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Coconut Grove Art Festival is one of the most important and traditional art exhibitions in South Florida. The show is held annually for more than 50 years at President’s Day Weekend in Coconut Grove. Approximately 360 internationally recognized artists from different places in the world are brought together to this outdoor festival.

Coconut Grove Art Festival

Coconut Grove Art Festival – Source:

Whether you are a collector or just an art life enthusiastic, the festival is just the right place to get inspired and meet talented professionals from around the world. The event is held on an outdoor setting that changes Coconut Grove’s atmosphere every year. There are also sections of culinary and performing art with live music. It is certainly one of the best Miami Events.

Arts Festival

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Coconut Grove Art Festival – Social Side

An interesting social side of the event is that some artists on the show spend time teaching younger ones. Thanks to that art students are able to sell their work at the festival to help their schools. The show also help fund other programs for the community, including the “New & Emerging Artists”.

Coconut Grove Arts Festival

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History of Coconut Grove Art Festival

To understand what is today Coconut Grove Arts Festival we have to try to imagine Coconut Grove in the early-’60s when it was just a small village. Back that time the little community in South Florida was already known for its arts colony, but there was no big effort to promote the artists work. Things changed a lot when press agent Charles Cinnamon arrived from New York in the late-’50s. That was just the beginning of what today is South Florida’s most important and successful arts festival.

Actually it is an interesting history how the festival became so famous. When Cinnamon arrived in Miami he was just a fresh out of school professional trying very hard to make his way. The environment was already very competitive, but he managed to call the attention of Coconut Grove Playhouse owner George Engel. Cinnamon was then hired by Engel to promote the French Musical production Irma La Douce at the Playhouse in 1963…not an easy task!

Back in the late-’50s it was very difficult to drive people to the Playhouse. Cinnamon had to come up with a creative gimmick to promote the production. Since the musical Irma La Douce was set in Paris, he decided to do an art exhibition outside the Playhouse just like the ones in the banks of River Siene. A Left-Bank style “clothesline” art exhibition was booked for the entire weekend surrounding the Playhouse. The gimmick worked! Lots of people where attracted by the art show driving  attention to the Playhouse where the Musical displays and announcements where. Many tickets were sold!

The Coconut Grove Playhouse

The Playhouse mentioned earlier was a movie theater in Coconut Grove built in 1927. Originally it was called the Player’s State Theater. The place was famous for its big Wurlitzer Organ (the largest in the country). The Playhouse was closed in 2006 and has never been reopened.


A photo showing the original Coconut Grove Theater façade from the 1920s – Photo Courtesy: Arva Moore Parks

Playhouse 2010

Playhouse in 2010

3390 Mary Street
Suite 128
Coconut Grove, FL
877.7CG.ARTS [Toll-free Tickets only]
305.447.0401Official website:
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