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Miami's Cultural Champion Award 2016 presented by Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust honors Ruth Shack
From left to right: Daniella Levine Cava (Miami-Dade Commissioner), Michael Spring (Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs), Ruth Shack, and Adolfo Henriques (Chairman and CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank and Trust).

MIAMI, FLA.- More than 100 of Miami’s arts leaders attended the 2016 Miami Cultural Champion event presented by Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust, honoring Ruth Shack. The award ceremony and reception featured cultural leaders celebrating Ruth Shack’s pioneering leadership that helped Miami evolve into a globally renowned cultural destination. The event took place on the private rooftop terrace of Gibraltar Private’s headquarters in Coral Gables. “Ruth Shack’s leadership contributions are far reaching, to national and international levels,” said Adolfo Henriques (Chairman and CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust). “Cultural pioneers like Ruth Shack paved the way. Presenting Miami’s Cultural Champion Award to Ruth means so much to so many, including national arts leaders, international philanthropists, artists, performers and cultural visionaries. Her accomplishments are legendary,” said Henriques. The Cultural Champions series of annual events began in 2012, with national and international media coverage praising its singular theme of recognizing cultural pioneers who created the foundation for artistic growth.

The Miami Herald praised the first Cultural Champions event in 2012 for presenting a new angle whose time had come -“Art Week Miami kicked off as it perhaps always should but never has: with a tribute to the city’s arts-loving pioneers.” Today, the influence of Miami’s cultural communities radiates throughout the United States., Latin America, Europe, Asia and the Caribbean.

The artwork for this year’s Cultural Champion award was a portrait of Ms. Shack created by American artist Martin Kreloff.

Kreloff’s 2012 retrospective of the original, prescient “Miami Says Art 1976” exhibition (that foreshadowed Miami’s artistic evolution) was the genesis for the very first Cultural Champions event during Miami’s Art Basel Week that year.

Kreloff was one of the emerging artists in Miami that Ruth and Richard Shack championed early on, back in the 1970s. "Creating this new portrait of Ruth Shack was pure joy for me,” said Martin Kreloff. “Since we’ve been close friends for decades, I have created portraits of Ruth and her family throughout the years and she is one of my favorite people in the world. Ruth has been my mentor, patron and friend for over forty years. Her enthusiastic belief in my work helped establish me as an artist of note, and put me on the map in Miami.”

Ruth Shack’s Pioneer Cultural Leadership During a Pivotal Time
Ruth Shack’s pioneering cultural highlights offer a glimpse into a time-line that shaped and defined today’s Miami. She was elected to the Metro-Dade Commission (now known as the Miami-Dade County Commission) in 1976, 1978 and 1982. These years – 1976-1986 - are recognized as pivotal to the area’s growing prominence, and many of the era’s most important cultural milestones were championed by Ruth Shack. She led the charge amongst her fellow Commissioners to approve Christo’s Surrounded Islands project that shined the global spotlight on Miami as an arts destination. She sponsored the County’s first historic preservation ordinance, and urged reconsideration by municipalities to recognize the value of their historic resources, including South Beach’s Art Deco District.

A History-Making Legacy that Continues Today
Ruth Shack has been honored for her contributions in a remarkably broad set of fields. She has received the highest award for her commitment to civil rights by the ACLU; to philanthropy by Leave a Legacy and The Association of Fund Raising Executives; to leadership by the Miami Foundation, to the humanities by the Miami-Dade Public Library System; to human rights by the LGBTQ Task Force; and to the arts by the Knight Foundation.

Along with her late husband Richard Shack, she has supported, through the 60 years during which she has lived in Miami, many emerging artists and served on Boards of nascent artistic organizations and community art centers. Together they developed one of the area’s most significant art collections. Shack served as President of the Dade Community Foundation, now known as The Miami Foundation, from 1985-2009 where she spearheaded the campaign to foster philanthropy and charitable giving by developing a permanent endowment to meet Greater Miami’s emerging charitable needs.

A special thanks you to the Honorary Host Committee for Miami’s Cultural Champion Award 2016, Chaired by Adolfo Henriques/Chairman & CEO of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust: Alberto Ibarguen (CEO of the Knight Foundation); Arva Moore Parks (author & historian); Barbara Young (former Art Historian for MDC Public Libraries); Beth Boone (Artistic & Executive Director of Miami Light Project); David Lawrence (Board Chair of The Children’s Movement of Florida); Eduardo Padron (President of Miami Dade College); Franklin Sirmans (Director of Perez Art Museum Miami); Javier Alberto Soto (President & CEO of the Miami Foundation); John Richard (President & CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center); Jordana Pomeroy (Director of the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU); Teresa Weintraub (Managing Director at Merrill Lynch); Toni & Carl Randolph (arts activists); Wendy Kallergis (President & CEO of the Greater Miami & The Beaches Hotel Association); and William Talbert, III (CEO of the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau).

Today's News

February 14, 2016

Miami's Cultural Champion Award 2016 presented by Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust honors Ruth Shack

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