WHO ARE WE?
The Xavier Cortada Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization based in Miami, Florida.
Since 1994, Cortada’s community-driven artwork has catalyzed over 25 acres of ecological restoration, generated participatory eco-art projects in every Miami-Dade County public school and library, and amplified marginalized voices across the world through collaborative message murals.
The Cortada Foundation is currently focused on driving awareness and action around the climate crisis in South Florida by engaging residents in projects such as “The Underwater,” an interactive public art campaign that reveals the vulnerability of coastal cities to rising seas, and activities such as the Cortada Science Art Academy, an immersive after-school program based at Pinecrest Gardens.
The Xavier Cortada Foundation’s mission is to use socially engaged art to create meaningful and transformative experiences that educate, inspire, and mobilize communities to take collective action against our climate and ecological crises.
We envision a future where communities harness the power of art as a force for social change and creatively work together in building a more just, loving and beautiful world.
ABOUT THE ARTIST
Xavier Cortada, Miami’s pioneer eco-artist, uses art’s elasticity to work across disciplines and engage communities in problem solving. Particularly environmentally focused, his work intends to generate awareness and action around climate change, sea level rise, and biodiversity loss.
Over the past three decades, the Cuban-American artist has created art at the North and South poles and across 6 continents, including more than 150 public artworks, installations, collaborative murals and socially engaged projects. He has been commissioned to create art for CERN, the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Turnpike, Port Everglades, and Miami City Hall, among many other art, science, and government venues.
Cortada, who serves as the inaugural Artist-in-Residence for Miami-Dade County, received a 2022 Creative Capital Award and a 2021 National Wetlands Award from the Environmental Law Institute. Other accolades include: Home & Away Residency, Anderson Ranch, Aspen, Colorado (2022); Grist 50 (2022); New York Foundation for the Arts fiscally-sponsored artist (2008 and 2019); Rauschenberg Residency: Rising Waters Confab, Captiva, Florida (2015); and the National Science Foundation Antarctic Artists & Writers Program, South Pole (2006-2007). In October 2022, Cortada delivered a TED Talk entitled “A creative approach to community climate action” which has garnered over 800,000 views.
The artist has exhibited and produced works internationally, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, child welfare murals in Bolivia and Panama, AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa, and eco-art projects in Holland, Scotland, and Taiwan. Cortada’s work is in the permanent collections of the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale, the Whatcom Museum, the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum and the MDC Museum of Art + Design, among others.
Cortada, who was born in Albany, New York, grew up and lives in Miami, Florida. He received bachelors, masters and law degrees from the University of Miami, where he currently serves as professor of practice at the University of Miami Department of Art and Art History with secondary appointments in the School of Law and Miller School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics.