Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts Of Miami-Dade County Embarks On 5th Anniversary Season

As the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts approaches its fifth anniversary, our city is reminded of how far the Center has come in only five years, and the impact it has made on our community in such a short time. Not only is the Center a cultural hub and the crown jewel of Miami’s arts scene, but it has also become an economic engine that has driven more than $1 billion in public and private investments in its neighborhood. It’s also made critical investments in its community, including free arts education programs for local children at a time when budgets are being cut and resources becoming more and more scarce. For these reasons, corporate and private citizens are stepping up to support the Adrienne Arsht Center, recognizing the value it holds for our community. Read on to learn about the Center’s past, present, and future, and to find out about a string of celebratory programs coming up over the next few months.

Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts Of Miami-Dade County Embarks on 5th Anniversary Season

Miami’s business, civic and cultural leaders will celebrate milestone at Center’s 5TH Anniversary Season Gala on October 28, 2010. 

 5TH Anniversary Donor Wall campaign raises more than $2 million; newly-engraved walls will be revealed at Gala event. 

  As the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County enters its fifth year serving South Florida, its leaders are rolling out a special 5th Anniversary Season that will celebrate the institution’s success as a presenter of world-class programs that reflect Miami’s diverse population, an economic engine in the City’s thriving urban core, and as a model public/private partnership that has made critical investments in important community-based initiatives. The Adrienne Arsht Center’s mission will factor prominently into a special 5th Anniversary Season Gala event to be held on the stage of the Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House on Thursday, October 28, 2010.


A focal point of the Gala evening will be the dedication of two newly-engraved donor walls featuring the names of hundreds of individuals, families, businesses and organizations that have supported the Center dating back to its initial planning phase. The wall’s newest additions will be names that participated in the Adrienne Arsht Center’s 2010 Donor Wall campaign, which raised more than $2 million as said by Suzanna Valdez, the Center’s Vice President for Advancement.

The success of the Donor Wall campaign is only the latest in a string of milestones that have defined the Adrienne Arsht Center’s first four years. These range from philanthropist and businesswoman Adrienne Arsht’s $30 million gift and the presentation of the Center’s first complete summer season in 2008, to the recruitment of M. John Richard as President and CEO and the decision to pay off the institution’s bank debt seven years early. The past two years have seen the Center achieve steady financial performance, new audience cultivation, membership and new donor growth, and both commercially- and critically-successful programming endeavors. In addition, the Center has added new amenities designed to enhance the patron experience, such as the 2009 opening of specialty restaurant PRELUDE By Barton G. and the planned fall 2010 debut of a new street-level BOMBAY SAPPHIRE LOUNGE, a Bombay Sapphire Gin-branded lounge.

Today, the Adrienne Arsht Center is revered as a fixture in South Florida’s cultural landscape and as a centerpiece of Downtown Miami’s transformation into a vibrant urban center.

“While the Adrienne Arsht Center has set out to achieve many objectives, the common thread throughout our mission is our role as a new ‘town square’ for Miami, a place where members from all corners of our community come together to share transformational experiences that enrich the mind and soul,” said M. John Richard, President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center. “As we reflect on our past and look to our future, we are confident that we have established the Adrienne Arsht Center as an invaluable component of our community landscape, be it through diverse programs, innovative arts education initiatives, or our role as a catalyst for economic development. The success of our Donor Wall campaign sends a clear signal that our mission enjoys broad-based support throughout our community.”

The mission-driven nature of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s diverse, year-round calendar of programs is at the heart of the institution’s success. The Center’s first four years saw 1,536,662 patrons attend 1,855 events and performances including Broadway musicals, sold out jazz concerts, hip-hop shows, and everything in between. Consistent with the Center’s ‘world-class, community-based’ mission, these programs have showcased international talent as well as local artists. In addition, the Center serves as home to three renowned resident companies: the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, and New World Symphony, America’s Orchestral Academy. Going forward, the Center will continue to present a diverse platform of programs as part of its annual Signature Series platform, which includes Jazz Roots, Broadway in Miami, the Center’s annual summer season, and the Masterworks Season, which in 2010 received a three-year, $600,000 challenge grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

The Center’s reputation for presenting successful programs extends far beyond its calendar of performances. With arts education a central component of its mission, the Center has welcomed tens of thousands of children for programs including Rock Odyssey, a made-for-kids musical version of Homer’s Odyssey; AileyCamp Miami, a summer dance camp for at-risk youth; and countless other initiatives developed in partnership with Miami-Dade County Public Schools. In fact, the Adrienne Arsht Center’s “Learning Through the Arts” initiative, which spawned Rock Odyssey, has been praised as a national model for how performing arts institutions can complement students’ in-classroom educations. In all, 60,000 students have passed through the Center’s doors in its first four years. These educational initiatives, like all of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s community programs, are made possible by a combination of public and private funding.

Through its first four years, the Center has evolved as a magnet for individuals, corporations and grant-making organizations seeking to make a positive impact in the Miami community through investments in the arts, the $2 million Donor Wall campaign being the latest example. Private funding sources are attracted to the Center’s strong public sector support and sound institutional and financial management, evidenced by consecutive years of balanced budgets in 2008 and 2009 and consistent revenue growth on an annual basis, according to Performing Arts Center Trust chair Ricky Arriola.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center’s success is a testament to what the public and private sectors can accomplish when they partner in pursuit of a common goal: enriching the quality of life in a community through the power of the performing arts. Today, the Adrienne Arsht Center is much more than a world-class presenter of programs. It is an engine for private investment in our community, a hub of activity for our region’s business leaders, and a vital component of Miami’s status as an international destination,” said Mr. Arriola.

Central to its mission, the Center has also solidified its role as an accessible resource for Miami’s vibrant cultural arts community. Partnerships with other arts organizations range from programmatic collaborations and educational seminars for non-profit groups, to joint marketing and fundraising ventures and shared operational expenses. In a public display of the Center’s impact in the Miami community, September 12, 2010 will mark the institution’s first annual Fall for the Arts Festival, a community-wide fair that will showcase more than 100 local non-profit organizations and arts groups.

“In just four years, the Adrienne Arsht Center has established its presence as one of our community’s most impactful cultural institutions,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez. “Beyond its primary role as a presenter of programs that reflect Miami’s rich diversity, the Center continues to support the work underway at countless other non-profit groups that enhance our community’s quality of life. At the same time, the Center is serving as an important catalyst for economic growth in our urban core, having generated more than one-hundred million dollars in new investment since construction began. Given this track record, it’s no wonder that the Center has become a magnet for private funding sources seeking to complement the public’s investment.”

Mike Eidson, vice chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust, echoes Mayor Alvarez’s belief that the Center’s location will prove to be among the institution’s chief assets going forward. “Miami received a gift when the Adrienne Arsht Center’s world-class facilities were constructed in 2006. Since then, the Center has emerged as a cultural centerpiece in the thriving Downtown Miami area. Moving forward, this institution will continue to spur economic growth in its backyard, uniting our community around the performing arts in the process.”

For additional information about the Adrienne Arsht Center’s 5th Anniversary Season, visit To RSVP for the 5th Anniversary Season Gala, please call 786-468-2020 or email

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 private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through its Visionary Society membership program and Encore Circle major gifts program; American Express Company; Andrew W. Mellon Foundation; Arison Arts Foundation; Association of Performing Arts Presenters; Bank of America Charitable Foundation; Dade Community Foundation; Doris Duke Charitable Foundation; Ford Foundation; Funding Arts Network; John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; Community Connections Fund of MetLife Foundation; New England Foundation for the Arts; Southern Arts Federation; The Cowles Charitable Trust; The Wachovia Wells Fargo Foundation; the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Arts Council and the National Endowment for the Arts.  

About the Adrienne Arsht Center for 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, the Peacock Education Center, a restored Carnival Art Deco 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 from one of Miami’s oldest Art Deco buildings, houses the street-level BOMBAY SAPPHIRE® Lounge (scheduled to open in fall 2010).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 featuring pre-purchase parking, dinner and performance tickets.