Coral Gables

Brazilian soccer culture will be on display at Coral Gables museum

The Coral Gables Museum is doing its part to bring the culture of the World Cup to South Florida.

Adriana Sabino, co-founder and president of the Centro Cultural Brasil-USA da Florida (CCBU), a non-profit organization established in 1997 with a mission of disseminating Brazilian culture in South Florida, worked with the museum to give locals a broader perspective of the 12 venues hosting the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.

“We figure that we could use the interest that the World Cup is generating to show the urban diversity and the sustainable architecture of the stadiums,” said Sabino, who is originally from Brazil and moved to Key Biscayne in 1984. “We feel that it’s a way of expanding the cultural community of Miami.”

The exhibit created by CCBU and the Coral Gables Museum, 12 Stadiums │ 12 Cities: Brazil 2014 World Soccer Destination, begins Friday and will run until Sept. 14. It will include three sections: cities, stadiums and urban soccer culture. The cities will be represented by photos taken by native photographers. The 12 stadiums will be showcased with photos and architectural drawings and models. The exhibit will also include video, kiosks and objects that depict the soccer club fans’ culture.

With five World Cups, Brazil leads all other nations. In 2007, the Federation Internationale de Football Association (FIFA) designated Brazil as the host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup. It is the second time Brazil has hosted the tournament and the first since 1950, when Brazil lost to Uruguay 2-1 in its famed soccer stadium, the Maracanã, in Rio de Janeiro.

The exhibit designer, Wendy Mahr said the authenticity of the work is what makes it worthwhile.

“When things go up on the wall, the exhibit starts coming to life,” said Mahr, a Little Gables resident. “When people first start to see it and enjoy it, it’s great.”

Along with the kickoff to the exhibit, which begins at 6 p.m. Friday, the museum will host another event, Capture Coral Gables. Brazilian artist Rose Max and Ramatis will perform with their five-piece Samba ensemble.

The museum plaza is being converted into a turf soccer field for the exhibit. An architectural panel, including some of the architects who designed the stadiums, as well as lectures about Brazilian culture, films, art workshops for children and viewing parties for the games will all be part of the program at the museum throughout the summer.

For Sabino, the timing of these festivities could not have been better.

“The attention of the world will be toward Brazil, so people from all around the world will want to know more about Brazil,” she said. “It’s a great moment to share our culture with this community, and by doing that, we make Miami even more global.”