Miami Gardens site slated for Nigerian arts center

A Nigerian churchgoer in Miami Gardens
A Nigerian churchgoer in Miami Gardens

The city of Miami Gardens has leased a vacant piece of land behind a chain link fence to the local Nigerian community, who hope to transform it into a cultural center, the Miami Herald reported.

“Since we are here, we might as well bloom where we are planted,” Joseph Obadeyi, chairman of the Nigerian American Foundation, told the Herald. “We are trying to leave some type of legacy for our kids, something we can point to in the future and say, ‘Yes, we were here.’”

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The foundation is leading plans to raise between $5 million and $6 million to build the center, which is scheduled to be completed by 2018. The city will receive a lease of $1 per year on the parcel at Northwest 207th Street and 32nd Avenue. The cultural center will display African artifacts and artwork and include a performing arts space, according to the Herald.

South Florida’s Nigerian community, about 1,000 people scattered across Broward and Miami-Dade counties, has no hub, the way Cubans and Haitians do in Miami enclaves. An attempt to designate a part of the city of Opa-locka “Little Lagos” in the 1970s was thwarted when people started to move away. [Miami Herald]Emily Schmall