The Haute Evolution

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts

When Miami’s performing arts center was completed in 2006, it forever changed the city’s urban landscape. Now known as the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts, the 570,000-square-foot landmark plays a vital role in the cultural renaissance of Miami, as well as the revitalization of Downtown in general. The Adrienne Arsht Center can be considered the centerpiece of the city’s urban core, and the county estimates that the center is responsible for driving $1 billion worth of neighborhood revitalization, as residential towers, shops, restaurants, and lounges open their doors. The neighborhood’s radical transformation can be traced to the Arsht Center, which has redefined the typical model for metropolitan performing arts centers. At the Arsht Center, standard classical music and dance performances are joined by a line-up of cutting-edge and contemporary programming. Take, for example, this summer’s run of the dynamic, theatrical Fuerza Bruta show, which was made complete by an on-site nightclub and lounge. Hip-hop artist Nas performed during Super Bowl weekend in 2010, and acoustic shows by rock bands packed the hall in the spring.

In this new performing arts center prototype, diners want more than just your typical concessions, so the Arsht Center partnered with Barton Weiss to open Prelude by Barton G. This fall, the Arsht Center will celebrate its fifth-anniversary season, which will kick off with an elegant gala on October 28. The who’s who of Miami elite will gather to witness the dedication of two newly engraved donor walls, which honors those who contributed to the fundraising campaign in 2010.

Miami Art Museum

Just a few blocks from the Arsht Center, the space now known as Bicentennial Park will soon be transformed into Museum Park, the new home for Miami Art Museum. The museum’s collection, currently housed in a 33,000-square-foot enclave in the heart of Downtown, will be relocated to a waterfront masterpiece designed by Swiss architects Jacques Herzog and Pierre de Meuron, the same gents behind the Beijing Olympics’ Bird’s Nest wonder. Construction is slated for completion in 2013. The county commission approved $100 million construction budget, and MAM is undertaking an extensive fundraising campaign to match the public funds with $100 million from private donors, with $45 million raised thus far.

Midtown Miami

In the neighborhood between the Design District and Wynwood, New York developer Joseph Cayre created a $2.3 billion self-contained urban community on 55 acres. Complete with 3,000 residential units in two towers and a midrise, plus a ton of retail and office spaces, Midtown Miami carved a whole new niche out of a neighborhood that, just a few years ago, you wouldn’t even want to drive through. Much like its book-ending neighborhoods, Midtown has a decidedly arts focus, serving as a hub for rising artists, art galleries, and special exhibitions throughout the year. During Miami Art Week, Midtown plays host to a number of the larger satellite fairs, including Art Miami.

The center courtyard, which was a 2.5-acre barren stretch of grass, is being transformed to the Gardens of the World, a public art project that will blend contemporary sculptures with shaped topiaries, exotic evergreens, and blossoms.