Last night, Dwyane Wade and his charity, Wade’s World Foundation, threw a great party to celebrate his collaborative endeavor with Art Studio Miami, a local nonprofit aimed at empowering youth through artistic expression. This new initiative, tied to Art Basel, will raise funds for their youth art program. Just before Thanksgiving, Wade’s World Foundation gathered 12 youngsters from Little Haiti. The kids, ranging in age from 8-18 spent 2 days participating in creative team activities, being taught and mentored, and creating their own art work.
The cocktail party last night was dubbed Hope in Action. The event took place at the swanky W Hotel South Beach, in the area around the much touted, heated outdoor pool. The private cabanas were used to display artwork by the youth participants, as well as works for teaching artists from Art Studio Miami. The best part of the evening was seeing the young artists pointing out their creations, and taking pictures of each other with camera phones.
Guests to this private party enjoyed champagne and wine, while nibbling at their leisure. Dwyane welcomed the crowd and presented an unexpected $25,000 check to Art Studio Miami. Notables attending included former Heat star Alonzo Mourning, tennis diva Serena Williams, and pop singer Kelly Rowland. I also ran into some of my besties, including Hugh Sinclair aka Chef Irie Spice and the very FAB owner of Glow Salon, Marcia Narine.
And of course, I grabbed a few minutes with D-Wade. Here’s what he had to say–
On how this initiative came about:
Wade’s World Foundation is always looking for something new, something cool, but most importantly, something that’s really going to help our community. We’ve always wanted to do something with Art Basel and finally got the opportunity to do it. We went out to try to find the right partnership, and for us, Art Studio Miami was that.
On why Wade’s World Foundation primarily focuses on youth:
Youth are our future. I’m in the business of making sure that I’m able to leave the world a better place. I believe that all kids deserve a shot in life. A lot of kids don’t get that opportunity, for whatever reason there might be. Hopefully, we’re doing a good job, but there’s always more that we can do.
On if he’s thinking about life after basketball:
Of course, I am. I’m 28 and I know that basketball won’t last forever. I have to look beyond basketball. The businessman that I want to become starts now. It’s about building relationships. But I’m gonna be here for a while, though… <laughs>
On the Heat’s 12-8 record:
Time will tell. It’s a young season. We’re 20 games into the season, we have 62 more. We are growing as a team. Behind closed doors and even on the basketball court, we’re growing.