When IWAN's (Independent Working Artists Network) Concept Production Facility opened in 2009, it was a signal that Fort Lauderdale was beginning a climb toward gaining equal cultural footing with post-Art Basel Miami.
Named the Bubble after its first event, the venue -- an amalgam of gallery space and meeting ground for the area's creatives -- became a center of activity in the nascent days of the contemporary art scene. All the culture seems familiar now, like the monthly art walk and off-the-beaten path eateries and cafés that opened in the area.
Just this year, it was renamed Jump the Shark and is run solely by IWAN cofounder Garo Gallo. He's done an about-face while retaining the important set pieces that make the space a compelling community destination. Some key differences are securing a beer and wine license for the new bar and giving a face-lift to the patio area and incidental art adorning the venue.
For the launch party, an event referred to as an "emission of artistic freedom and new beginnings," Gallo will be joined by a who's who of South Florida's contemporary music and art scenes.
The crazy-long roster for the party includes Sandratz, the Astrea Corporation, Gallimimus, Gallo's longtime band Dooms de Pop, and plenty of other tricounty acts.
Visual artists, who'll more than likely come to call Jump the Shark their home in the coming seasons, will also be on display throughout the space, including Kazilla, Monica McGivern, and Ruben Ubiera.
And of course, no party is complete without some DJs, so Sloan and Stevie Jr. will keep the sounds running all night while revelers enjoy the new murals by Ahol, Hoxxoh, Francesco LoCastro, Don Shearer, and recent Fordista resident 2Alas. Big Beard Comics, Vintage Noir Maison, and the Modern Alchemist New Age Shop will have pop-ups onsite for those who enjoy music and the arts and are thinking of getting a head start on holiday shopping.
Here's the musical roster for the party:
The Astrea Corporation
Dooms de Pop
The Goddamn' Hustle
Scarecrow Jenkins Brimstone Jamboree
Return the Favor
Chris Horgan (of Sweet Bronco)
And the visual artists:
Cheryl Ann Jarosz
Laura Monique Saver
Beacon. Jump the Shark's Grand Opening Transmission. 5 p.m. Saturday, November 29, at Jump the Shark (formerly the Bubble), 810 NE Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale. Call 954-667-4126, or visit facebook.com/jumpthesharkcorp.