Point of View


Few cities can offer—in an entire year—the depth and breadth of performances on our stages this month alone. Allowing us to accomplish this is the Center’s brilliantly conceived collection of halls and stages, all designed to bring out the best in everything from the most complex productions to the simplest and most intimate solos.

The John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall is a sonic wonder. Its miraculous acoustical design gives it unparalleled flexibility. There’s no better place to hear large-scale orchestras and choirs—the experience is grand, impressive, overwhelming. Yet in that same hall you can also detect every nuance a solo artist might articulate—be they a classical pianist, jazz trumpeter, world-famous comedian or pop superstar.  The Carnival Studio Theater—with just over 200 seats—gives audiences a unique perspective—up close and personal. You can’t miss a beat when the performer is just inches from your seat. Our Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House is the envy of cities everywhere. It’s enormous, state-of-the-art stage, incomparable sightlines, and compact horse-shoe design makes it an ideal showcase for the grandest opera, dance, and musical theater performances.

February at the Center has been a veritable festival of programming: a Jazz Roots celebration of Miles Davis , the Deutsche Staatsphilharmonie playing Beethoven and Brahms, the Tony Award-winning actress Melba Moore in Crowns, Spain’s magnificent Ballet Nacional de España, the witty banter of NPR’s “Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me,”and much more. Finally, the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater visit to Miami this week is all the more special as it celebrates not only the 50th anniversary of the ever-surprising Revelations, but also Judith Jamison’s final season as the iconic leader of one of America’s true cultural treasures.

This is just a taste of the brilliant 5th Anniversary Season we have planned for you, and I look forward to seeing your smiling faces.


February 2011 marks a milestone month for dance at the Center.  The Center expects to see more than 22,000 South Floridians leap through our doors for diverse and dynamic dance programs, making the Adrienne Arsht Center one of the premier venues for dance in the country.  Earlier this month Peru Negro and Eva Ayllon had Miamians dancing in the aisles; Miami City Ballet enchanted with a mixed bill featuring masterworks by Balanchine, Taylor and Tharp;  last week Rennie Harris’ young hip hop troupe, RHAW, made their Miami debut; and next week Flamenco Festival returns for the fourth consecutive season with Spain’s leading ambassadors of flamenco, Ballet Nacional de España.

This weekend, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater soars into town for what has become a beloved Miami tradition – the company’s annual performance residency at the Center showcasing the world’s greatest dancers and one of the most inspiring dance masterpieces, Revelations.  This season, Ailey celebrates 50 years of Revelations, honoring a dance that has travelled across continents, touching audience members from Brooklyn to South Africa.  Artistic Director Judith Jamison, now in the final year of her incredible 25-year tenure at the helm of the company, makes her last stop in Miami this season, passing the torch to Liberty City native Robert Battle.  With Miami’s native son posed to step into perhaps the most prominent dance leadership position in the country, now more than ever dance in Miami is exploding onto the local and national scene.

Come dance with us!

February 17, 2011, 9:01 pm
Filed under: Adrienne Arsht, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , ,

Immerse yourself in flamenco!

In addition to the long-awaited return to Miami of Ballet Nacional de España, Flamenco Festival Miami 2011 features the 6th annual Festival of Flamenco Song, making its Flamenco Festival debut with a multitude of interactive educational workshops and the highly anticipated Café Cantante performances, which just added a third show due to unprecedented demand for tickets.

This year’s Flamenco Festival kicks off with a variety of education and outreach activities welcoming the community to learn about unique flamenco traditions. In a lecture titled “A Half-Century of Flamenco, 1960-2010,” writer and journalist Estela Zatania will speak about the evolution of the flamenco art form and present a film titled Duende y Misterio del Flameco, directed by Edgar Neville.

There is also a chance to learn cante from Gabriel de la Tomasa. He is quickly gaining recognition for his dedication to preserving the traditional songs he has learned from his father, singer Jose de la Tomasa, and for the passion with which he interprets the cante jondo, the deepest and most difficult of the flamenco styles. Macarena de Jerez, a dancer and singer who excels at the bulerias style of flamenco, which comes from her home town of Jerez de la Frontera (Spain), gives everyone an opportunity to learn a traditional bulerias dance. Also, Siempre Flamenco’s musical director, Paco Fonta, will teach participants an “Introduction to Flamenco Guitar.”

In the Carnival Studio Theater, Café Cantante will feature living legend Luis Vargas along with rising stars Macarena de Jerez and Gabriel de la Tomasa, accompanied by authentic flamenco dance performed by the Siempre Flamenco Company.  Deep emotions that emanate from flamenco song unite with the intricate fury of dance in a unique performance that will exhilarate audiences with an up-close experience.

Once again, Flamenco Festival Miami makes the Adrienne Arsht Center the best place—outside the motherland—to see the best music and dance of Spain.

For more information on educational event times and locations, click here.


More than 52,000 students have already been inspired! The performing arts entertain, educate, enlighten—and when they’re really good—they inspire. They inspire us to think, to learn, to imagine, to dream. That’s why the Adrienne Arsht Center and Miami-Dade County Public Schools have partnered with the common goal of making the performing arts as accessible to as many Miami-Dade County students as possible through high-quality programs that feature live theatrical experiences and active learning in the performing arts.

INSPIRE. It’s the message on the new 72-feet high by 60-feet wide banners that have recently been installed on the sides of the Miami-Dade County Public School Administration Building across the street from the Center on NE 14th St and 2nd Ave.  They are larger-than-life reminders of how rewarding and vital to our community this unique partnership between arts presenter and educators can be. Already the benefits have been felt far and wide, in schools throughout the county, by families throughout South Florida. Thousands of students have participated in in-school classes, interactive workshops and demonstrations, intense arts-training programs such as AileyCamp Miami, and behind-the-scenes activities.

Perhaps most visible of these has been the Learning Through the Arts program. Hundreds of yellow school busses from every district in the County have brought class after class of 5th graders to the Center to see a free live performance of Rock Odyssey, a new musical retelling of Homer’s epic adventure. More than 52,000 students have already had the opportunity to attend last spring and fall, and another 26,000 are expected once the next school year begins. Following the extraordinary success of Rock Odyssey, the Center hopes to produce more new works and, in partnership with Miami-Dade County Schools, expand Learning Through the Arts over the next five years with the goal of ultimately reaching 100% of the County’s fifth, seventh, and ninth graders. This expansion would eventually provide arts adventures for more than 75,000 young people every year. It will enrich their studies and enhance their exposure to the arts. Most of all, it will inspire them to fulfill their potential as they make their journey from student to adulthood.


February 18, 2010, 3:59 pm
Filed under: Adrienne Arsht

What do Queen Elizabeth II, Martha Stewart, Michelle Obama and Adrienne Arsht have in common? As of Jan. 25, when the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation and Board of Trustees surprised its visionary benefactor with a unique thank you gift, all four powerful women have orchids named for them.

(L-R) President John Richard, Adrienne Arsht with her named orchid, Board Chairman Ricky Arriola

At the 7 p.m. cocktail reception at Prelude by Barton G, Adrienne Arsht Center CEO John Richard presented Ms. Arsht with a new orchid hybrid, which will be registered with the Royal Horticultural Society in England. The occasion marked Arsht’s final $10 million payment on her historic $30 million gift to the Center. Once confirmed by the Society, the orchid will be named the “BC Adrienne Arsht.”

With the extraordinary moment also happening close to Ms. Arsht’s birthday, the philanthropist was also surprised with a giant birthday cake decorated with orchids.

More than 100 close friends and colleagues came to the gathering, including Armando and Margarita Codina, Judy and Woody Weiser, Miami Herald publisher David Landsberg, Miami-Dade Commissioners Rebecca Sosa and Katy Sorenson, Adrienne Arsht Center CEO John Richard, Adrienne Arsht Center Trust Chairman Ricky Arriola and Trust Board Member Sergio Gonzalez of the University of Miami.

(L-R) John Richard, Jorge Plasencia, Commisioner Sosa, Adrienne Arsht, Commisioner Sorenson, Ricky Arriola

Adrienne Arsht’s $30 million donation in January 2008 altered the course of Miami’s cultural landscape, securing the Center’s financial footing and ensuring the quality of cultural programming now and for future generations.  With the completion of her gift, she hopes that others will be inspired to pick up the mantle of giving and volunteering.

In a special recognition declaration from the Performing Arts Center Trust’s Board of Directors, Ms. Arsht was commended for her extraordinary leadership and unstoppable passion. “It is not only the Adrienne Arsht Center which celebrates her, but all Miamians whose reality she has helped transform for the better,” said Arriola.

Adrienne Arsht – Outstanding Philanthropist of the Year
November 23, 2009, 10:07 pm
Filed under: Adrienne Arsht

Adrienne Arsht was honored at the National Philanthropy Day 25th Anniversary Celebration on November 18, during a luncheon hosted by The Association of Fundraising Professionals Greater Miami Chapter. The Outstanding Philanthropist award is presented to an individual with a proven record of exceptional generosity who, through financial support, has demonstrated outstanding civic and charitable responsibility, and whose generosity encourages others to take philanthropic leadership role on a community, nation and/or international level.

Adrienne was recognized for her generosity of spirit and exemplary service to the Miami community. As Outstanding Philanthropist of 2009, Adrienne has been an extra-ordinary supporter of the Adrienne Arsht Center, and the Center would like to share with POV readers the winning nomination it submitted in her honor.


One person can indeed make a difference in a community.

The Greek author Plutarch said: “What we achieve inwardly will change our outer reality.” That is an astonishing statement and yet proven a thousand times every day of our lives. It expresses, in part, our inescapable connection with the outside world, the fact that we touch other people’s lives simply by existing.

Adrienne Arsht touches thousands of peoples’ lives simply by existing. Arsht personifies all that a philanthropist should be. She is a visionary, willing to take risks, active in the community, collaborative and practical. She endeavors to help humankind through her extraordinary philanthropic accomplishments. Adrienne Arsht is uniquely qualified to receive the Association of Fundraising Professionals’ Outstanding Philanthropist Award because she sets the standard for philanthropic giving not only in South Florida, but throughout the nation.

To say that Adrienne Arsht exceeds the expectations of philanthropy would be an understatement. With a $30 million donation to the performing arts center in January 2008, Arsht single-handedly altered the course of Miami’s cultural landscape. The entire amount, pledged over three years, is a true example of Arsht’s commitment to the South Florida community. In recognition of this gift, it was only fitting for the Center to honor this incomparable contribution by changing its name to the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Thanks to Adrienne Arsht, the Center welcomed its one millionth patron in April 2009, a feat accomplished in less than three full seasons since opening. Thriving programming and burgeoning commercial activity reflect the Center’s institutional progress. Arsht’s gift secured the Center’s financial footing and ensured the quality of cultural programming for future generations and the growth of Miami as a world-class city.

Arsht’s main goal in all of her varied endeavors has always remained the same – to improve her community through action. The powerhouse philanthropist plays a key role in supporting several worthy organizations through her tireless volunteer efforts and generous donations. In 2004, she became the first woman to join the Million Dollar Roundtable of United Way of Miami-Dade. In 2005, Arsht announced a $2 million gift to Goucher College, creating the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in honor of her late mother, a Goucher graduate. She announced a $3 million gift to the University of Miami for the creation of the Arsht Ethics Programs at UM; $1 million to the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami; and $750,000 to Best Buddies International for the development of a Delaware chapter, specifically serving Hispanics and African-Americans with mental disabilities. Most recently, she announced a $5 million contribution to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts to support musical theater programming. In January 2009, The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 39 on its 2008 America’s 50 biggest donors list.

Adrienne Arsht has numerous leadership roles in the community as she promotes artistic, business and civic growth and development in her adopted hometown of Miami, Florida and throughout other communities in the U.S. She co-founded a program called “Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative,” which provides free, confidential planning assistance and consulting to struggling arts organizations. This is one of the innovative approaches Arsht undertook to solve problems within the nonprofit community in response to the emergency facing arts organizations throughout the U.S. in this current economic climate.

Arsht also serves on various national boards, including the Metropolitan Opera, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, American Ballet Theatre, Best Buddies International and The Global Advisory Board of the Washington National Opera. In South Florida, she is Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, and also sits on the board of the University of Miami and Amigos for Kids. Arsht is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the Fine Arts Committee of the U.S. State Department, a lifetime trustee of Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and a fellow of The Aspen Institute.

As the Adrienne Arsht Center works to promote its mission, dedicated volunteers like Adrienne Arsht promote philanthropy. She is widely recognized as the driving force that secured the future of the Center. In her role at the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, she made a bold statement about her strong support for the Center when she made a personal pledge of $30 million and openly encouraged others to give and take leadership roles in philanthropy- whether by giving or volunteering.

Arsht has received numerous award and honors for her life-long contributions to both business and community. In 2005, the Florida Council on Economic Education inducted Arsht into its Business Hall of Fame. Other awards include: the prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year in Finance for Florida; the Essie Silva Community Builder Award from the United Way; Dade Partners Exemplary Business Leader Award from the Miami-Dade County Public schools; Shining Star Award by the Arts & Business Council of Miami; and Woman Banker of the Year by the South Florida Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Adrienne Arsht is a leader for others to emulate and inspires everyone around her to join with her dedication and caring. Her intelligence, capacity for hard work, the education she has earned and received, give her unique status and unique responsibilities. That she chooses to use her status and influence to support the community’s most pressing needs; that she retains the ability to imagine herself into the lives of those who do not have her advantages, then it is not only the Adrienne Arsht Center who celebrates her existence, but thousands and millions of people whose reality she has helped transform for the better.

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County feels fortunate to have the opportunity to know and work with a truly outstanding individual, a lover of the arts, and a great human being in every sense of the word. On behalf of everyone who has benefited from her phenomenal philanthropic service, we nominate Adrienne Arsht for the Outstanding Philanthropist Award of 2009.

Next Stop: Adrienne Arsht Center Station
May 18, 2009, 6:23 pm
Filed under: Adrienne Arsht

Miami philanthropist and businesswoman Adrienne Arsht was all smiles Thursday, May 14 as she rode a Metromover car to the station newly-renamed after the Adrienne Arsht Center. Joined by Commissioner Audrey Edmondson, Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Trust Ricky Arriola, and Senior Executive of Miami-Dade Transit Clinton Forbes, Ms. Arsht toured through the downtown Miami sites in route to the official unveiling and dedication ceremony of the station’s new name. “I want to take a look at the map,” Arsht said as she made her way across the shaking car and around her fellow passengers like a true downtown local but in graceful “Adrienne Arsht fashion.”

USE FOR NEWSLETTER MetroMoverRenamingPhotobyMitchellZachs-14-0754

After arriving to the Adrienne Arsht Center Station platform, which was previously the Omni Station, Ms. Arsht was met with warm welcomes from county officials, members of the Adrienne Arsht Center board and staff, local media, and the public. The group gathered for remarks by Mr. Arriola, Mr. Forbes, and Commissioner Edmondson regarding the station renaming and Ms. Arsht’s generous $30 million gift to the Center in 2008.


(L-R) Commissioner Edmondson, Adrienne Arsht, Ricky Arriola

(L-R) Commissioner Edmondson, Adrienne Arsht, Ricky Arriola

Operated by Miami-Dade Transit, Metromover is a complimentary, public train system that accommodates passengers commuting within the downtown Miami vicinity. As a part of the ongoing revitalization of downtown Miami’s urban core, the Adrienne Arsht Center is powered by a variety of theatrical, musical and educational programs occurring almost every day of the week, increasing the need for the Metromover. Located close to the intersection of Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 15th Street, Adrienne Arsht Center Station is one of the Metromover system’s highest-traffic stops. Just one block from the Adrienne Arsht Center itself, the Metromover and Adrienne Arsht Center Station provide locals arguably the most convenient way to get to the theatre on time!


The lady of the hour delivered a gracious, yet witty, speech thanking the county and the public for the honor. The official unveiling of the Adrienne Arsht Center Station sign took place on the ground level immediately after the speeches, and the ceremony then transformed into a mid-day festival with live music, performers and refreshments.

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