The City of Miami Beach has agreed to install a plaque near Lummus Park to commemorate the Miami Beach Project, and part of the money raised will go toward the plaque.
Andy Sweet and Gary Monroe documented the Jewish community on South Beach, which they called The Miami Beach Project, starting in 1977. It was where they grew up, and they recognized a unique time in our history, when the Jewish residents of Miami Beach brought their cultural touchstones with them. They converted hotels into makeshift synagogues, supported each other, and kept their traditions alive. Many were Holocaust survivors who were drawn to the warm weather of South Florida.
An archival storage facility lost Andy's negatives in 2003. In 2006 a new non-profit, the Andy Sweet Photo Legacy ( a 501(c)3 charitable foundation) was created to support, promote, and educate the public about the work Andy created. At the same time, we started the process of scanning and digitally restoring the surviving prints, and of the 1,800 South Beach prints we have restored 300 images. This is a slow, painstaking process, but absolutely essential to bring back the original colors.
Rather than use the standard documentarian's black-and-white, Andy chose to shoot in color, a bold decision at that time. Our ultimate goal is to place the collection with an appropriate museum or library, and to make it available to scholars.