Meet the Man Helping Miami Grow Up

2.11.2014

By Neal Broverman

Thanks to Jorge Pérez's help, Miami is even more of a pleasure to visit.

Miami, known for its pristine beaches, beautiful people, and sizzling nightlife, has not always been a destination for culture — but that's changing.

Aside from hosting the world-famous Art Basel festival, Miami is home to a growing art scene that is evident in not only the colorful murals emblazoning the Design District, but also the gorgeous new Pérez Art Museum in downtown. Developer and city father Jorge Pérez (pictured) donated $40 million to make the modern art museum a reality, as well as donating many of his own pieces by Latin American artists like Diego Rivera and Wifredo Lam. Designed by starchitects Herzog & de Meuron, the museum is the centerpiece of Museum Park, which sits on the waterfront. A new science museum will soon complement the Pérez Art Museum in 2015.

A controversy that's now quickly receding into the past is the naming of the Pérez Art Museum, or PAMM. Four board members of the institution resigned over naming the museum after Pérez, saying it should be called the Miami Art Museum. The businessman, who immigrated to Miami from Columbia as a teen, remains diplomatic about the issue.

"I cannot speak for others," Pérez told CNN. "However, the great majority of the board was supportive. On a board of 47, 43 voted in favor of the renaming."

Read more about Pérez's contributions to Miami culture here.

Tags: Miami
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