Item Coversheet



TO: Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee Members

Alina T. Hudak, City Manager

DATE: February 17, 2023



Per Resolution 2018-30259, the City of Miami Beach through the Office of Education and Performance Initiatives provides free afterschool STEM (Science Technology Engineering Mathematics) enrichment at Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 and Biscayne Beach Elementary in partnership with FROST Science and Florida International University (FIU).  FROST Science provides two days of afterschool programming each semester including classes on Inventive Engineering and Playing with Physics.    FIU provides three days of afterschool programming in the Exploration of Science.   Science Exploration topics include methods for analyzing DNA, engineering air-propelled rockets, marine and animal camera rigs, examining plankton species, microplastics and more.


At the December 14, 2022 City of Miami Beach Commission meeting, the Commission approved the referral to the Finance and Economic Resiliency Committee by Commissioner Kristin Rosen Gonzalez to discuss a $10,000 grant for Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 after-school enrichment.


After follow-up discussions with the Commissioner’s Office, the request by Sunflower Society to provide art education at Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 may best be accomplished through a direct partnership with the Winsome Art Program.    The Winsome Art Program provides the art teachers, curriculum, and supplies for the art education historically supported by Sunflower Society.


The Sunflower Society was founded in 1971, as a non-profit charitable organization dedicated to helping children and families and individuals who have special needs.   Recently the focus of the programs has been on after-school folk art programs that includes green art for a green community and environmental education to teach children and youth to recycle materials, plant seeds in school and community gardens, and teach children to conserve water by painting rain barrels. The children and youth incorporate the concepts of a green community by creating art from materials that would otherwise become waste and build robots and models of green cities of the future in an annual art Exhibit at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden.  Activities proposed are painting and design for rain barrels, flowerpots and recycle bins. In addition, the children will create puppets and story lines for puppet shows, a comic book with characters and a collection of stories about children and how they save our planet from pollution and waste.


Funds are being requested to support Sunflower Society's free after school art classes at Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 Center promoting the use of recycled materials and helping students to learn about conserving the environment such as reducing their environmental footprint and promoting sustainable behaviors including energy and water conservation, waste reduction and recycling. The funds requested for Fall 2023 will pay for the art teachers through Winsome Bolt’s Winsome Art Program.


There are two art instructors and volunteer assistants. The art teachers are Winsome Bolt and Denise Marlow who have been involved with Sunflower Society for the past fifteen years. Winsome Bolt is a folk artist with experience in the private sector as well as in the community setting. In 1986 she became director of Jet Silk Screen and designed interiors for clients such as Aussie Rags in Bal Harbor, Luke Campbell, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and the sports department of the Miami-Dade School system. Denise Marlow is a self-taught folk artist that specializes in wood cuttings, metal. Her experience in community programs include Central Child and Family Enrichment Program instructing young ladies in a group home to tap into their emotions through art.


A direct partnership with the Winsome Art Program supported by the Sunflower Society will allow Miami Beach youth attending Miami Beach Fienberg Fisher K-8 access to free art classes.


There is no funding budgeted for this initiative.  The Administration recommends that this be submitted for consideration through the FY 2024 budget process.

Applicable Area

Not Applicable
Is this a "Residents Right to Know" item, pursuant to City Code Section 2-14? Does this item utilize G.O. Bond Funds?
No No 

Strategic Connection

Prosperity - Be known for (K-12) educational excellence.