Adrienne Arsht Center Embarks On Fifth Anniversary Season

Pedistrian Bridge to KCH

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 Fifth 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 Fifth 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 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.

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. 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.

For additional information about the Adrienne Arsht Center’s Fifth Anniversary Season, visit To RSVP for the Fifth Anniversary Season Gala, call 786.468.2020 or e-mail