2015 Adrienne Arsht Center For The Performing Arts Annual Gala
Leaders of South Florida’s philanthropic, business and civic communities gathered on Friday, April 24, for the 9th annual Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Gala. Tony, Emmy and Grammy-award winning international superstar Barry Manilow performed in the Ziff Ballet Opera House and was accompanied by the University of Miami’s Henry Mancini Institute Big Band Orchestra.
“This has been one of the best galas in the Arsht Center’s history, and we want to thank Mr. Manilow for delivering a riveting performance that helped us set the stage as we move into our 10th anniversary,” said Swanee DiMare, chair of the Gala for the fourth year in a row. “It is no secret that arts education has an immense impact on the academic success of our youth. We are grateful for the support of all of this year’s guests and sponsors, as these philanthropists will help us continue to provide the robust education programming to the community.”
Gala chairs Swanee and Paul DiMare were joined by Adrienne Arsht, the institution’s name benefactor, who served as the Honorary Gala Chair. Margaret and Mike Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board, were part of the gala leadership committee as Gala Co-Chairs, which also included Gala Sponsors, Margarita and Armando Codina and Sue Miller on behalf of the Miller Family Foundation, as well as Arsht Center President and CEO John Richard.
The Lynn Wolfson Stage of the Ziff Ballet Opera House, the second largest performing arts stage in the U.S., was transformed by Le Basque into an intimate supper club with a 20 foot chandelier floating over guests. Ovations Food Services, the official caterers of the Arsht Center, continued the supper club theme with a three-course menu ending with a dessert trio of classic New York style cheesecake with raspberry drizzle, fresh glazed berries in a chocolate shell, and chocolate molten cake with chocolate sauce.
Barry Manilow amazed the audience with his performance of Frank Sinatra classics in honor of the iconic singer’s 100th birthday, including “Strangers in the Night” and “My Kind of Town.” Manilow also brought the audience to their feet with rousing renditions of several of his greatest hits, including an energetic encore performance of “Copacabana” and “I Write the Songs.”
In addition to noting “this is the most beautiful place I have played,” Manilow praised the Arsht Center for its commitment to promoting arts education throughout the County. This is a cause Manilow feels strongly about, founding The Manilow Music Project in response to the severe reduction of music programs in public schools. The Project seeks to highlight the importance of music programs through donations of instruments and materials to middle and high schools across the country.