#BehindBaselMichael "MJ" Green

Miami Local Feature



During “Art Basel” or “Art Week” the entire city comes alive. Events take place from Doral to the beach. Even galleries up north get in on the action. Which is why for this edition of #behindbasel I talked with MichaelJohn “MJ” Green. MJ was born in St. Louis but moved from Seattle to Miami to run a local community development financial institution in Opa Locka.

His experience working in private wealth management provided him with valuable lessons that he is now applying to help communities in need become more financially stable. He is the fund manager for a Community Development Financial Institution(CDFI), which provides low-interest loans to small businesses in target neighborhoods like Opa Locka and Liberty City. He sits on the Africatown Land Trust Board and Mid Town Bank Affordable Housing Board, is an avid basketball fan and lover of all things cool.

“Art Basel is a time to link up with friends from across the world and to be inspired by amazing art”


Tell us about your first Art Basel.

The thing I remember most is the vibe. Art Basel has a sense of unity and creativity that creates a vibe and buzz that is incredible. My first Art Basel my brother was having a show in the Design District in a vacant lot between two stores. Virgil Abloh was the DJ and at that time was not as well know as he is now. I saw a Picasso sculpture that was pretty awesome and went to the tie-dye workshop Union LA did. It was run by the creators of Online Ceramics it also was pretty awesome.

What are you looking forward to this year?

I never have a plan or list of events that I’m looking forward to. I just know it will be amazing. OLCDC last year hosted the art of black event. This year I think we will have a series of artist talks for the community to engage and understand the mind of the artist.  There are so many things I miss every year because there is so much to do. Last year I missed the Basel party the last night when Talib Kweli performed, this year I want to make sure to make that party. As far as the art goes, I try to see as much as I can.


What are your tips for the week?

Tip 1: Sleep the week before

Tip 2: Sign up/rsvp for everything

Tip 3: Make new friends


Out and about in the city? Catch MJ at No Vacancy parties and events.

If you have a small business and need a loan, reach out to him directly at [email protected].


Thursday, December 1 2016

Culture And Art Intertwine At Art Africa Miami Arts Fair December 4-9, 2018 While Celebrating Historic Overtown’s historic legacy. 2018 theme Black Art Matters explores current challenges, and renewed assaults on Black Lives that artists of African descent have brought attention to. The Southeast Overtown Park West (SEOPW) Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) has demonstrated a commitment to using as the arts as a means of economic development. From commissioning legendary artist Pervis Young to paint its major overpass to sponsoring the annual Overtown Music and Arts Festival, and being an original partner in AAMAF, the CRA uses these investments as opportunities to attract cultural tourists to the area and revitalize the CRA boundary. Visit www.artafricamiamifair.com for more information. Follow on social media IG-@artafricamia

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