Frost Art Museum honors Michael Spring with major award for cultural contributions

Frost Art Museum

Jordana Pomeroy, director of the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University; and Michael Spring, recipient of the museum’s 2018 Art Transforms Benefactor Impact Award. Image courtesy of Frost Art Museum

MIAMI – The Frost Art Museum at Florida International University has announced Michael Spring as the 2018 winner of a major award for contributions to Miami’s arts and culture.

“We believe strongly that art has helped to transform Miami, and that art transforms lives every day nationwide. For more than three decades, Michael Spring has championed not only Miami’s cultural evolution, but also the nation’s, through his work in leadership positions serving the top arts organizations in America. This is why we chose Michael Spring as our 2018 honoree for the Frost Art Museum FIU’s Art Transforms Benefactor Impact Award,” said Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, museum director.

As Senior Advisor to the Office of the Mayor, Michael Spring oversees Miami-Dade County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including the arts, parks and libraries. He is recognized nationally as one of America’s longstanding champions for arts and culture. Spring has served on the Board of Directors of Americans for the Arts (the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America); founding Board Member and Officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund; and as past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation.

“This recognition is even more meaningful to me because it is affirmation that the arts change lives for the better and make communities the kind of places where businesses, visitors and families love being,” said Michael Spring. “Miami is an exemplar of this principle, and the Frost Art Museum FIU is a leading cultural and educational proponent of the power of the arts to
transform people, places and policies.”

For more than 30 years, Spring has served the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, the public arts agency that is revered nationwide as a benchmark-setting institution for cultural leadership, with a $35 million budget. He has helped grow Miami’s cultural community into a $1.4 billion+ annual creative industry, with 1,000+ non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists. He has worked on legislative issues for the arts at the local, state and federal levels, and has served on National Endowment for the Arts grants review panels. Spring has spearheaded national arts policy discussions on the future of arts agencies,
issues of funding, cultural facilities development, advocacy, stabilization of major institutions and the evolving relationship between the non-profit arts and commercial entertainment industries. “Michael’s passion for the arts and philanthropy serve as an inspiration for our museum benefactors, and for the community,” adds Dr. Jordana Pomeroy.

The award ceremony at the Frost Art Museum FIU also marked the 10th anniversary of the museum’s spectacular building, an architectural gem and a cultural beacon. Benefactors and attendees also enjoyed a preview of the museum’s new Adopt an Artwork program, an initiative commemorating the tenth anniversary. In 2008, FIU’s Frost Art Museum opened the doors of its new building. The 46,000-square-foot building features grand galleries with cathedral ceilings and a dynamic, interactive children’s area. Over the past decade, the museum has continuously spearheaded its mission: to provide transformative experiences
through art; to collect, exhibit, and interpret art across cultures; and to advance FIU’s stature as a top-tier research university. Thanks to the generous support of FIU and patrons, the museum has always offered free admission — accessibility to art for all is a top priority.

“When I moved to Miami, there was no person more influential in my education about the cultural landscape than Michael Spring,” said Pomeroy. “A true advocate, he understands the long-term importance and far-reaching impact of the arts in our communities.”

Spring has also served as Chairman of the Board of the Florida Cultural Alliance; as Chairman of the five-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium; Director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council; and Board Member of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. He has a B.A. degree from the University of Miami and earned an M.A. in painting from New York University, involving studies in Venice, Italy.

The 2018 Art Transforms Benefactor Impact Award event was sponsored by Saks Fifth Avenue, Brickell, and beverages were provided by Bacardi. This year’s stellar Host Committee was: Matt Anderson, Dr. Oscar Belloso, Lisa Faquin, Muneca Fuentes, Cookie Gazitua, Andreina Kissane, Daniel Perron, Nirma Pina, Hortensia Soriano, and Lourdes Tudela.

About the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum at Florida International University

One of the largest free-standing art museums in Florida, the Frost Art Museum at Florida International University was founded in 1977 and is the Smithsonian Affiliate in Miami. The museum’s new lakeside building debuted in 2008, designed by Yann Weymouth (the chief of design on the I.M. Pei Grand Louvre Project). With 46,000 square feet of energy efficient exhibition, storage, and programming space, the museum was honored with LEED silver certification. The museum’s mission is three-fold: to be a campus resource for the entire FIU community; to offer interdisciplinary training in the arts for the next generation of artists and art historians; and to serve as a premier cultural destination for the residents of Miami, and the 15 million visitors to one of the world’s most vibrant cultural destinations — home to global cultural events including Art Basel. The museum offers programming that complements its exhibitions with a wide range of educational initiatives. Admission to the museum is always free. The Frost is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and is located at 10975 SW 17 Street. Open Tuesday-Saturday 10:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m., and Sunday noon-5:00 p.m. Closed on Mondays and most legal holidays. The Sculpture Park is open every day. More information is available online at or 305-348-2890.

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