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Miami Art Museum receives $35 million gift from Miami developer Jorge M. Perez
Miami Art Museum, Miami, USA, Herzog & de Meuron, Park view © Herzog & de Meuron, visualization by Artefactorylab.

MIAMI, FL.- Miami Art Museum announced that long-time museum supporter and Miami-Dade County business leader Jorge M. Pérez has increased his contribution to the museum’s new downtown facility to $35 million. The gift includes $15 million in support to the institution’s Capital Campaign—on top of his original $5 million pledge at the campaign’s outset—bringing his total monetary support for the museum’s building project to $20 million–a 300% increase from his original pledge. The monetary gift brings the total amount raised for the museum’s Herzog & de Meuron-designed building in Miami’s Museum Park complex to $167 million of its $220 million goal. Pérez will also donate a portion of his Latin American art collection valued at more than $15 million to the museum’s permanent collection, bringing his total support to the museum to $35 million. The museum will be renamed Jorge M. Pérez Art Museum of Miami-Dade County in honor of Pérez, whose gift exemplifies the ever-growing support and enthusiasm for the museum as a cultural hub for the richly diverse Miami community and a contributor to the development of the region.

Pérez, a member of Miami Art Museum’s Capital Campaign Committee, has been a vocal advocate for the construction of the museum’s new building since 2004, hailing the project as a catalyst for Miami’s economic and artistic growth early on. The new 120,000-square-foot MAM facility, which is well underway, will strengthen the museum’s role as an educational and cultural center and serve as a resource commensurate with Miami’s vibrant arts community and the location of one of the world’s most important art fairs, Art Basel Miami Beach.

“As Miami-Dade’s chief public art museum, MAM is a focal point of the area’s diverse cultural landscape. Our new facility will expand on our ability to represent and support the tremendous artistic energy in Miami,” says Thom Collins, MAM’s director. “Jorge has long shared our vision for a flourishing artistic hub and recognized that cultural development is a key element to community building. His generous gift brings us one step closer to achieving our shared goal.”

Pérez’s expanded commitment includes the donation of a portion of his extensive Latin American art collection, which includes works by Wifredo Lam and Roberto Matta. The artworks Pérez is donating to the museum, which will be chosen in collaboration with MAM Director Thom Collins and Chief Curator Tobias Ostrander, signal the institution’s long-term engagement with art from across Central and South America, as well as its development of programs and exhibitions to serve its many audiences and create new connections with the Latin American community.

“Miami Art Museum’s commitment to assembling one of the world’s leading collections of contemporary art reflects my own desire for Miami to continue to grow as an international cultural destination,” says Pérez. “My hope is that the collection I am donating to the museum, along with the gift for the museum’s new building campaign, will enhance its role as a place where locals and visitors come together to experience an expansive collection of contemporary art, including our community’s finest works, and become educated in the global visual arts.”

The Pérez pledge is the latest in a string of major gifts that have put Miami’s largest cultural institutions on sound financial footing, laying the groundwork for long-term impact. Recent examples include businesswoman and philanthropist Adrienne Arsht’s $30 million gift to the County’s Performing Arts Center in 2008, the Frost family’s $35 million in support for Miami Science Museum earlier this year, and an anonymous $90 million donation to New World Symphony which paved the way for construction of the organization’s new Frank Gehry-designed building in Miami Beach.

“Miami Art Museum is a public hub for the city’s vibrant arts landscape, and major gifts such as Jorge’s allow the institution to continue and build on its central role in the community,” says Aaron Podhurst, chairman of the MAM board of trustees. “The significant support for MAM and other local cultural organizations clearly signals the tremendous impact cultural anchors have on our quality of life and continued emergence as a global center for business and tourism.”

The New MAM
Once open to the public, the museum will be an anchor of the new, 29-acre Museum Park overlooking Biscayne Bay and will include public gardens and sculpture installations. It will include 32,000 square feet of galleries for MAM’s rapidly growing permanent collection, providing space for larger and more varied displays of the Museum’s collection and special exhibitions. The building will also feature an educational complex with a library, auditorium, classrooms, and workshop space, and a cafe and store. The new design will stimulate and support collection growth and enable MAM to better fulfill its role as an educational resource for the city and beyond.

Herzog & de Meuron’s design for the new MAM is highly responsive to Miami’s climate and the needs of a young, rising art museum. The building will be a glass box sitting upon an elevated platform and below a canopy, both of which will extend far beyond the Museum’s walls, creating a shaded veranda and plazas on all four sides. A series of interconnected rooms, floating on different levels within an open grid of columns inside the “glass box,” will house galleries, education and administrative spaces.

The Capital Campaign
The goal for Miami Art Museum’s capital campaign is $220 million, and includes $131 million for construction costs, $69 million for the museum’s operating endowment, and $20 million in transitional costs. The museum has already raised $167 million towards its final goal.

The largest single source of funding for the project is the Miami-Dade County, who, with the overwhelming support of voters, contributed a $100 million bond for the construction of the building. The City of Miami also made a key contribution by providing the land for the new MAM, and $67 million have been raised from private sources.

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