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HomeNewsMiami Billionaire Slams Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Decision to Slash Arts Grants

Miami Billionaire Slams Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ Decision to Slash Arts Grants

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It was a public criticism created by Miami billionaire and philanthropist Jorge Pérez, after expressing a negative opinion regarding Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ recent action. 

A picture of Jorge Pérez
Source: Pinterest

The action is an imposed veto on arts grants in the state budget. Pérez, an art collector and patron of many artists has reacted in disbelief at the proposed move and has branded it as a ‘cultural disaster’ in Miami.

Defending the Arts

Legendary art collector and Miami real estate titan Jorge Pérez has expressed his dissatisfaction. 

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A picture of Jorge Pérez
Source: Pinterest

He knows what’s at stake since he has made significant donations to the arts, including $80 million to a museum in Miami. He made an argument that connected a city’s culture to its status, saying, “We want to be a serious city.”

Culture of Neglect

Nonetheless, the criticisms from Pérez are not a shock at all since Pérez is credited for sponsoring Miami arts for years. As founder of the Pérez Art Museum in Miami, Perez made significant contributions to the arts and culture of the city.

A picture of Miami art museum
Source: Pinterest

He also would like to emphasize that the governor’s decision is a continuation of a trend to abandon the arts in the state of Florida.

Arts Education Under Threat

Arts grants are to take a hit that will be inimical to arts education across schools in Florida. As funds shrink, schools will be less likely to provide art programs or have to cut back on them.

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A picture of Miami art museum
Source: Pinterest

This is a big blow to artists in the next generation. They will not be in a position to maximize or be encouraged to develop their talents fully.

ALSO READ: DeSantis Declares State of Emergency in Florida Amid Torrential Downpour 

Economic Impact

The arts in Florida is also a bustling and thriving industry with estimated receipts exceeding $1 billion every year. 

A picture of Miami
Source: Pinterest

Arts grants will also be eliminated in their entirety which will not only affect arts and culture organizations. But also negatively impacts local businesses and communities that rely on arts-related tourist traffic.

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Investment Pay Off

Miami Beach made history just last summer when it issued $97.6 million in municipal debt to finance cultural attractions. With this action, the city hopes to change its reputation as a spring break destination to one of a cultural center. 

A picture of Gov DeSantis
Source: Pinterest

DeSantis recently vetoed more than $32 million in financing for the arts, which was a contentious decision. Florida residents are incensed by this decision, with many anticipating serious consequences for cultural institutions.

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Lack of Visionary Leadership

To this end, Pérez points an accusing finger at DeSantis for not bearing the qualities of a visionary chief. He also accused the governor of not appreciating the role of artistic culture in the formation of a state. 

A picture of Jorge Pérez
Source: Pinterest

He thus opines that the governor’s pursuit of economic growth and development is myopic. And also lacks proper advanced emphasis on cultural growth and development.

Governor Spoke in His Defense 

DeSantis justified his choice by pointing out that certain events, such as the Orlando International Fringe Theatre Festival. 

A picture of Gov DeSantis
Source: Pinterest

Which he deemed unduly “sexual,” should not receive state money. He said, “I have to be the one to defend taxpayers.”

Loss for Florida 

It became a loss for all parts of Florida together with the unfortunate consequences that were also suffered by other persons.

A picture of Miami
Source: Pinterest

Cuts to arts grants are not only significant for artists. But for everyone, slashing art budgets is a severe misfortune for Floridians. That too conveys that the state cares more for business than for the arts and cultures of the people.

The Aftermath Will Affect More Than Just Miami

Although Miami will not escape these cuts, other cities throughout Florida will not go unscathed either. Consequently, local businesses, schools, and communities that depend on ancillary activities associated with arts will be affected.

A picture of Miami
Source: Pinterest

Pérez is calling on citizens to protest against this decision and ensure that their policymakers do support the arts. He opines that citizens should not be passive but must speak out and ensure political leaders appreciate the importance of art and culture in the decision-making process.

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The Power of Art

Through art, people can come closer, be inspired, and start to see the world from a different perspective. But when DeSantis cuts down arts grants, he not only offends the arts sector but also erodes the foundations of society.

A picture of Miami art museum
Source: Pinterest

Instead, Pérez continues to believe that people can make things better together and improve the future of art in Florida. He appeals to the people of Florida to stand with him. Also, he urges their leaders to include art and culture as a relevant vision for Florida.

Legacy at Stake

Pérez is a staunch supporter of the arts, and he is not going to let DeSantis take down his legacy with his decision. He thinks people in the future will condemn him for not supporting art.

A picture of Miami
Source: Pinterest

As Pérez so eloquently put it: Art is not a luxury; art is life. As for the art in Florida, a state as colorful as this, it cannot and should not be an addendum. It is time for citizens to rise and assert themselves and demand more from the leadership.

Crossroads for Florida 

Some institutions, like the Adrienne Arsht Centre, are comparatively lucky in that they continue to get funding from affluent donors despite the budget cuts.

A picture of Miami
Source: Pinterest

The state is at a turning point as a result of these cuts to financing for the arts in Miami and Florida. Will it continue to be dedicated to a vibrant cultural life, or will its artistic aspirations be constrained by its financial situation?

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