Point of View

February 24, 2010, 4:39 pm
Filed under: Artist Talks

NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman, along with Senior Deputy Chairman Joan Shigekawa, visited Miami on February 1, 2010, in his latest stop on the “Art Works” tour across America. Chairman Landesman was in Miami to learn the role of architecture and design in creating sustaining liveable communities, and over the course of his day, he was joined by arts advocates and patrons. 

The day’s events included a visit to the award-winning Design and Architecture Senior High School (DASH); a tour of the Design District and Wynwood Arts and Design District; a visit to the Little Haiti Cultural Center; and a stop at the Bass Museum. 

A roundtable discussion was held on the subject of “Greater Miami – A New Cultural Capital Shaped by Design, Architecture and Arts Pioneers.” The roundtable was hosted by The Wolfsonian – FIU, along with the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, and the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs. The panel was moderated by Dennis Scholl, Knight Foundation’s Miami Program Director, and in addition to Mr. Landesman, included: President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities member and Adrienne Arsht Center Chairman J. Ricky Arriola; artist Edouard Duval Carrié; real estate developer and arts activist Tony Goldman; Adolfo Henriques, businessman and current chair of the Miami-Dade Cultural Affairs Council; Cathy Leff, Director of the Wolfsonian; and Michael Spring, Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs.

Topics included the ways in which the Adrienne Arsht Center has played a central role in enhancing the urban revitalization of the downtown entertainment corridor, and what Miamians need to do to continue the incredible growth in the arts. 

Chairman Landesman’s noted three areas of critical importance:

  • A strong public and private partnership of investing in the arts;
  • Making the case for the arts in our lives; and
  • Understanding that “art works” as part of the real economy.

“Art works” is part of the Chairman’s message – that art jobs are real jobs that are part of the real economy. With 5.7 million arts-related jobs in the United States, the arts is an economic driver, something Miamians and the city’s cultural leaders have come to understand. As Chairman Landesman suggested, if you bring art into a place, it changes the economy of that place.

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