Knight Foundation gift is a giant step forward for Science Museum, Miami’s cultural base

It’s not everyday that we pass on the opportunity to write about something that’s near and dear to our hearts, but today’s blog post authored by Matt Haggman, Miami program director for the Knight Foundation, was so well-done, so right-on-the-money that we just couldn’t top it.

miasci2In announcing the Knight Foundation’s $10 million pledge to the new Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (set  to  debut in downtown Miami’s Museum Park in 2015), Matt explains how the city’s emergence as a cultural hub is fostering increased learning and public engagement, consistent with the Foundation’s guiding mission.

The science museum will become Miami’s latest cultural outlet to benefit from a strong public/private partnership, joining the ranks of the Adrienne Arsht Center, Miami Art Museum, New World Symphony and others.

Matt explains this transformation:

“The two museums and performance center – coupled with the sprawling public park, Museum Park – are set to become a vital, central destination on Miami’s cultural map. So too, the three institutions and public park will serve as a primary anchor in the ongoing revitalization of Miami’s urban core.

It represents a big turn for an area that has long languished.

I remember a decade ago, when I was in Miami for the first time, staying at a downtown hotel, and went for a morning jog through the city. I stumbled upon the 30-acre parcel on the bay; ratty and disheveled – and largely unused.

But this $10 million challenge grant seeks to do much more than aide in reviving a barren stretch. It seeks to be a trigger for increased learning and public engagement with the sciences.

Kudos to the Knight Foundation for making this momentous gift. Miami is staking its claim as one of the world’s great centers for cultural, arts and science exploration and the Knight Foundation has been a driving force in that evolution.

Read the full blog post on the Knight Foundation website here.