Opinion

Art museums, organizations are thriving in Miami

The New York Times recently asked whether four art museums focused on presenting contemporary art could coexist in Miami. The answer is a resounding ‘yes.’

Miami is experiencing important changes that make our city fertile ground for multiple museums. New neighborhoods are emerging and attracting artists and collectors for the first time; we’re benefiting from a growing population of residents and tourists; and more international art collectors now call Miami home than ever before.

Coming from New York, I have seen first-hand how countless arts organizations can thrive alongside one another by offering distinct programs and developing unique relationships with the community. In fact, the promise of contributing to a robust arts ecosystem in Miami is one of the chief reasons I joined the Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) Miami, in 2015.

ICA Miami has since partnered with Florida International University to launch a graduate-level educational program, the Art + Research Center, and teamed up with the National Young Arts Foundation to bring Britain’s foremost contemporary dance company, Michael Clark Company, to Miami for the first time. Programs like these have validated my belief that collaboration — not competition — is the prevailing force in Miami’s arts community.

As arts funding comes under assault at the federal level, Miami’s cultural organizations must unite in sustaining programs that encourage the exchange of ideas, promote tolerance among people of all ages, and eliminate barriers across diverse populations.

This is especially true in one of America’s most culturally-rich cities, where arts initiatives in our museums, at our performance venues, within our schools and on our streets, are at the core of our local identity. The time is now.

Ellen Salpeter, director of the Institute of

Contemporary Art,

Miami

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