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Game on for the art of placemaking in Miami!

As news of the Adrienne Arsht Center’s $300,000 ArtPlace grant spread through South Florida, a growing chorus voiced its approval of the Center’s initiative to keep the arts a major focus of downtown Miami.

“The Adrienne Arsht Center is quickly becoming a symbol of Miami-Dade County and it’s awakening potential as a culturally rich international community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez. “With private and public development flourishing around the Center, it is crucial that the arts scene that first ignited this community remain a driver of future development.”

The Arsht Center is the sole Florida recipient in the first round of ArtPlace funding. The ArtPlace grant helps launch the Center’s master planning initiative, which aims to strengthen and expand the arts focus of the Center’s downtown Miami neighborhood.

Current estimates indicate the Center has played a role in attracting approximately $5 billion in new public and private investment to Miami’s urban core, which is home to a surging residential population, growing business base and new levels of international investment as major multinational developers enter the market. About 500,000 patrons a year attend shows, concerts and events at the 5-year-old Center, which has been a catalyst for its downtown’s economic revitalization.

“The past five years have seen the Adrienne Arsht Center emerge as a constant in South Florida’s sea of change,” said Mike Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors, a panel of business and civic leaders charged with overseeing the Center’s management. “Amid economic volatility and demographic shifts, the Center has bolstered its role as a unifying force and a new ‘town square’ for Miami. In earning this generous ArtPlace grant, our institution will work to further cement its status as an engine for economic growth at the heart of one of the nation’s most dynamic urban cores.”

The ArtPlace grant announcement came one day after Genting Group, a Malaysian conglomerate that recently purchased 30 acres in downtown Miami, unveiled plans for a 10-million-square-foot, mixed-use development on the edge of Biscayne Bay.

With development in downtown Miami now occurring at warp speed, Michael Spring, Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, is pleased that the arts are leading the city’s transformation.

“From the earliest days of planning for the Arsht Center, we had envisioned this great performing arts center as a powerful force for changing lives, neighborhoods and the very image of our growing community,” Spring said. “This major grant recognizes not only the Arsht Center’s impressive accomplishments in its first five years but also its virtually unlimited potential to continue to lead the transformative development of life, culture and commerce for our community.”

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation – part of the consortium that makes up ArtPlace – has been a longtime supporter of the Adrienne Arsht Center and its programs.

“Miami’s art scene has exploded over the last decade. This grant will help solidify a physical place for arts in the city, and weave the arts into South Floridians’ everyday lives,” said Dennis Scholl, vice president/arts for Knight Foundation and chair of ArtPlace’s operating committee.

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