Miami Rail Fall Fun-Raiser
Miami, FL – October 6, 2013 – In the face of 140 character tweets, Nina Johnson-Milewski is attempting to do the unthinkable: Keep a print publication alive and well. In an age when everything is digital, she strives to put images and words on paper and encourage people to sit and spell and read. About art and culture here in Miami, nonetheless. And thus far, she’s been going strong as The Miami Rail, the sister publication to The Brooklyn Rail, a non-profit literary journal, in now in its six edition with it’s seventh coming out in December—just in time for Art Basel. Not ironically, the journal also has a web-based home at miamirail.org, for those of you who still need an online fix. So what, exactly is The Miami Rail all about anyway? The Gallery Diet owner, Wynwood darling and force behind The Miami Rail explains after a very colorful fundraiser for the project.
What is The Miami Rail?
We are a quarterly print and online pub that covers art and culture in Miami and beyond. We are the first expansion of The Brooklyn Rail since 2000.
How long has it been around?
This is our sixth issue, so a year and a half. Our seventh issue comes out in December.
John Lin & Erin Newberg
What can we find inside of The Miami Rail?
It’s a publication for people that are culturally invested in the arts, it offers a broader, in-depth perspective than other papers and magazines can offer. We have artist-to-artist interviews, writer-to-writer interviews, poetry for each issue, reviews of galleries and museum exhibitions, architecture. Next year we have a piece that will look into Miami’s architecture in more depth than you typically could find locally.
How did you get involved?
Dan Milewski [her husband and owner of Lester’s, the coffee and book shop in Wynwood] invited the publisher of The Brooklyn Rail to give the inaugural talk at Lester’s and everyone was asking, ‘Why can’t we have something like this in Miami?’ Afterward, we took the publisher to dinner and he asked me start The Miami Rail.
Nina Johnson-Milewski, Matthew & Taylor Anne Abess
Why is Miami a good city for something like this?
We just needed our own in-depth publication that was for the people that are producing culture down here. There’s so much happening, so many great publications that touch on everything, but there wasn’t any one specific one covering the arts, and people want to read about that. We needed someone to document that as well as a place people can go to get in-depth knowledge.
You own a gallery in Wynwood. Your husband owns a book store/ coffee joint there, too. What do you think about the transformation of the area?
It’s amazing. I grew up here and to see the transformation from not having any serious galleries to having a really active cultural world you can participate in in a number of ways, from music to theater to dance, makes it a pretty inspiring place to be.
Tell me about the recent carnival themed fun-raiser you held last weekend.
We always try to do events that foster the same dialogue that the publication does. If we are raising money, we want it to be kind of conducive to the producers. In the past we have had dinners at an artist or collectors’ homes and everyone pays to come to the dinner preview for the upcoming issue. If this is a success, we plan to make it annual.
Ian Rand & John Lin
Cathy Leff & Susanne Birbragher
Lauren Gnazzo & Gingi Beltran
Sam Robin & Mary Jo Shore
Tell me a little about the next issue. I see it’s scheduled to come out around Basel.
We’re excited about the piece that covers Opa-Locka. It’s about an arts initiative to bring art and culture to Opa-Locka. We are also doing some coverage from South America, a resident in Columbia. And we will be launching the architecture series that comes out in that issue.
Justin Feldman & Ariel Burman
Silvia Barisione & Christian Larsen
What’s your ultimate goal with The Miami Rail?
We’d like to produce more frequently than bi-monthly and ideally we would like to be able to product a thicker issue with visiting writers from out of town. We want people to be able to look at our publication for years and say this is the document of what his happening culturally in Miami.
Timothy Walker & Matthew Lieberman
What’s been your greatest reward with The Miami Rail?
Knowing there is a place where exhibitions (visual or performance-based) can come together and know they are going to have solid in-depth coverage as an artist. If you don’t create a document, it’s as thought it never happened.
What’s been your greatest struggle?
Fighting for print in a digital age. This is the main reason we decided to partner with The Brooklyn Rail. They have a model that works and the model is being a non-profit and supporting a cultural niche audience that supports you back. There are artists that are donating work to your fundraiser and you’re helping support each other. It’s a good achievement for keeping print alive. We’re aware that the future of print lies in niche audiences and that’s exactly where we are headed.
Nina Johnson-Milewski & Nathaniel Sandler
John Lin & Suzy Buckley
Dominique Breard, Bhakti Baxter, & Typoe
Matthew & Taylor Anne Abess, & Mark Steinhard
Criselda Breene & Susie Wahab
Anna Williams & Lilaj Segal
Mindy Solomon & Judy Holm
Chris Dischino, Ivan Abuchaibe, & Yuri Tuma
Gingi Beltran, Matt MacDonald, Louis Aguirre, & Susanne Birbragher
Rob Fishman, Becca Brooks, & Brett Abess
Rob Fishman & Nathaniel Sandler
Yuri Tuma & Eunique Fowler