By Cultural Division Director Phillip Dunlap
As a relatively recent transplant to Fort Lauderdale, I have enjoyed exploring the various neighborhoods within this diverse city. As someone who works in the arts, finding an apartment in the Flagler Village neighborhood, which is home to two of our most unique, arts-centric districts, the MASS District and FATVillage (Music and Arts South of Sunrise and Flagler Arts and Technology, respectively), has been especially gratifying. The districts boast many great restaurants, bars, art studios, boutiques, and of course, exciting and ever-evolving street art.
I recently accompanied my team from the Broward County Cultural Division to FATVillage on a tour of the great murals located there. Our purpose was to explore ways to create self-guided street art tours of neighborhoods in Broward County. The visit also served as a great reminder of the wealth of art that can be found around us and the role public art (whether planned or unplanned) can play in enhancing our environment.
Some of these murals came to life through collaborations between FATVillage and various artists, while others simply appeared, according to Tayina Deravile, FATVillage’s director of arts administration and community engagement. Both of Downtown Fort Lauderdale’s arts neighborhoods offer unique experiences for residents and visitors.
Whether you explore on your own or attend one of the monthly art walks, you can easily spend a couple of hours exploring art, followed by lunch, and coffee at one of the many great restaurants and coffee shops. For some of my favorite food spots in FATVillage, check out Henry’s Sandwich Shop, Here and Now, or the somewhat-new food court and brewery, Sistrunk Marketplace. These gems can be found among the district’s warehouses and murals and may just show you a side of Fort Lauderdale you never knew existed.
The arts in Broward County offer a myriad of ways to stay connected and engaged. We’ve compiled a list of organizations that are now open and offering programming for the community. Continue your explorations at ArtsCalendar.com/Reopening.