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Recreation and Culture

Recreation and Culture

It is important that Miami-Dade County develop, promote and preserve outstanding cultural, recreational, library and natural experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors of this and future generations. Our County’s superb cultural facilities and activities also give us the competitive edge for attracting commerce and tourism, which are essential for creating more jobs and economic prosperity for our community.

  • The Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department (PROS) has created safe places for more than 8,000 children in afterschool and summer programs, teaching more than 11,000 how to swim and providing athletic programs for football, soccer, baseball and basketball for 30,000 kids in our community.
  • The Mayor’s Youth Sports Championship Series, which aims to build and support a strong foundation of organized sports throughout Miami-Dade County through a series of sport championships coordinated by PROS and local youth sports organizations, hosted 11 major sporting events with 8,500 participants.
  • Miami-Dade County’s commitment to Age-Friendly design and programs have ensured that our older populations have multiple fitness options. More than 20,000 senior residents have utilized these options, including our Troops for Fitness programs on 20 Fitness Zones and more than 100 miles of walking paths throughout our system.
  • PROS and Miami-Dade Transit, in partnership with Friends of The Underline, are collaborating to transform the underutilized land below Miami’s Metrorail into a 10-mile linear park and urban trail destination from the Miami River to the Dadeland South Station. The Underline masterplan has been completed and envisions an iconic linear park and urban trail for pedestrians and bicyclists that will truly transform this community while improving the quality of life for Miami-Dade County residents.
  • PROS completed 74 capital projects valued at $38.2 million including reopening Tropical Park Stadium with an artificial turf field and beautiful new blue track that makes this facility eligible to host International USA Track and Field and NCAA events; the Amelia Earhart soccer complex and the national award winning Tom Sawyer Island Playground; the Ives Estates District Park arterial turf football and soccer field, funded by a $1.2 million donation from the Orange Bowl committee; pool renovations at Marva Bannerman park; and the newly designed and expanded amphitheater at Zoo Miami.
  • PROS afterschool programs have served over 1,400 children; the summer/seasonal camps have had more than 6,400 children attend; more than 455 seniors have received PROS programming; the Healthy Choices Clinics by Walgreens provided 19 weekly health clinics at the 9 Active Older Adult Recreation Hubs; and PROS has had 20,169 participants at the various free fitness programs from Enhance Fitness and yoga to boot camp type activities at the outdoor Fitness Zones®.
  • Zoo Miami achieved the highest attendance in its history this year with 972,454 visitors, beating the previous record set in FY12-13 by more than 17,000; Deering Estate attendance increased 2.6 percent from last year, totaling 75,644.
  • In October 2015, Miami-Dade Public Library System (MDPLS) expanded its hours of operation by adding an additional day of service at 10 branch libraries and continued to offer Sunday hours at eight regional libraries; the 2015-16 Budget also included a $1 million increase for the purchase of printed and electronic books, DVD’s, music, and related materials to increase the availability of popular titles to all age groups.
  • MDPLS launched a pilot project with the U.S. Department of State to provide passport application processing services at the South Dade Regional Library. Additionally, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office of New Americans, MDPLS locations will serve as host to citizenship naturalization clinics and swearing-in ceremonies.
  • MDPLS continued its efforts to create new and innovative offerings for its patrons by establishing its second YOUmedia Miami location, an innovation and exploration center for teens, located at the South Dade Regional Library. MDPLS also introduced its first YOUmake Miami location, a family-friendly creation lab, located at the Miami Beach Regional Library.
  • During 2015, HistoryMiami Museum’s (History Miami) attendance grew over 40 percent; the public programming space grew by 135 percent and History Miami presented 12 special exhibitions, most recently Operation Pedro Pan: The Cuban Children’s Exodus, which drew record crowds and garnered international media attention.

  • The Department of Cultural Affairs (CUA) was awarded multiple National Association of Counties Achievement (NACo) Awards:
    • Established in 1973, Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places (MDAPP) has commissioned 770 works of art. One of the nation’s leading independent advisory firms specializing in fine art valuation conducted a comprehensive appraisal, developed a prioritized master plan for future maintenance of the art works and documented Miami-Dade County’s countywide “museum” of art created by Miami-Dade based and international artists. CUA received a NACo Achievement Award for the assessment and appraisal of the Miami-Dade County Public Art Collection.
    • CUA secured renewal of its annual grant from The Children’s Trust at $995,328. Through the Department’s arts education and outreach programs, 200,702 children and their families benefitted from arts activities; one of which is All Kids Included (AKI)—Youth Arts in the Parks Program, which won a 2015 NACo Achievement Award. Offered in collaboration with the Parks, Recreation and Open Spaces Department, Youth Arts in the Parks is an inclusive, socially-oriented, sequential arts instruction program for fchildren and youth ages 6-17 with and without disabilities.
    • The Caleb Auditorium received a “Best in Category” NACo Achievement Award for its Cultural Passport program, serving more than 36,000 students in 2015 through field trips to the theater. Miami-Dade County Auditorium broke its attendance records by presenting more than 160 performances and serving more than 107,000 attendees last year.
  • Culture Shock Miami, an online program that offers students ages 13-22 discounted admission to the arts, sold 10,382 tickets, an increase of 16 percent over the previous year. To date, the program offering $5 tickets to the arts has sold more than 59,963 tickets to high school and college students.
  • CUA published and distributed the Golden Ticket Arts Guide, a single booklet combining English and Spanish language versions. In 2015, 18,000 guides were provided free-of-charge to senior citizens ages 62 and older, featuring hundreds of free cultural events presented by more than 30 participating local cultural and arts organizations.
  • With the support of Building Better Communities General Obligation Bond funding, construction of the 7th Avenue Cultural Arts Center and the Cuban Museum were completed; significant progress was made on the design of the new Westchester Cultural Arts Center in Tropical Park by Zyscovich Architects with construction scheduled to begin next year. A design team led by Arquitectonica International began architectural and engineering work on the Coconut Grove Playhouse project.
  • At the close of FY14-15, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens (Vizcaya) reported the number of paying visitors to the estate had doubled over the prior nine years, from 96,000 to 193,000. On top of this some 40,000 additional visitors enjoyed Vizcaya through complimentary admissions using such County programs as Museum Passport and Golden Ticket, through public programs, and for special events and photo shoots—taking total attendance to approximately 230,000.
  • Vizcaya began the important capital improvement project of repairing the columns at its three principal loggias overlooking the front entrance, the gardens and Biscayne Bay. Each of these loggias developed spalling and after careful investigation by architects, structural engineers and conservators, they are being repaired in a manner that will ensure the structural stability and preserve the historic appearance of Vizcaya for years to come. Structural repairs are also being made to the columns at the swimming pool.
  • The Information Technology Department implemented and updated a Campground Registration Management System (RMS) and an EZ Links Golf Point of Service and Reservation system.
  • Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) welcomed 300,000 visitors this year, with one-third of the PAMM visitors attending free of charge.
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