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Michael Spring - Director

Cultural Affairs

As Director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $30 million and a staff of 34. He represents the Department on numerous cultural and civic committees including service as secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts (the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America), a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, chairman of board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, a member and past president of the United States Urban Arts Federation, a past president of the Florida Association of Local Arts Agencies, and a member of the Board of Governors of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce.

He serves as chairperson of the South Florida Cultural Consortium, an organization that helps to coordinate cultural development in the five-county region, and director of the Miami-Dade Tourist Development Council. In 2007, he assumed the additional responsibility of leading Miami-Dade County's Art in Public Places program. He joined the staff of the Council in 1983 and served as Deputy Director until his appointment as Director in December 1990. Before his tenure at the Council in 1983, he was a museum curator for three years and worked in the federally-supported CETA Artists-in-Service program, designed to involve artists in community projects.

As Director of the Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring has been responsible for establishing policies and programs that have helped build the organizational growth and facilities development of Miami-Dade County's cultural community into a $922 million annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups, 22,000 arts workers and thousands of individual artists.

 This work has encompassed: providing comprehensive support for the entire cultural community from major institutions to grassroots and multicultural arts groups with a focus on neighborhood activities; establishing an ongoing cultural facilities improvements program, with more than $80 million of public funds devoted to improving existing and building new theaters county-wide; and developing initiatives to increase more participation in cultural activities for Miami-Dade's more 2.5 million residents and 12.5 million visitors each year. In 2004, he helped lead the work to pass a referendum for the Building Better Communities bond program, dedicating more than $450 million for building the next generation of Miami-Dade's cultural facilities, ranging from major new art and science museums to theaters and neighborhood arts centers.

In 2011, the Department of Cultural Affairs opened the new Arquitectonica-designed, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, a campus that includes a 966-seat theater, an activities and classroom building, and outdoor concert lawn. This is the Department's first foray into cultural facilities management. He serves the Cultural Affairs Council, a 15-member volunteer advisory board entrusted with setting policy for the Department of Cultural Affairs, the Tourist Development Council, a 9-member board dedicated to supporting visitor-oriented cultural and special events, and the Art in Public Places Trust, a 15-member board responsible for one of the nation's leading public art programs.

He has worked effectively on legislative issues at the local, state and federal levels and was successful in leading the initiative in 1993 to secure $7.3 million from the state's Hurricane Andrew Recovery and Rebuilding Trust Fund for the recovery of Miami-Dade's cultural community. He has served on state and National Endowment for the Arts grants review panels and has participated in national arts policy discussions on the future of local arts agencies and on the issues of funding, facilities development, advocacy, stabilization of major institutions and the evolving relationship between the non-profit arts and commercial entertainment industries.

Michael Spring was valedictorian of the class of 1970 at Miami Edison Senior High School. He is a graduate of the University of Miami with B.A. degree, magna cum laude, in the arts and a minor in literature. He also earned M.A. in painting from New York University involving studies in Venice, Italy. In spite of an ever-rising sea of vocational responsibilities, he continues to paint and develop his interests as a visual artist.

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Portrait of Michael Spring

Michael Spring

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