ArtPlace America Donates $350K to Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center and O Cinema

ArtPlace America Donates $350K to Miami's Adrienne Arsht Center and O Cinema

ArtPlace America, one of the nation's largest organizations committed to creative place-making, is investing $350,000 in new grant dollars for culturally-based development and programming in Miami's urban core. The Adrienne Arsht Center has been awarded a $250,000 grant to establish an Office of Neighborhood Development in association with the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (TSNDC), making it one of the first performing arts centers in the country to have an office dedicated to the development of its surrounding community. O Cinema, Miami's premiere venue for independent, foreign, and art films, has been awarded $100,000 for the development of Cine Al Fresco, a sustainable green space and outdoor theater in Wynwood. ArtPlace America selected the organizations from a pool of more than 1,200 applicants.

The grants come as Miami's urban core emerges as one of the most vibrant cultural districts in the Americas, home to major arts institutions, arts-relatEd Galleries and businesses, and educational institutions concentrated in the arts. The allocations are part of ArtPlace America's third cycle of grant awards. All told, the organization has awarded 134 grants to 130 projects in 90 communities and states for a total of $42.1 million.

The Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which believes in the power of the arts to engage communities, has been a founding funder of ArtPlace.

"These two investments exemplify the best of Miami's cultural community - with civic leaders coming together to ensure a prosperous future for Miami's cultural center and a small movie house bringing the arts to the surrounding neighborhood," said Dennis Scholl, VP/Arts at Knight Foundation. "Without a doubt, Miamians know the value of vibrant communities, and ArtPlace helps ensure they happen."

The Arsht Center's Office of Neighborhood Development will collaborate with all agencies and organizations that have an impact on downtown Miami's rapidly-changing arts and entertainment district, including Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Florida Department of Transportation, Pérez Art Museum Miami, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science, City of Miami, Miami-Dade County, the Miami Downtown Development Authority, and private property owners in the area. This is the Arsht Center's second ArtPlace grant. In 2011, it received $300,000 that enabled the creation of the TSNDC- a nonprofit created by the Center to lead its neighborhood's transformation. The TSNDC has commissioned an aspirational master plan that envisions a thriving arts district. The new grant will enable the Center with TSNDC to continue to expand on that vision with collaboration from area stakeholders.

"The Adrienne Arsht Center has helped enliven downtown Miami to the tune of billions of dollars in new development and tens of thousands of new residents," said TSNDC Chair Armando Codina. "Miami is now viewed as one of the world's great cities for arts and culture and downtown is leading that rise. This ArtPlace America grant will enable us to commit additional resources for sparking smart development and collaborating with our neighbors."

"Projects and plans for this area are materializing on almost a daily basis. It's important that the Arsht Center remain at the forefront of our downtown Miami neighborhood's creative evolution," said Mike Eidson, Chairman of the Arsht Center's Board and Treasurer of the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation's Board. "We want to get it right the first time and transform this emerging cultural district into a local and global destination everyone in Miami-Dade County can be proud of."

Located in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District, O Cinema will use its ArtPlace grant to create Cine Al Fresco - an initiative in which its outdoor area will be converted into a sustainable green space and "outdoor theater" offering ongoing films, performances, and other events under the stars for the diverse community along Miami's urban core. As part of the Cine Al Fresco programming, O Cinema we will be offering a regular slate of free films throughout the year and collaborating with area artists and cultural organization to showcase performances and events that will add to the vibrancy of Wynwood and the Biscayne corridor.

"Since our inception, we have strived to improve the quality of life of our community through increased access to the cinematic arts. The much-needed green space and on-going outdoor films and events that Cine Al Fresco will create, will help make Wynwood a better place to live, work and visit," said Vivian Marthell, Co-Director of O Cinema "We intend to continue to use film and the arts as a vehicle to not only entertain and educate but as a way of bringing those who come here to revel and the residents who call Wynwood home together as one community."

The 54 organizations that received grants were selected from over 1200 applications. Inquiries came from all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia. Grant amounts range from $750,000 to $33,000 with an average grant size of just over $280,000.

The complete list of 2013/2014 ArtPlace America awards can be found at

The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is one of the world's leading performing arts organizations and venues. Made possible by Miami-Dade County's largest ever public/private-sector partnership, the Center is home to the Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet and New World Symphony, America's Orchestral Academy. In addition, numerous South Florida arts organizations perform in its theaters regularly. Since opening in 2006, the Center has emerged as a leader in offering and presenting innovative programming that mirrors South Florida's diversity, as a catalyst for development in Miami, and as a host of impactful community outreach and education programs.

Designed by world-renowned architect Cesar Pelli of Pelli Clarke Pelli Architects, the venue is comprised of the 2,400-seat Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House, the 2,200-seat John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, the black box Carnival Studio Theater, a restored Carnival Tower, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Studio, the Peacock Foundation, Inc. Education Center and the outdoor Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts. Events impresario and restaurateur Barton G. Weiss brought his signature style to the Center in 2009 with PRELUDE BY BARTON G, a full-service upscale restaurant. Visit for more information.

O Cinema is South Florida's premier center for independent, foreign and art films. Founded in 2011 through a matching grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, O Cinema works to improve the quality of life for residents by being a cultural beacon that provides an eclectic and diverse slate of intriguing, entertaining, and superior quality films that audiences would otherwise not see in Miami-Dade County.

O Cinema is committed to partnering with area arts organizations and non-traditional partners including Miami Theater Center, Miami International Film Festival, Borscht Film Festival, Indie Film Club Miami, Miami Gay & Lesbian Film Festival, Roofless Records, Gutter Films and countless of independent South Florida filmmakers and artists.

O Cinema Wynwood is located in the heart of the Wynwood Arts District and across the street from the famed Rubell Family Collection. In Fall of 2012 a second venue opened, O Cinema Miami Shores at the Miami Theater Center in the village of Miami Shores. More information at

ArtPlace America provides grants and loans, supports research, and conducts outreach and advocacy. To date, ArtPlace America has awarded 130 grants totaling $42.1 million to 130 organizations in 90 U.S. communities (and a statewide project in the state of Connecticut).

Foundations participating in ArtPlace America include Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Ford Foundation, The James Irvine Foundation, The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation, The McKnight Foundation, The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, The William Penn Foundation, The Rockefeller Foundation, Rasmuson Foundation, The Surdna Foundation, and two anonymous donors.

ArtPlace America also seeks advice and counsel from close working relationships with various federal agencies, including the National Endowment for the Arts, the departments of Housing and Urban Development, Health and Human Services, Agriculture, Education, and Transportation, along with leadership from the White House Office of Management and Budget and the Domestic Policy Council.

Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. The foundation believes that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit

Related Articles

Miami THEATER Stories | Shows

From This Author BWW News Desk

Before you go...