Saturday Night Fever
Take a walk on the artistic side each month at FAT Village
Once a month, giant murals, street art and galleries enliven a four-block district in South Florida. Food trucks and entertainment pour onto the streets, with locals and tourists flocking to the neighborhood for an evening of public art and community interaction.
No, this isn’t in Miami’s trendy Wynwood neighborhood. It’s happening in downtown Fort Lauderdale’s FAT Village. Short for the Flagler Arts and Technology Village, the region has transformed a bleak warehouse district into a flourishing hub for local culture and art.
Doug McCraw, who founded the monthly art walk, bought the warehouses in 2000. Since, the event has grown from a few dozen visitors to thousands each month, welcoming art collectors and experts alongside residents searching for a local weekend activity.
“We’ve had amazing growth,” he says. “The art caters to most people because we showcase such a large range.”
Scheduled for the last Saturday of each month, the art walk encourages visitors to peek into local galleries, film studios and other creative businesses that feature an assortment of work, such as photography, oil paintings and tech-centered graphic design.
During the event, there is a free trolley service that shuttles visitors to and from venues. At Peter Feldman Park, find the Show Central informational booth, supplied with details about current exhibits. With more than 25 galleries to choose from, you can visit such places as C&I Studios, FAR Contemporary and the Wonderful Group as you wander through the streets. As an added bonus, many galleries offer wine and small bites for visitors.
During art walks, C&I, a local bar and event space decorated with local graffiti, stays open late—and is stocked with cold brews and spirits. It’s often the post-walk hangout site for event-goers.