Art Basel

Buenos Aires, Art Basel launch cultural development partnership

Art Basel’s Art Cities Program is partnering with Buenos Aires to enhance the city as a cultural destination, as it has in Miami, shown here.
Art Basel’s Art Cities Program is partnering with Buenos Aires to enhance the city as a cultural destination, as it has in Miami, shown here. pfarrell@miamiherald.com

Buenos Aires, already home to several art connoisseurs with Miami connections, is adding one more.

Art Basel, parent of Art Basel Miami Beach, announced Thursday it is partnering with the city of Buenos Aires under its Art Basel Cities Initiative, launched in March. The two organizations will work together to develop a program of cultural events designed to celebrate the city’s vibrant arts scene and raise its profile in the international art world as part of its economic development.

The idea, said Art Basel global director Marc Spiegler in a phone interview from Buenos Aires, is to leverage his organization’s network and expertise “in what ways make sense.” Over the next month, his team will meet with the city administration, mayor’s office, arts organizations and creative industries to decide exactly what programs would best enhance the city’s economic outlook.

For Buenos Aires, the partnership “is a very calculated bet on the industry of culture... The richer the cultural life a city has, the more able it is to attract talent,” he said.

The goal is to nurture and spotlight the city’s existing cultural assets. What it won’t include is another art fair.

“We already have a great fair for Latin America. It’s called Art Basel Miami Beach,” Spiegler said.

For the Art Basel organization, the partnership stretches its original business model beyond fairs. “It’s a major inflection point,” he said.

Other cultural connections between Miami and Buenos Aires come via real estate developers. Eduardo Costantini, developer of art-decked condos Oceana Bal Harbour and Oceana Residences on Key Biscayne, founded the not-for-profit foundation behind Buenos Aires’ highly regarded MALBA, the Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. In November, developer Alan Faena will open the Miami Forum in mid-Miami Beach, a cultural space whose programming will mirror that of the Faena Arts Center in Buenos Aires’ Puerto Madero district.

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