Pérez Art Museum Miami Receives $3 Million in Support from Knight Foundation

In Support of PAMM’s Technological Initiatives and Fund for African American Art

Knight Foundation Presentation
Photo courtesy of PAMM.

(MIAMI, FL — December 4, 2018) — Last night, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) received $3 million in new funding from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. Of the support, $2 million will bolster the museum’s technological and innovative capacity to provide engaging arts experiences for visitors building cross-departmental initiatives around digital experience. PAMM received an additional $1 million matching grant for the PAMM Fund for African American Art, a fund initiated for the purchase of contemporary art by African American artists for the museum’s permanent collection, which will celebrate its sixth anniversary on February 9 at the museum’s Art + Soul Celebration.

“This $3 million support is more than a boost to our ability to continue and better deliver the highest quality of art and art education to our community. It is a symbol of the shared optimism in the power of art and culture to transform lives in service of creating a better world. As Alberto Ibargüen says of Knight Foundation’s strategy of support, we too want to make “art general,” in Miami and beyond. This grant will allow us to further leverage the power of new technology and digital strategies to provide an even broader footprint for our activities and encourage new ways of seeing in museums via risk taking in search of innovation, for example, our Augmented Reality program, which Knight sponsored two years ago. Earmarking $1 million for the Fund for African American Art will allow us to build on the collection, increasing the capacity of our endowment to generate funds specifically for this important part of our collection. This support takes us over the $20 million mark in cumulative funds received from Knight. We’ve been in our new Herzog and de Meuron-designed building for five years, and there’s no better validation of our work than this from our great arts supporters at the KF. I am profoundly grateful for the partnership that goes beyond the financial commitment with our friends and colleagues at Knight Foundation,” said Franklin Sirmans, PAMM director.

The support is part of Knight Foundation’s $37 million in new funding for arts organizations, many of them anchor arts institutions in Miami, including PAMM, Miami City Ballet, and Locust Projects. A full list of the 22 organizations sharing the $37 million is below.

“Art and culture bind people to place and to each other. A dozen years ago, we saw an arts community that could be leveraged to make art general in Miami,” said Alberto Ibargüen, Knight Foundation president. “One hundred and sixty-five million dollars over a decade says we’re serious about this. The latest $37 million says we’re delighted with the impact and are shifting focus more toward the middle-level arts organizations and with a much greater emphasis on the creation of art in the city.”

The $37 million support will be invested in:

Fostering the work of anchor institutions

Arsht Performing Arts Center: $1 million
To fund a dollar-for-dollar match of contributions made by the center’s board members, spurring new funding to support the institution’s long-term financial stability.  

Bass Museum - Knight Foundation Art Commission 2019: $1.25 million
To support the commission and exhibition of new works of contemporary art, allowing artists to experiment and expand their practice to reach diverse audiences online and on-site.    

Institute of Contemporary Art - Arts and Research Center: $2 million
To expand the institute’s Art + Research Center, dedicated to increasing contemporary art literacy and critical analysis, through public events, intensive courses and workshops and online educational resources.

Miami City Ballet: $3 million
To further strengthen the institution’s cultural relevance in Miami by supporting a new administrative and leadership infrastructure that emphasizes experimentation, diversity, equity and inclusion.

Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs - Coconut Grove Playhouse: $2 million
To restore the Coconut Grove Playhouse, adding to the overall growth of Miami’s vibrant theater scene.

Miami International Film Festival: $750,000
To foster connections between local filmmakers and the international film community, support three competitive selection programs, including a Made in MIA award, and mentorship programs.  

New World Symphony: $2.5 million
To foster renewed interest in classical music by commissioning new works; using technology to engage audiences; and helping orchestras better reflect their communities by promoting diversity and inclusion.

Pérez Art Museum Miami: $3 million
To bolster the museum’s technological and innovative capacity to provide engaging arts experiences for visitors building cross-departmental initiatives around digital experiences.  

Promoting the creation of cutting-edge art in Miami

Borscht Film: $1.25 million
To create a new model for cultivating independent filmmakers in Miami focused on elevating fresh and diverse voices and connecting filmmakers to global career opportunities.

Friends of the Underline: $500,000
To engage people with the arts in unexpected places by activating portions of the Underline through the installation of art.

Locust Projects Inc. - Locust Labs: $1 million
To provide local, national, and international artists the time, space, and resources necessary to experiment and push their practice, as well as further strengthen the lab as a place for people to experience the wonder of art.

Miami Light Project: $750,000
To further strengthen the organization’s work as a key cultural incubator and presenter by supporting an operations and business model restructure, including a transition to a new space and a deeper focus on long-term financial sustainability.

Miami New Drama: $750,000
To elevate and sustain the production of original, critically-acclaimed theater in Miami by further strengthening the organization’s work through support for casting, staffing, technological upgrades, and a deeper focus on long-term financial sustainability.

O, Miami at The Betsy: $1.25 million
To create a new home for poetry in the Americas by supporting a partnership between O, Miami Poetry Festival and The Writer’s Room at The Betsy-South Beach.

Visual Art Residency Programs: $1 million
To pilot a series of visual arts residency programs in to further solidify Miami’s position as a leader in the visual arts regionally, nationally, and internationally.  

Advancing training and learning opportunities
ArtCenter/South Florida - Cinematic Arts Residency: $500,000
To elevate Miami’s filmmaking ecosystem through an arts residency that functions as an incubator for Miami filmmakers creating micro-budget narrative feature films.

DASH/New World School of the Arts - Knight Art Student Travel Funds:  $1 million  
To support the personal and artistic growth of young musicians throughout Miami-Dade County by providing access to training and mentorship.

Florida International University - CasaCuba: $2 million
To establish CasaCuba, the university’s new home for the study and scholarship of Cuban affairs and culture.

Frost School of Music: $2.25 million
To update the Knight Recital Hall and incorporate advanced technological capabilities into its design and construction, allowing for the presentation of high-quality art through digital experiences.

Miami Music Project: $750,000
To introduce more youth to classical music training by expanding access to affordable music education programming across Miami-Dade County.

O Cinema: $1.5 million
To create South Florida’s first independent film center by supporting the cinema’s purchase and the renovation of a permanent home.

Rubell Family Collection Contemporary Arts Foundation: $500,000
To develop ambitious visual arts programming and support the careers of emerging artists and curators through curatorial internships and artist residencies.

About PAMM
Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) promotes artistic expression and the exchange of ideas, advancing public knowledge and appreciation of art, architecture and design, and reflecting the diverse community of its pivotal geographic location at the crossroads of the Americas. Led by Director Franklin Sirmans, the nearly 35-year-old South Florida institution formerly known as Miami Art Museum (MAM), Pérez Art Museum Miami opened a new building, designed by world-renowned architects Herzog & de Meuron, in Downtown Miami’s Museum Park on December 4, 2013. The facility is a state-of-the-art model for sustainable museum design and progressive programming and features 200,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor program space with flexible galleries; shaded outdoor verandas; a waterfront restaurant and bar; a museum shop; and an education center with a library, media lab and classroom spaces. For more information, please visit pamm.org, find us on Facebook (facebook.com/perezartmuseummiami), or follow us on Instagram/Twitter (@pamm).


Accredited by the American Alliance of Museums, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) is sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. Support is provided by the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Mayor and Board of County Commissioners. Additional support is provided by the City of Miami and the Miami OMNI Community Redevelopment Agency (OMNI CRA). Pérez Art Museum Miami is an accessible facility. All contents ©Pérez Art Museum Miami. All rights reserved.

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