More than 300 people turned out for the Miami Beach Arts Gala: A Celebration of the Arts, a grassroots effort to provide needed funding for the arts. Thanks to an outpouring of support from the community, the event raised $60,000, which will be utilized by the Miami Beach Cultural Arts Council to award grants to local performing arts organizations.
The Arts Gala paid tribute to locally-based Arts luminaries Judy Drucker, Lifetime Achievement Award recipient; Michael Tilson Thomas, Visionary Award recipient; and Dr. Sanford L. and Dolores Ziff, Cultural Arts Champions.
The ballroom at the Miami Beach Convention Center was transformed into a spectacular setting, complete with three performance stages, large projection screens and elegant décor. Even the dinner menu reflected the arts theme, with whimsical, arts-themed monikers such as “Klangfarbenmelodie” (Tone-color-melody distributed amongst instruments) for the dessert, which was served on plates made from vinyl record albums.
Guests were treated to a variety of performances, including music by Baby B Strings, a trio comprised of violin, viola and cello during the cocktail reception, Oriente, a lively collage of Cuban, Brazilian, southern Blues and Jazz. Side stages featured members of three diverse dance troupes: Pioneer Winter Collective, Dance Now! Ensemble and Miami Contemporary Dance Company.
Even the centerpieces that graced the tables reflected the evening’s arts theme, as they were created by art students from Miami’s Terra Environmental Research Institute, an eco-friendly prototype for schools to come. The students used dried tree branches to create twig sculptures for each table.
Spearheaded by Commissioner Jerry Libbin with Gala co-chairs Bob Goodman and Harvey J. Burstein, the Gala committee included representatives from arts organizations, tourism and allied industries – all dedicated to preserving Miami Beach’s rich legacy of showcasing the best talent the City has to offer.
“It is heartwarming to see how the community came together to support something that is such an integral part of our identity as a Cultural Arts Mecca,” says Jerry Libbin.
Sponsors for the event were Miami Beach Convention Center, Centerplate, Logistics Management, Prestige AV, Waste Management, New World Symphony, City of Miami Beach, Greenberg Traurig Law, Ladenberg Thalman Financial Services, Collins Park Neighborhood Assoc., GMCVB, Gutierrez & Associates, Magic City Casino, Catalina, Boucher Brothers Management, Shore Club/Mondrian, Beach Towing, Tremont Towing, Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce, Opium Group, Eden Restaurant, W Hotel, Gansevoort, and Eden Restaurant.
On the heels of the success of the event, plans are already underway for the Second Annual Miami Beach Arts Gala!