The Arsht Center Celebrates 5 Years

As the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Miami gears up its fifth season, the Performing Arts Center Trust (PACT) also welcomes Lewis “Mike” Eidson as the new chair of the panel’s board of directors. Eidson and his wife, Dr. Margaret Eidson, have been committed to South Florida’s cultural arts community for more than 20 years. He also currently serves on the boards of the Florida Grand Opera and Art Basel Miami Beach. Haute Living had a chance to catch up with Eidson about the Arsht Center’s five-year milestone and the highly anticipated upcoming Art Basel.

HL: What does your role as chair of PACT entail?

ME: PACT oversees the overall management of the Center. We work with the organization’s leadership to ensure sound financials, to calibrate our mission with day-to-day operations, and to support fundraising efforts. Perhaps most importantly, our members serve as ambassadors for the Center in the community.

HL: How long have you been involved with the center? What about it are you drawn to?

ME: As president of the board of Miami City Ballet, I had some involvement with the organization since before ground was even broken. I’ve been chair-elect since 2007 and worked closely with [immediate past chair] Ricky Arriola during his three-year term as chair. I’m most attracted to the Center’s ability to achieve many missions at once. In addition to being a world-class programming institution, it’s an economic engine for downtown Miami and a resource for local artists and art groups.

HL: What role does the Adrienne Arsht Center play in the community?

ME: We are a cultural hub in one of the nation’s most diverse cities. At the heart of mission is to ensure that our performance offerings reflect the diversity of our city. On any given night, the Center has something for everyone. At the same time, we are fueling the economic growth of downtown Miami, already generating more than $1 billion in private investments to our neighborhood. We also provide arts education for the public schools. The Center also serves as a town center, hosting community-based events like the recent “Fall for the Arts” festival. Our mission is to make the Center a destination in and of itself. We also want to increase public pride and instill a sense of ownership in the city’s residents.

HL: What are some changes that we can expect to see at the Center over the course of your three-year term as chair? What won’t change at all?

ME: We will continue to build a brand of excellence. We want the events at the Arsht to be the best in the world and we want people to have the best experience possible. We will be expanding our programming to include more events that will attract a young audience and we also will increase our private fundraising efforts. We will continue to offer the finest talent in the world with an emphasis on shows that reflect Miami’s diversity, to maintain the quality of the facilities, and to keep the Arsht Center as of the finest centers in the world.