Recreation and Culture
To develop, promote, and preserve outstanding cultural, recreational, library, and natural experiences and opportunities for residents and visitors of this and future generations.
Recreation and Culture
Miami-Dade County’s investments in the area of arts and recreation are essential for two major reasons: (1) we can be proud that our community offers families and children outstanding opportunities second to none in the nation to expand their creative and recreational needs, and (2) our superb cultural facilities and activities give us the competitive edge for attracting commerce and tourism, which is essential for creating more jobs and economic prosperity.
Miami-Dade County’s nonprofit arts and cultural organizations represent a significant business industry- generating almost $1.1 billion in local economic activity annually and employing 29,792 full-time workers ranging from artists and administrators to accountants and carpenters. Also, the audiences for the arts have grown to over 13.5 million cultural attendees each year. These findings put Miami-Dade County among the top tier of comparable metropolitan areas and demonstrate how the arts are effective catalysts for strengthening the economy and making Miami-Dade County more competitive both nationally and internationally for business, tourism, and the arts.
• The Miami-Dade Department of Cultural Affairs secured a renewal of its annual grant from The Children’s Trust, which allowed more than 200,000 children and families to benefit from arts activities during FY 2011-12.
• Zoo Miami, Miami-Dade County’s premier attraction, broke nearly every record possible this past year, achieving the highest attendance ever with 882,800 visitors, resulting in the most earned revenue of $10.8 million, the highest membership revenue of $1.27 million, and the highest Gift Shop revenue of $1.08 million.
• The Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department, in partnership with the Zoo Oversight Board and the Zoological Society of Florida, continues to move capital development forward, completing projects that expand the Zoo’s offerings of amenities to attract more return visits to the Zoo and Miami-Dade County, and to broaden its consumer base. A prominent example is the current Invitation to Negotiate (ITN) to both private and public developers based locally and nationally for the opportunity to create the Zoo Miami Entertainment Area, a multi-attraction entertainment destination on the grounds of Zoo Miami. This project has the potential to serve as a catalyst for attracting other types of major investments to the County. This ITN is an aggressive effort to find the best developer able to create a phenomenal entertainment zone that will become a renowned landmark-attraction unique to Miami.
• As both a performance space and a catalyst for economic development, the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is helping to make our community a cultural destination. The Arsht Center’s new signature series, “Theatre Up Close,” breathed new life into the Carnival Studio Theatre and had a record level of activity in 2012. “The Huffington Post” and “Departures magazine” recognized the Carnival Studio Theatre as one of the world’s seven most memorable theatres.
• The Miami Art Museum (MAM) reaches nearly 35,000 people through its educational programming every year, the largest art education program outside the Miami-Dade Public School System.
• Vizcaya Museum and Gardens was consistently ranked as the favorite thing to do in Miami on the popular travel website tripadvisor.com. Increased paid visitation totaled 148,364 and generated more than $1.7 million.
• Miami-Dade County Art in Public Places completed eleven highly integrated art projects in 2012 and received recognition for three recently completed public arts works: “Reflect,” a media project for the main lobby of the Stephen P. Clark Government Center; “Harmonic Convergence,” an interactive sound environment with diagonal patterns of colored glass that are integrated into the Mover Station Terminal Connector of Miami International Airport; and “Ripple Gardens,” a series of exterior sculptural gardens designed for Jackson South Community Hospital. This represents the highest number of public art projects recognized from any community in the nation by the Americans for the Arts’ Public Art Network Public Art 2012 Year in Review, which selects the top 50 projects in the nation.
• “Harmonic Convergence” has been named the Interior Division winner of the 2012 Solutia World of Color Awards. An international jury of five industry professionals from Bangkok, Sao Paolo, London, Chicago, and Hong Kong chose the art work as the top interior design project worldwide for its innovative use of laminated color glass products.
• Five buildings of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens’ DiMare Science Village were completed, including the Clinton Family Conservatory’s Wings of the Tropics Exhibit, Glass House Café, Windows to the Tropics Conservatory, the Whitman Tropical Fruit Pavilion, and the Kushlan Tropical Science Institute. • HistoryMiami’s exhibition “The Guayabera: A Shirt’s Story” won the Outstanding Achievement Award at the 2012 Florida Association of Museums statewide conference. The award recognizes an exceptional project, exhibit, or program that has made an impressive impact on the museum field.
• HistoryMiami received a grant from the AT&T Foundation to provide support for “Teen Miami,” a three-year education and exhibition initiative aimed at addressing the need for teen voices and perspectives in museum exhibitions and collections.
• In 2012, the Miami Science Museum (MSM) received over $3 million in educational grants from the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education, among other funding entities, to support programs and initiatives such as Girls RISEnet and Upward Bound.
• In partnership with the Trust for Public Land and the Health Foundation of South Florida, MDPROS built nine Fitness Zones in areas throughout Miami Dade County where health disparities exist to allow those disadvantaged communities to enjoy the benefits of health-club quality fitness equipment
free of charge.
• PROS continues to ensure that world-class recreation opportunities are distributed throughout Miami-Dade with the construction of the Homestead Bayfront Park Atoll Pool restaurant and bathhouse pavilion, West Kendall District Dog Park, the Kendall Indian Hammocks Skate Park, Zoo Miami’s new amphitheater and lakeside aquatic playground, and two complete community pool renovations, among dozens of other construction projects.
• This past fall, the Miami-Dade Parks, Recreation & Open Spaces Department’s Fit2Play Out-of-School Program received the endorsement of the prestigious University of Miami’s Miller School of Medicine for being a community-based intervention program that scientific studies now prove is actually making Miami-Dade County children healthier. Fit2Play is having a strong community
impact by making fitness and nutrition fun. It is also being touted by UM as being a national model for its effectiveness in helping overweight and obese children lose weight and keep it off; for helping children with high blood pressure and high cholesterol to lower their levels; and for teaching children how to lead healthy lives through exercise and nutrition. UM’s impact study of Fit2Play shows it is a significantly unique and effective prevention strategy in that it is a healthy weight-maintenance program that also instills positive attitudes and behaviors in children about physical fitness and health.
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