MIAMI, FL – September 15, 2011 – In a big boost to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County’s (www.arshtcenter.org) growing status as Miami’s new “Town Square,” the Center has received a $300,000 grant from an unprecedented private-public collaboration, ArtPlace (www.artplaceamerica.org). ArtPlace is an initiative of 11 of America’s top foundations, including John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, working in conjunction with the National Endowment for the Arts and seven federal agencies. Its aim is to drive revitalization across the country by putting the arts at the center of economic development.
ArtPlace has now announced its first round of grants, investing $11.5 million in 34 locally initiated projects in cities across the U.S. The Arsht Center is the sole grant recipient in all of Florida. Each project supported by ArtPlace has been selected for developing a new model of helping towns and cities thrive by strategically integrating artists and arts organizations into key local efforts in transportation, housing, community development, job creation and more. In the Arsht Center’s case, the funding will support a master planning initiative to preserve the artistic integrity of its neighborhood.
News of the ArtPlace grant underscores the Center’s strengthening role as an economic catalyst in downtown Miami. Current estimates indicate that the Center has played a role in attracting approximately $5 billion in new public and private investment to the city’s urban core, which is home to a surging residential population, growing business base, and new levels of international investment as major multinational developers enter the market. The Center projects that 500,000 patrons will attend programs and events next year. The national grant will allow the Center to expand its role in downtown Miami’s cultural awakening and economic revitalization.
“The past five years have seen the Adrienne Arsht Center emerge as a constant in South Florida’s sea of change. Amid economic volatility and demographic shifts, the Center has bolstered its role as a unifying force and a new ‘town square’ for Miami,” said Mike Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors, a panel of business and civic leaders charged with overseeing the Center’s management. “In earning this generous ArtPlace grant, our institution will work to further cement its status as an engine for economic growth at the heart of one of the nation’s most dynamic urban cores.”
Among the ArtPlace grantors is the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which has been a longtime supporter of the Center and its programs.
“Miami’s art scene has exploded over the last decade. This grant will help solidify a physical place for arts in the city, and weave the arts into South Floridians everyday lives,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation and chair of ArtPlace’s operating committee.
Knight Foundation joins Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Robina Foundation and an anonymous donor. In addition to the NEA, federal partners are the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council. Federal partners do not provide funding to ArtPlace but participate in the ArtPlace Presidents’ Council and Operating Committee meetings, ensuring alignment between high-priority federal investments and policy development and ArtPlace grants.
The approach being taken by ArtPlace, known as “creative placemaking,” has emerged over the past 20years as a promising way to increase the vitality of communities and help them grow. In 2011, the National Endowment for the Arts built on its two decades of work in creative placemaking by announcing the first grants in its new Our Town program, designed to support public-private partnerships to strengthen the arts while energizing the overall community. ArtPlace takes this movement a step further, as the first major public-private partnership to encourage creative placemaking across America.
"The Adrienne Arsht Center is quickly becoming a symbol of Miami-Dade County and its awakening potential as a culturally rich international community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “With private and public development flourishing around the Center, it is crucial that the arts scene that first ignited this community, remain a driver of future development.”
“ArtPlace is accelerating creative placemaking, where cities and towns are using the arts and other creative assets to shape their social, physical and economic futures,” said Rocco Landesman, Chairman, National Endowment for the Arts. “This approach brings new partners to the table to support the arts and recognizes the arts as vital drivers of community revitalization and development.”
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from local, state and national foundations, as well as private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through corporate and individual giving, Visionary Society membership and the Encore Circle major gifts programs.
About the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world’s leading performing arts organizations and venues. Made possible by Miami-Dade County’s largest ever public/private-sector partnership, the Center is home to the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. In addition, numerous South Florida arts organizations perform in its theaters regularly. Since opening in 2006, the Center has emerged as a leader in offering and presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida’s diversity, as a catalyst for development in Miami, and as a host of impactful community outreach and education programs.
Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the venue is comprised of the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the black box Carnival Studio Theater, a restored Carnival Tower, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Studio, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Education Center and the outdoor Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts. The Carnival Tower, an architectural icon and one of Miami’s oldest Art Deco buildings, houses the street-level BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge. Events impresario and restaurateur Barton G. Weiss brought his signature style to the Center in 2009 with PRELUDE BY BARTON G, a full-service upscale restaurant.
Visit www.arshtcenter.org for more information.
About the John S and James L. Knight Foundation
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit KnightFoundation.org.
Suzette Espinosa Fuentes
Assistant Vice President, Public Relations
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County
T: (786) 468-2221
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Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.