Amanda Finuccio is a native Miami girl. She moved away to go to college and came back to discover her city anew. As a Miami leader she is focused on building strong local community by engaging people in new creative ways. Amanda is determined to reshape people’s negative perceptions of Miami by creating positive experiences and finding new ways for people to participate in the city’s life.
I was born and raised in Miami. I left the city for school and returned with a fair amount of resistance just after graduating from college in North Carolina. Upon my return I began reconnecting with the city in ways I hadn’t before, and quickly saw my resistance evolving into an unexpected enthusiasm for this dynamic city. In doing so I was embarrassed to find out most of my personal perceptions of the city were inaccurate. Miami, like any city has its faults, but people here are filled with a unique appreciation for the city’s positive characteristics and want to be here to vouch for them. I share in that goal and want to contribute to Miami’s growth and the way it evolves in the eyes of locals and outsiders.
WHAT IS THE MOST PRESSING ISSUE ON YOUR LIST? WHY?
I think one of the issues to continue evolving in Miami is how the city conceptualizes engaging with one another. There is a lot of dialogue about what community means in this city. I think Miami has a great sense of community and what I see being explored and executed is how to keep that going in new and interesting ways — ways that speak to the interests of the people who live here as well as the people interested in visiting.
HOW CAN WE SOLVE IT? WHY?
I’ve been working with an organization called O, Miami that produces annual poetry festival, which takes place in April. Apart from promoting poetry, every year we put out a call to the city for event and project proposals. We do so because we are curious to know what people want to see and make for their community.
Year after year the 30-day line-up challenges people’s conceptions of what it means to engage with poetry, one another, and this city we live in. It creates experiences reflective of how people embrace Miami — broadcasting the good and reshaping how we perceive/engage with the not so good. I think by creating opportunities that allow locals and outsiders to conceive of Miami in a new way, in this case through a poetry lens, we will continue to see new ideas forming that bring people in Miami a lot of joy and pride.