National arts leader Dennis Scholl named president/CEO of ArtCenter/South Florida

National arts leader Dennis Scholl named president/CEO of ArtCenter/South Florida

Dennis Scholl

Seasoned arts executive and entrepreneur Dennis Scholl will be ArtCenter/South Florida’s new president and CEO, the organization’s board announced recently. He will be leading the pioneering arts organization into its next chapter at a pivotal time in its history.

Scholl, a change agent known for his ability to scale cultural efforts and enterprises, will focus on creating a holistic environment for Miami’s artists. At ArtCenter, they will be able to learn from the best local and national cultural practitioners, experience ground-breaking exhibitions and work in studios to develop their artistic practice.

In addition, under Scholl, the ArtCenter will extend much-needed direct support to resident artists for production, training and travel.

The ArtCenter, a major cultural institution in South Florida for three decades and recognized as one of the catalysts in the renaissance of Miami’s Beach’s famed Lincoln Road, recently sold its landmark building, providing the organization with an $88 million endowment to expand its role in serving the city’s growing cultural community.

The hiring of Scholl — an entrepreneur, art collector and, most recently, the national vice president for arts at the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation — is a “gamechanger” for the organization, according to Kim Kovel, ArtCenter’s board chair.

“We’re so fortunate that Dennis has agreed to lead the ArtCenter. He’s a nationally recognized arts activist who will help us achieve our goal to be a leader on the national arts map,” Kovel said.

“The visual arts are my professional and personal passion,” Scholl said. “When the ArtCenter approached me to lead them through this sea change moment, both for the organization and for Miami, I jumped at the chance.”

From 2009 to 2015, Scholl was the vice president for arts at Knight Foundation. He launched the foundation’s arts program, leading it to national acclaim and overseeing close to $200 million in grants. There, he also developed and scaled unique national offerings including the Knight Arts Challenge and Random Acts of Culture, whose pop-up performances have been received enthusiastically and replicated across the country.

“Dennis’ entrepreneurial vision shaped Knight Foundation’s Arts program. He has an eye for what’s original, what’s interesting, what’s challenging, and he runs with it — to great success,” said Alberto Ibargüen, president, of Knight Foundation. “I’m looking forward to watching him transform ArtCenter and provide a new lift to the arts in South Florida.”

Established in 1984, ArtCenter/South Florida is a non-profit that advances the knowledge and practice of contemporary visual arts and culture to an audience of approximately 80,000 people per year. ArtCenter/South Florida creates opportunities for experimentation and encourages the critical exchange of ideas through residencies, exhibitions, public programs, education and outreach.

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