Harry Connick, Jr. Dazzles at Arsht Center Gala
Gala Chairs Swanee & Paul DiMare Announce $1 Million Gift
Hundreds of South Florida’s philanthropic, business and civic leaders convened for the Adrienne Arsht Center’s annual Gala. Harry Connick, Jr., one of the entertainment world’s most celebrated, multifaceted talents performed an intimate concert on the main stage of the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall. A highlight of the evening was the surprise announcement that Gala Chair and Arsht Center Foundation Board Member Swanee DiMare and her husband Paul DiMare would make a $1 million gift to the Center, marking the first major donation by a Miami philanthropist in response to a recent anonymous challenge gift. The stage in the Knight Concert Hall will be named in their honor.
“Swanee and Paul DiMare are model philanthropists,” said Mike Eidson, Chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board. “This momentous gift is a clear indication that the DiMares understand the impact that our strong public-private partnership is having in our community and our need for private financial support. Their gift will continue to fuel our education and community engagement programs, ensuring the arts remain a transformative resource for our children and families. Renaming the Knight Concert Hall stage in their honor is a well-deserved token of recognition that will symbolize their generosity for generations to come.”
“Harry Connick, Jr. performing as our headliner helped us break Arsht Center fundraising records, making this the most successful Gala in the institution’s history,” said Swanee DiMare, Chair of the event. “Paul and I could not be more excited to be a part of the Arsht Center family. This is an institution we plan to support for many years to come, and we encourage our community to do the same.”
The institution’s name benefactor, Adrienne Arsht, served as the Honorary Gala Chair. Co-Chairs Margaret and Mike Eidson, and Rick Schatz, Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, were also part of the gala leadership committee.
Gala sponsors in attendance included Margarita and Armando Codina, Jan and Daniel Lewis and Barton Weiss as well as Arsht Center President/CEO John Richard and Lynne Richard. Additional Co-Chairs in attendance included Robert Barlick; Trish and Dan Bell; Cathy and Jeff Bartel; Louis Brais, Bouygues Civil Works Florida, Inc.; Joyce and Tony Burns, Colson Hicks Eidson; Gilberto Neves, Odebrecht; Abigail and FJ Pollak; Lorena and Jorge Rossell, TotalBank; Judy Weiser; Jason Williams, Wells Fargo Private Bank and Rebecca and Jimmy Whited.
Also seen at the event: Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, City of Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, developer Jorge Perez and actor Christian Slater.
The Center created a signature Arsht experience for nearly 400 guests, offering an intimate Gala evening inside one of the world’s greatest concert halls starring one of today’s most successful artists. Harry Connick, Jr. performed hits from the Great American Songbook, wowing the audience with his voice and charming sense of humor. He praised the Hall’s acoustics, noting it was among the best-sounding venues in which he has ever performed.
Major support was provided by Barton G.; Bacardi; Bombay Sapphire; JW Marriott Marquis Miami; The Miami Herald and Neiman Marcus Coral Gables.
The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County is made possible by the public support of the Miami-Dade County Mayor and the Board of County Commissioners, the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and the Cultural Affairs Council, the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council and the City of Miami Omni Community Redevelopment Agency, as well as the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs and the Florida Council on Arts and Culture. The Adrienne Arsht Center also receives generous support from local, state and national foundations, as well as private contributions to the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation through corporate and individual giving, Visionary Society membership and the Encore Circle major gifts programs.