After 19 years of planning and development — and $51 million from county tourism and other taxes — the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay is gearing up to open its doors in April.
. . . The center, the first of its kinds in the area, sits on six acres on Southwest 211th Street, just east of U.S. 1, in Cutler Bay, on land purchased by Miami-Dade County for this purpose in 1994. It features a 966-seat theater, which includes an orchestra pit, front-of-house spaces (box office, lobby, restrooms, and concessions), dressing rooms, storage, work areas, and administrative offices and a multi-purpose rehearsal space.
Adjacent to the main theater sits a separate activities building, which houses an informal performance space and smaller multipurpose areas for lectures, classes, or community gatherings. The county will celebrate the center’s opening with a children’s festival on April 23.
You would think the main cultural facilities, located 15 miles away in downtown Miami, or the even closer arts facilities on the local state university and college campuses, would be sufficient.
Of course, as long as governments keep building neighborhood performing arts theaters with $51 million price tags and open ended unquantified upkeep expenses, governments will be broke.
P.S. - "The county will celebrate the center’s opening . . . ?" The county's leaders should be embarrassed to have spent so much money so foolishly in such hard economic times.