Miami-Dade County

Gloria Estefan gives $500,000 for restoration of Miami Marine Stadium

Miami singing superstar Gloria Estefan, who has given her time to the restoration of Miami Marine Stadium, announced Saturday she’s giving $500,000 to the cause.

Estefan joined nine artists who showed how they are giving of themselves.

In the midst of the graffiti that has overtaken Miami Marine Stadium during its years of inactivity, nine artists painted murals from which prints will be sold at; proceeds to go to stadium restoration.

“I feel like I have the best job,” said Australian artist Rone, who has recently done murals in Taiwan, Montreal and London.

“I get to do what I love to help give something to the communities. It’s not like giving money. It’s like giving part of yourself. I can do personal work.”

To Estefan, the bond with the stadium is personal.

She said that her concert there in the mid-1980s after the Miami Sound Machine’s Dr. Beat became a hit felt like “the first celebration” of the band’s arrival.

Also, the architect of the 1962-designed stadium is fellow Cuban-American Hilario Candela.

“It’s almost a symbol of our community and how much we’re a part of Miami,” Estefan said.

Estefan, a trustee for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, pointed out that Miami is a relatively young city that needs to preserve its unique, iconic places.

She said she hopes her gift to Friends of Miami Marine Stadium would prompt others to pony up as the group tries to raise $30 million by January.

The restoration would include removing the work of sneaky graffiti artists — and sneaky cheap jokesters — that Miami artist Tatiana Suarez said makes the place “almost hauntingly alive in the way it keeps changing.”

Suarez usually does gallery work, so she said she has had to get used to that impermanence.

She expressed some surprise that her mermaid-in-water scene, which took her a day to paint, lasted a month without being tagged or vandalized.

The latter happened recently, and she was asked to show up with some paint for quick censoring.

Vandals did show a good bit of respect for her work, however.

“They didn’t do anything to her face!” she said.