Since 2009, James Echols, the Founding Director of Life Is Art, Inc., and his sidekick life partner, Annette Piekert, have been organizing the artistic community in Miami and creating synergies to help it thrive. Having produced well over 100 shows, seminars and other arts events, Life Is Art has introduced dozen of local artists to thousands of new fans, as well as providing needed education to help market, sell and protect their work. “Art is an economic driver, as well as a source of cohesion and intellectual growth for the people of the community,” says Echols. “Art creates a sense of belonging and well-being amongst residents and can tell the story of a community. It impacts all aspects of life, health, wealth and happiness, unlike anything else.”; LifeIsArtFest.org.