1981-1984 South Florida Art Center
“Once-decaying Lincoln Road Mall is thriving again as an arts district.”
In 1981, Lincoln Road was getting ready to turn what was an abandoned street mall into an art center where seventy artists, with different disciplines, were going to use twenty-two storefronts as studios. “The South Florida area has come of age that there should be an arts district, where artists can work and interact among themselves and the public” says Ellie Schneiderman. Ellie had a vision of giving Lincoln Road a rebirth.
As the Colony Theatre and City Ballet moved into the area, Schneiderman saw more opportunity for growth for a creative environment on the beach. Everything around it seemed suitable for artists who wanted to live near the beach, have a studio, belong to a community and be in a location that helped and encouraged artists to pursue a successful career. So Schneiderman went to the Miami Beach City Commission to share her desire to start an artists colony and the city approved $62,000 towards her vision. The mayor, Malcolm Fromberg, stated “this proposal will provide the economic stimulus needed on the Mall… It is an important step to the overall revitalization of the area.” Ellie then focused on giving tours to artists who were interested in renting a space.