter campaign and between the two raised $21,000.

“We got 126 backers on our Kickstarter and when you think about the costs involved in doing this and the investment of people engaging on different levels, we really feel we’re doing something that people are invested in,” said Carrington.

Named after Isaac Newton, Carrington’s and Nunes’ idea was to create an abstract animation where every color would coincide with a certain sound. “Kelly composed a piece of music to go with the particular artwork being flashed on the digital wall,” Carrington said.

Carrington has known Nunes since they lived in Montreal, where she grew up; they made the perfect team for this project given their interest in the arts and in music.

“I moved to Miami 10 years ago and found myself seeing the InterContinental Miami from very different points of view as I visited other spots in downtown,” she said. “So I pitched the idea to the hotel and they were receptive because they love the opportunity to welcome artists into their space.”

They’ll use the building as a catalyst during their series of public events, which except for the opening launch, will all be free and open to the public.

“We want to get as many people as possible from the community to come out. The arts community will see it from all different angles but you will also see it as a kayaker or a boater,” Carrington said. “You don’t have to know a lot about art to be able to be part of this social experience.”

Collaboration with other arts organizations is key when planning the events, like producing a program that incorporates writings from O Miami, an event with Women in Technology at YoungArts, and one during the yoga at Bayfront Park that uses the wall as a backdrop.

“We will have several activations happening throughout the week that will engage art in public places and also showcase how we use public space,” she said. “We’re working to editorialize this event in every way possible by creating content, even through the wall, which is like an exhibition on a building.”

Their project is a textbook description of what the Public Space Challenge is all about. She says the reason they won is “because we’re using the building as a public space almost like a vertical canvas to showcase the creative initiatives that are taking place in downtown.”

The ultimate goal is that “we hope it inspires locals to think about different spaces and places in Miami as a creative playground.”

Tuesday, November 10, 8: 00 -10:00 a.m.:

Caffeinated Conversations at Canvas Miami

Wednesday, November 11, 6 – 7:15 p.m.

NEWT’s Yoga in El Barrio at Bayfront Park

Thursday, November 12, 6:30 p.m.:

Conversation & Q & A Changing Spaces: Transforming space through Technology and Art, Location: TBA

Visit NewtMiami website for more info on this project and additional events.


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