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Posted on Saturday, 4.3.2010

Miami Beach attractions - Miami Museums


Residents of Miami are ready to see the list of Miami Beach attractions grow but they did not see any Miami museums added recently.  Some people say it will never happen and after eight years of planning and promises there is still no Miami Art Museum (MAM) in Bicentennial Park. Regardless of the nearly $20 million in taxpayer dollars spent on designing and planning fees, the project is at least two years behind schedule.

 

Here’s a little background - Bicentennial Park is located just north of Bayside Marketplace on the waterfront in Downtown Miami and was once the former site of the Port of Miami. The park is home to many Miami Beach attractions including the annual Ultra Music Festival, concerts and other Miami events.  Visitors from all over the country flock to Miami to see events like Cirque du Soleil, a House of Terror Amusement Park or even a Presidential rally. Will the new MAM bring in people that will spend money in our city?


The Miami Art Museum, which opened in 1986 as the Center for the Fine Arts, was one the greatest cultural Miami Beach attractions.  The $25 million beautification project was supposed to regenerate downtown Miami and save the city from the downfall it was headed in. However, its small size caused problems and there was no permanent collection and large exhibits wer going to other Miami museums. In 2001, residents voted for $3.5 million cash and approved a $255 million bond for a new and larger museum to be placed in Bicentennial Park in hopes to revitalize the area.


Once again, in 2004, a majority of residents approved more cash, $553 million, to “construct and improve cultural facilities."  A new Miami Art Museum was allotted 100 million dollars and the plans stated the museum would open in 2011 and backers would raise 75 million in private funds.


In 2006 a curator was hired too lead the MAM project with an annual salary of $345,000, $100,000 more than that of the county mayor. He resigned shortly after.
When the economy began to cave in late 2008, the museum cut its $6.5 million operating budget by 10%. Salaries were reduced, three staffers were laid off, and exhibits were cut back. Once again, the opening date for the new building was then delayed until 2012.


I guess we’ll have to wait until 2012, ten years in the making, to see the unveiling of the new Miami Art Museum (MAM). I won’t hold my breath.

 

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