How Art Transforms Neighborhoods

Panel Discussion with the Rubells and the Rappaports

How Art Transforms Neighborhoods

Panel Discussion moderated by Amanda Schmitt (Untitled's Director of Programming & Development)

with Donald and Mera Rubell and Deborah and Andy Rappaport

The Rubell Family Collection (RFC) was established in 1964 in New York City by Donald and Mera Rubell, and it is now one of the world’s largest, privately owned contemporary art collections. In 1993, The Rubells moved their collection to the Wynwood District in Miami, FL, and it has since been exhibited within a 40,000-square-foot repurposed Drug Enforcement Agency confiscated goods facility and is publicly accessible. The Contemporary Arts Foundation (CAF) was created in 1994 by Don and Mera Rubell with their son, Jason Rubell, to expand the RFC’s public mission inside the paradigm of a contemporary art museum.

After 23 years in Miami’s Wynwood district, the RFC will move to pioneer a new neighborhood in 2018, opening a new museum designed by Selldorf Architects, on a 2.5-acre campus in Miami’s Allapattah District.

Further west, in San Francisco’s historic Dogpatch district, entrepreneurs and art collectors Deborah and Andy Rappaport founded the Minnesota Street Project early in 2016. This project offers affordable and economically sustainable spaces for art galleries, artists and related nonprofits. Inhabiting three warehouses, the Project seeks to retain and strengthen San Francisco's contemporary art community in the short term, while developing an internationally recognized arts destination in the long term. 

The Minnesota Street Project was inspired by the the Rappaport’s belief that philanthropic support for the arts today requires an alternate model—one suited to the innovative nature of Silicon Valley and the region as a whole. Their vision of a dynamic, self-sustaining enterprise that shares its economic success with arts businesses and professionals aims to encourage heightened support for the arts from newcomer and established patrons alike. 

Today these two inspiring couples from the United States’ East and West Coast will join in conversation on the topic of how the presence of contemporary can transform a neighborhood, discussing the past, present, and future of their ventures in Miami’s Wynwood and Allapattah districts, and San Francisco’s Dogpatch, where the inaugural edition of Untitled, San Francisco is also taking place.