The Edit by Brett Graff

This week, SocialMiami editor chronicles the charity circuit.

Barry University gets $1.25 Million for Scholarships

Trish and Dan Bell have committed $1.25 million to the Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin Scholarship fund at Barry University. Sister Jeanne O’Laughlin was the fifth president of the school and led it through unprecedented growth. The gift will provide financial support for students who embody Sr. Jeanne’s legacy of academic success and service to community. Since established in 2004, more than 100 students have received support from the scholarship.

“The Bell’s generous gift will transform lives,” says Barry University President, Dr. Mike Allen.  “At Barry, we proudly serve students who are immensely qualified and determined, but also among the most financially needy in our communities, and many are the first in their families to attend college.”

The Bells have been widely recognized for their impact and generosity, including receiving the Alvah H. Chapman, Jr. “Humanitarian Award,” Miami-Dade’s “Outstanding Philanthropists,” and MCCJ’s “Silver Medallion Humanitarian” award.


New World Symphony Receives $30 Million Endowment

Lin Arison and Michael Tilson Thomas at the Lincoln Theater

The New World Symphony received $30 million from the Arison Arts Foundation in honor of Michael Tilson Thomas, the organizations founding Artistic Director, and officials decided to name its concert space the Michael Tilson Thomas Performance Hall. Last month, were the final concerts of MTT’s thirty-five-year tenure as Artistic Director and he has since assumed the role of Artistic Director Laureate.

“MTT and my family have been creative partners for decades. When he first told us of his vision for the New World Symphony, it was such a strong idea that my husband Ted and I could only say yes to taking the leap. Now I can look back with tremendous pride,” says Lin Arison.

Founded in 1987 by MTT and Ted and Lin Arison, the New World Symphony’s mission is to prepare musicians for leadership roles in orchestras and ensembles.



María C. Bechily to Chair ArtesMiami

María C.  Bechily, a public relations leader and philanthropist, has been elected Chair of the Board of ArtesMiami, Inc., which supports and promotes Hispanic artists and cultural organizations. “Ms. Bechily brings a wealth of board service, philanthropic and public relations experience to our organization,” said Aida Levitan, PhD and ArtesMiami founder and president. “We also anticipate that she will also attract greater support for ArtesMiami.”

“I am honored to have been elected by the board to chair such a prestigious nonprofit group as ArtesMiami,” commented Bechily. “The programs and artists that ArtesMiami supports are crucial to strengthening Miami’s position as an international arts and cultural center.”

Led by nationally renowned publicist and philanthropist Levitan, ArtesMiami has donated more than $2.7 million in in-kind services and cash to cultural organizations and artists, primarily in South Florida. Its latest program is the ArtesMiami Film Fund, which will donate thousands of dollars to documentary filmmakers

Bechily created one of the first public relations and marketing agencies to identify and reach Hispanic consumers in Chicago.  Her list of clients included Peoples Energy, Anheuser-Busch Companies, the Kraft Foundation, The Terra Museum of American Art, the Attorney General of Illinois and Hoy, a Spanish-language publication of the Chicago Tribune.

Rubell Museum to Open in Washington DC

Rendering of the Rubell Museum to be located in Southwest Washington DC

The Rubells, with a museum in Allapattah,  announced the launch of a second museum, the Rubell Museum DC, which will open to the public in fall, 2022. The museum will present exhibitions of works, drawn from the Rubells’ ever-expanding collection of paintings, sculptures, photographs, videos, and site-specific work by American and international artists. Residents of Washington, DC will receive free admission to the museum, providing expanded opportunities for the wider community to engage in a dialogue with the artists of our times. Dedicated exclusively to contemporary art, the collection encompasses over 7,400 works and is distinguished by the diversity and geographic distribution of the 1,000-plus artists represented within it.

The museum’s location –  65 I Street in Southwest DC – is less than a mile from the Capitol and National Mall. The museum will be housed in the historic former Cardozo Elementary and then Randall Junior High School, which were in operation from 1906 to 1978. The adaptive reuse of the building into a museum preserves this important landmark, a historically Black public school in Southwest DC listed in the National Register of Historic Places and brings it back to life as a public resource.

The 32,000 square foot museum will feature exhibition galleries, public programming, flexible activation spaces, a bookstore, and a café with indoor and outdoor dining. The Museum’s opening program will be announced in the coming months.


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