Join us August 11th at Gramps for more thinking and drinking.
This month’s speakers and topics:

“How Knitters Saved the World”
by Francesca Mamlin and Jessidee Valdes

To many, knitting seems like simply a hobby associated mostly with old ladies and the importance of knitting is lost on many in a world where clothing is mass-produced in factories. But if you ask a soldier from the trenches of WWI, you may hear how hand-knit socks meant everything as soldiers were dying in the thousands from trench-foot. Settlers heading to the unpopulated American West were hard at work to clothe themselves and their families in a new, wild world. The Daughters of the Revolution in France knit at the base of the guillotine, and women in the colonial United States knit hand-spun wool to support a boycott of British textiles. The spirit of hand-makers lives on today as knitters create blankets for refugees, clothes for premie babies, and caps for people undergoing chemo. Knitters clothe the homeless, bring communities together, and disrupt the obsession with fast-fashion. Making things by hand has been and always will bring empowerment to a community. This talk is about how it has happened in the past, and how it can happen in the future.

Bio: Francesca Mamlin decided to call Miami her home last year after many years backpacking around the world and living abroad. In January, she created the Knitters of Miami Meetup group so she could connect with fellow fiber-enthusiasts. She learned how to knit from a neighbor when she was a child, but it was just in the past few years that she discovered her passion for the hobby. During the day, she works as a podcast producer and she knits just about every moment her hands are free.

Bio: Jessidee Valdes was raised in Miami and has been crocheting & knitting ever since her Great Grandmother taught her when she was five, but still considers herself an advanced beginner knitter. During the week she works from home as an IT Project Manager and on the weekends at Biscayne National Park as a Naturalist on Snorkeling Tours. The best part is that in both jobs she gets to knit while working, either during zoom meeting or when people are snorkeling the Florida Reef.

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“American Sublime: a partial history of landscape images that define our identity”
by Pete Wintersteen

The sublime as an aesthetic and philosophical concept has been studied and debated since ancient times, but its evolution in relation to the American Landscape evolved after the Industrial Revolution. From 19th century oil paint masterpieces to the latest Instagram #sunset, there is more behind every image than you may know.

Bio: From US Marine to wildlife researcher to artist and conservationist, Pete Wintersteen has spent his life traversing many landscapes in many facets. While pursuing his MFA in visual art, he sought (often surreptitiously) to find the aesthetic side of uranium mines and prospects in the American West, which are sprinkled among some of the oldest records of human culture and presence in North America.

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by Lisa Martinez

“The Underdeck” is a 33-acre public space that will be developed, under a reconstructed I-395, as a part of the “Signature Bridge” project. The Signature Bridge project is a partnership between the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) and the City of Miami. The Underdeck originates in Overtown and extends to Biscayne Bay near the Perez Art Museum Miami. Upon completion, the space will have a significant amount of green space and will also contain community based programming such as a heritage trail, legacy wall, pedestrian bridge, water fountains, plazas, recreation spaces, installations and concessions, among other features.