Buskerfest Miami was born in June of 2013 during a Whereby.Us-led community meeting that tackled the question “How can we improve Downtown Miami after dark?” The original co-founders, including Amy San Pedro, Justin Trieger, Gary Ressler, Collin Worth and Ben Jervis, believed that placing street performers throughout downtown would create an immediate boost of activity and vitality in the neighborhood. The first festival took place on December 13th, 2013 and placed 28 local performance groups near the Inner Loop Metromover stations. Since then, Buskerfest Miami’s activities have expanded to include year-round programming and collaborations with many community and arts organizations throughout Miami-Dade County. The organization is currently led by the following individuals:
Amy Cozette San Pedro
A dancer, originally from Lexington, KY, holds a MA in Arts Administration from Goucher College and a BFA in Dance Performance from New World School of the Arts. She is a founding member of WholeProject, a contemporary dance company directed by Brigid Baker. She currently works as an artist, administrator, archivist and community connector to strengthen the fabric of Miami’s cultural identity.
Board Vice President
Justin is a composer, multi-instrumentalist and experienced recording engineer. During the day, he acts as the Director of New Media and Distance Education at the New World Symphony. Justin has called Miami home for the past nine years and thoroughly enjoys participating in the diversity and growth of Miami’s artistic community.
Monica E. Soderman
A proud Miami native who has not, and will not leave. She has worked in various capacities over the years with incredibly talented folks all over the place. Her roots are in the Theatre (Stage Management) but she enjoys collaborating with a wide variety of artists. Monica spent an inordinate amount of time finishing her degree in English Lit, collecting wayward kittens and trying not to collect old VW’s. At the latter, she fails miserably.
Eddie Padilla is currently the Executive Director of the Downtown Miami Partnership (DMP), “Miami’s private sector voice and advocate to promote a prosperous, livable and dynamic downtown”. He began his professional career in Florida with Miami-Dade County (Community Relations Board, Department of Cultural Affairs). He went on to work for the City of Miami as the Downtown Neighborhood Enhancement Team (NET) Administrator for 6 years prior to leaving local government. He then consulted with a number of national political organizations addressing Latino issues prior to returning to Downtown Miami to work with the DMP.
Chris is the President and CEO of WhereBy.Us, a media company that brainstorms and runs small projects focused on making Miami a better place to live. He’s also the former media innovation project manager at Knight Foundation.
Gary Ressler is a Principal of the TILIA FAMILY OF COMPANIES, family owned-and-operated ventures in the Real Estate, Financial Services and Lifestyle Industries with an active presence in Downtown Miami since the late-1970’s. TILIA is headquartered in its landmark property, THE HISTORIC ALFRED I. DUPONT BUILDING where TILIA EVENTS also operates a renown Special Events Venue. Mr. Ressler is also President of the Board of the DOWNTOWN MIAMI PARTNERSHIP (DMP), Downtown Miami’s only non-profit private sector voice and advocate to promote a prosperous, livable and dynamic downtown.