The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts is a performing arts center located in Miami, Florida. It is one of the largest performing arts centers in the United States.
The Center opened as the Carnival Center on October 5, 2006, with performers, politicians and, movie stars attending, including Gloria Estefan, Jeb Bush, Andy García, and Bernadette Peters.
On January 10, 2008, it was announced that philanthropist and business leader Adrienne Arsht donated $30 million to the facility that would make it financially stable. In recognition for the gift, the former Carnival Center for the Performing Arts was renamed "The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County," or the Arsht Center for short.
In December 2008, M. John Richard joined the center as president and CEO after more than 20 years at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC).
Founded in 2011, the Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (“TSNDC”) was planned to oversee the development of the Arsht Center district. TSNDC's volunteer board: Armando Codina, chairman of Codina Partners, as chair; Manny Diaz, former City of Miami mayor, as vice chair; Michael Eidson, chairman of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors and partner of the South Florida law firm Colson Hicks Eidson, as treasurer; and Parker Thomson, founding chair of the Performing Arts Center Trust Board of Directors, as secretary. In 2019, Johann Zietsman succeeded John Richard as president and CEO after ten years in the same role at Arts Commons in Calgary.
Interior of the concert hall
The center was designed by César Pelli and occupies two 570,000 square feet (53,000 m2) sites straddling Biscayne Boulevard connected by a pedestrian bridge. Acoustics were designed by Russell Johnson of Artec Consultants company. He also worked on the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas.
There are three main venues all of which can be rented for event space by the public:
- The Sanford and Dolores Ziff Ballet Opera House seats 2,400.
- The John S. and James L. Knight Concert Hall seats 2,200. Its stage extends into the audience and there is seating behind the stage for 200 additional spectators or a chorus. The orchestra level can be transformed into a "Grand Ballroom" with a festival floor configuration for dining and dancing for up to 850 people. The floor is installed over the seats.
- Carnival Studio Theater is a flexible black-box space designed for up to 250 seats.
In addition, there are two smaller multi-purpose venues:
- The Peacock Rehearsal Studio holds 270 people.
- Parker and Vann Thomson Plaza for the Arts is an outdoor social and performance space linking the two main houses across Biscayne Blvd.