Kudos to Philanthropist and business woman Adrienne Arsht whose waterfront 4-acre estate overlooking Biscayne Bay in Miami’s Coconut Grove area was just sold for nearly $107 million, and she decided to donate the funds from the sale of her home to charities.
Arsht a committed philanthropist who was prominently featured in an earlier edition of our Lifestyles Magazine/Meaningful Influence gave a $30 million contribution to Miami’s Performing Arts Center in 2008. Subsequently, 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. She is Founding Chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation. In Miami, Arsht is also a member of the board and Trustee Emerita of the University of Miami, as well as a board member for the non-profit organization, Amigos For Kids. In January 2009, The Chronicle of Philanthropy ranked Arsht number 39 on its 2008 America’s 50 biggest donors list.
In 2004, Arsht became the first woman to join the Million Dollar Roundtable of United Way of Miami-Dade County. In October 2008, she committed more than $6 million to the University of Miami to support the university-wide Arsht Ethics Programs, assist the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute of the University of Miami and support other University of Miami initiatives.
In Washington, D.C., she serves on the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. In 2013, she endowed the Adrienne Arsht Latin American Center at The Atlantic Council to focus on the role of South America in the trans-Atlantic world. In 2009, she co-funded the program “Arts in Crisis: A Kennedy Center Initiative,” which provided planning assistance and consulting services to struggling arts organizations throughout the United States. She donated $5 million to establish the Adrienne Arsht Musical Theater Fund at the Kennedy Center to support a wide variety of musical theater productions.
Arsht is Executive Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council, and former Vice Chairman member of the board of the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. She is a member of National Advisory Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy and Blair House Restoration Fund. She is also a member of the Fine Arts Committee of the U.S. State Department, the Council on Foreign Relations, and is former President of the Vice President’s Residence Foundation.
In 2004, after the passing of her parents, Arsht created the Arsht-Cannon Fund through the Delaware Community Foundation. Since its creation, the Arsht-Cannon Fund has given $4.5 million to non-profit organizations in Delaware, which have been specifically attributed to programs centered on the needs of Hispanic families. In May 2010, under Arsht’s direction, the fund pledged $300,000 over three years to bring the Nemours Foundation BrightStart! Dyslexia Initiative to Delaware. The program is aimed at improving the reading and writing skills of young children and identifying those with learning disabilities at an early age.
In 2005, Arsht announced a $2 million gift to Goucher College in Maryland, creating the Roxana Cannon Arsht Center for Ethics and Leadership, in honor of her late mother, a Goucher graduate.
In February 2009, she funded the creation of the Best Buddies Delaware chapter to specifically serve Hispanics and African-Americans with mental disabilities.
In October 2012 the stage in Alice Tully Hall at Lincoln Center was dedicated to Arsht for her $10 million contribution in support of the transformation of Lincoln Center’s facilities and public spaces.
In 2016, Arsht founded the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. The center’s goal is advancing approaches that promote the abilities of nations, cities, communities, and individuals to respond effectively to disruptions, understand and manage complex interdependent systems, and thrive in today’s global environment.
Arsht was the first woman to receive the Carnegie Hall Medal of Excellence in June, 2017. The award recognizes Ms. Arsht’s philanthropy to cultural and nonprofit institutions throughout the United States, as well as leadership in the financial, public, and legal sectors. Arsht was the ninth recipient of the Medal of Excellence.
In 2019, Arsht, who serves as executive vice-chair of the Atlantic Council, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award at the Atlantic Council’s annual Distinguished Leadership Awards dinner for her philanthropic work. Arsht has committed $25 million to permanently endow the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at the Atlantic Council. Partnered with a $30 million donation from the Rockefeller Foundation, the center will now be named the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center.
In August, 2020, she donated $5 million to The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City to fund the Museum’s first ever-paid internship program, which will now be named the Adrienne Arsht Interns. With Arsht’s gift, The Met is now the single largest art museum in the country to offer 100 percent paid internships to nearly 120 undergraduate and graduate interns each year. The transformative donation will also support MetliveArts providing programming focused on themes of resilience.
Arsht is a member of the National Advisory Board of the Sandra Day O’Connor Institute for American Democracy.
Arsht is on the Advisory Council of the DC Volunteer Lawyers Project (DCVLP) where she established the Roxana Cannon Arsht Law Fellowship in honor of her mother, which focuses on domestic violence and other urgent family matters.