Kevin Spacey Headlines 2014 Arsht Center Gala
Nearly 400 leaders of South Florida’s philanthropic, business and civic communities gathered on Saturday, April 5, for the 8th annual Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County Gala. Two-time Academy Award-winner Kevin Spacey performed in the John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall, and was accompanied by the University of Miami Frost School of Music’s Henry Mancini Institute Orchestra directed and conducted by multi-Grammy Award winner Gregg Field with multi-Grammy Award nominee Shelly Berg on piano. Renowned jazz pianist Monty Alexander also joined Spacey on stage as a surprise for attendees.
“Kevin Spacey’s riveting and one of a kind performance – created specifically for the Arsht Center – and reputation as one of the greatest actors of our time, helped propel this year’s gala past our previous fundraising records,” said Swanee DiMare, chair of the Gala for the second year in a row “As we celebrate the success of this year’s gala, we also look toward continuing to engage Miami’s philanthropists as our partners in delivering the performing arts and arts education programs this community needs and deserves.”
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, 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.
Co-Chairs in attendance included Ana-Marie and Robert Barlick; Cathy and Jeff Bartel; Bunny Bastian; Trish and Dan Bell; Yolanda and Jeff Berkowitz; Louis Brais, Bouygues Civil Works Florida, Inc.; Paula and Bob Brockway, Mercedes Benz of Coral Gables and Cutler Bay; James L. Ferraro; Tina and Robert Furniss-Roe, Bacardi U.S.A; Abigail and FJ Pollak; Jason Williams, Wells Fargo Private Bank; Colson Hicks Eidson; Odebrecht; Resorts World Miami; Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson, P.A. and University of Miami.
Also seen at the event: Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Audrey Edmonson, Mayor Tomas Regalado, University of Miami President Donna Shalala, Debra and Dennis Scholl of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, actor Christian Slater, Grammy award-winning singer Patti Austin and Grammy-nominated recording artist Monica Mancini.
The Knight Concert Hall, the last great concert hall built in the U.S., was transformed to create an intimate Arsht experience inspired by a classic old Hollywood supper club. Kevin Spacey captivated the audience with his performance of classics from the Great America Songbook and a version of Sinatra’s “My Kind of Town” created especially for Miami. He praised the Arsht Center’s dedication to mentoring Miami-Dade County’s youth and emerging talent, a cause Spacey supports through the scholarships and grants raised by the Kevin Spacey Foundation. Spacey also echoed the sentiment on the importance of engaging community partners, and praised his partners in his Arsht Gala performance – Gregg Field and Shelly Berg.
Major support was provided by Al Crawford/arc3design; American Airlines; Barton G.; Bacardi U.S.A.; Bombay Sapphire; Charlie Cinnamon; EPIC Hotel; The Miami Herald/El Nuevo Herald and Indulge; Neiman Marcus, Coral Gables; and rbb Public Relations.