I remember Jihad S. Rashid. He was one of the twin brothers that lived around the corner from me in Englewood, a Chicago community. I remember his smile. Even then, Rashid had a positive aura. While connecting some 40+ years later, we reminisced about the beauty of community and what it meant to our well being. Although Rashid has lived in Jamaica and is well traveled, I discovered community is still important to him. His positive vibe has translated into serious work that impacts his present community in South Florida.”Catalyze – revitalize – transform” is the call to action by Rashid.
Rashid is President/CEO of the Collaborative Development Corporation, (CDC), a private, nonprofit community development corporation whose mission is to plan, coordinate, and execute neighborhood revitalization projects, expand affordable housing availability and increase employment opportunities in South Florida. One of the CDC initiatives that is vital to this community renewal is KROMA , an art space in Coconut Grove. KROMA started with this vision:
…to be a premiere arts incubator space for promoting artists devoted to cultivating and promoting their art in South Florida
“The name, KROMA, is derived from the word, “chroma” – the purity and intense saturation of color.” This color is expressed through local artists that have work space in 19 studios. There are two communal galleries to showcase artwork.
“KROMA’s mission is to serve as an affordable, contemporary art space for artists, whose creative output will contribute to connecting the spirits of Coconut Grove’s rich artistic past, present, and future. Not only will artists have space to present and sell their work, but they will also have the opportunity to enrich the lives of those in the community through art workshops and classes.”
KROMA has an eclectic approach to programs and exhibitions in the space. ” We are open to everyone that has a focus on the African diaspora,” indicates Rashid. ” We have Art Bazaars as well as painting classes, in which we teach different styles of techniques.” The classes, Coloring KROMA, invite community artists to display several pieces of their work, and teach a class on painting in that medium or style. “We want to bring art to life and experience art in a very dynamic way.”
Rashid envisions a potential collaboration with the David C. Driskell Center. He hopes to establish an exchange program for young artists. ” I hope to travel to DC to the Driskell Center before Art Basel in Miami, which is the first week in December.” Art Basel Miami is part of the international art movement, which celebrates all genres of art.
“KROMA… continues its innovative ways of promoting and curating art, emanating from the African/African-American Diaspora. ” Hence, the Afro-Futurism exhibition.
While the 2 galleries serve local artists and artisans, visiting artists are welcomed. KROMA also houses the Village West Visitor Center that serves as a resource facility for Coconut Grove happenings and other multicultural neighborhoods in greater Miami.
As the community grows, the artwork and many events that take place at the art space reflect its rich history of creativity. KROMA is an integral force in the heartbeat of South Florida.
– Jihad S. Rashid
For over twenty-five years Jihad S. Rashid has committed much his professional talents and expertise towards implementing “a shared vision for better quality of life for the residents of South Florida. Rashid a proven and effective administrator has accepted the challenge to strategically manage and coordinate private and public sector resources to accomplish community re- vitalization goals. With an extensive background as an administrator and entrepreneur, Rashid currently serves as President & CEO of Collaborative Development Corporation.
Click here for KROMA website.