Comcast/Telemundo/NBCUniversal Project volunteers to paint FLOR500 mural at Sweetwater Elementary

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Comcast/Telemundo/NBCUniversal Project volunteers to paint FLOR500 mural at Sweetwater Elementary

April 21, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 2:00 pm

:  main project page | 2018 Day of Service | 2018 Cabinet of Curiosities | Wildflowers for Sweetwater | FIU News

Comcast/Telemundo/NBCUniversal Project: Volunteers to depict 500 Florida Wildflowers on FLOR500 mural painted as part of a STEAM Spree at Sweetwater Elementary

Comcast, Telemundo, and NBCUniversal employees will be joined by community volunteers for a day of fun and service at a STEAM Spree for Sweetwater Elementary.

On Comcast Cares Day, April 21, 2018, volunteers will plant, paint, and create projects reflective of Sweetwater Elementary’s STEAM culture focusing on science, technology, engineering, art, and mathematics. Volunteers will plant native trees and greenery to replace vegetation that was blown away by Hurricane Irma and create an interactive Eco-Learning Garden. They’ll revive the butterfly garden, create an art installation for the courtyard, assemble storage for the art studio and STEAM lab, and unleash their inner Picasso as they paint a 240′ mural destined to become a landmark for the school and Sweetwater community alike.

Volunteers will have the unique opportunity to work with acclaimed Florida artist Xavier Cortada as collaborator and guide. An artist-in-residence at Florida International University, Cortada often works with scientists in an effort to create art that educates about the importance of Florida’s ecosystems and encourages better environmental stewardship. Cortada’s artistic and ecological vision will shape the major projects being implemented on Comcast Cares Day.

We are most appreciative of everyone who wants to participate. But, DUE TO SAFETY CONCERNS, THIS PROJECT IS NOT OPEN TO CHILDREN UNDER 6 YEARS OF AGE and ONLY CHILDREN 12 YEARS AND OLDER WILL BE PERMITTED IN WORK AREAS. Supervised age-appropriate activities and projects will be available for children ages 6-11.

In addition to the Miami-Dade Public School District and the school’s teachers and staff, there are many other community partners making this Comcast Cares Day possible. The Arbor Day Foundation is contributing the trees and vegetation and Citizens for a Better South Florida are lending their expertise and oversight for the planting and landscaping. Staff and students from Florida International University’s Frost Art Museum, Office of Community Engagement, and Honors College are providing both expertise and manpower; and the Lil Abner Foundation is mobilizing volunteers from its broad base of supporters.

A community of less than three square miles and almost 20,000 people, nearly 30% of residents in the city of Sweetwater live below the poverty line. This year’s Comcast Cares Day will benefit Sweetwater Elementary, the only public elementary school within city boundaries, and the Lil Abner Foundation, a community based organization that provides educational and recreational programs for low-income children and families in Sweetwater.

Telemundo, a media company owned by Comcast, just opened its new international headquarters adjacent to Sweetwater. This year’s Comcast Cares Day is a gift from Comcast’s family of companies in Miami-Dade County to Telemundo’s new neighbors.

FLOR500 is a participatory art, nature, and history project created by FIU artist-in-residence Xavier Cortada to commemorate Florida’s quincentennial in 2013. The project marks the importance of the moment when the history of our state changed forever and gives us a glimpse of what its landscape was like 500 years ago.

Juan Ponce de Leon

500 flowers
A team of scientists selected the 500 native flowers-  the same ones that grew in our state when Juan Ponce de Leon landed in 1513 and named it “La Florida”–from “flor,” the Spanish word for flower.

500 artists
Five hundred Floridians were then invited to depict 500 native wildflowers. The artwork, along with information about each flower, will be posted on the project website (

500 gardens
A team of historians selected individuals who helped shape Florida history.  Florida schools and libraries (across the 67 counties and 8 regions) are encouraged to plant 500 wildflower gardens, dedicating them to one of 500 important Floridians selected by a team of historians.  These 500 new native habitats will help support Florida’s biodiversity.

Based at the Florida International University where he serves as artist-in-residence, the effort furthers Cortada’s long-standing commitment to eco-art projects that engage community and expose human impact on the environment.


To learn more about Flor500 please visit



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April 21, 2018
8:00 am - 2:00 pm
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Marta M. Casas-Celaya, Comcast Director, Government & Community Affairs
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Sweetwater Elementary School
10655 SW 4th St
Sweetwater, FL 33174 United States
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(305) 559-1101
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