The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on Monday that Adrienne Arsht has pledged $5 million in support of its MetLiveArts series and also its internship program. This transformative gift will provide funds for performance programming that champions resilience through art by engaging with artists of varied backgrounds, perspectives, and voices; it will also ensure that all of the Museum's undergraduate and graduate internships will be paid. The previously unnamed internship positions—some 70 last year—will now be named as Adrienne Arsht Interns.
"Adrienne Arsht's remarkable generosity, vision, and long-standing commitment to The Met is truly inspirational," said Max Hollein, Director of the Museum. "These funds will activate a landmark shift in The Met's expansive and multidisciplined internship program, enabling greater inclusivity and access while also significantly furthering the Museum's continued dedication to engaging with diverse contemporary performance artists through groundbreaking live arts commissions. We are incredibly grateful for Ms. Arsht's support."
Ms. Arsht said: "Paid internships are an important step towards increasing opportunities and supporting equity in the art field. This, along with an enduring focus on themes of resilience, lifting up artists from a variety of backgrounds through the Museum's performance programming, forms the foundation of my gift."
Adrienne Arsht's gift will fund a fully paid internship program that will start in spring 2021, with applications opening in early September 2020. With Ms. Arsht's gift, The Met is now the single largest art museum in the country to offer 100 percent paid internships to its nearly 120 undergraduate and graduate interns each year, enhancing access and removing financial barriers to students' participation in the program. Through the Museum's program, interns gain professional skills and mentorship and learn about museum practice in over 40 department areas.
Additionally, Adrienne Arsht's gift will help support a new MetLiveArts initiative called "Gallery View" that features live-streamed, in-gallery performances beginning in September 2020. A devoted and longtime supporter of MetLiveArts programming, Ms. Arsht was the leading supporter of the MetLiveArts production of the opera The Mother of Us All, which was presented in the Charles Engelhard Court in February 2020 in celebration of the centenary of the 19th Amendment. She has also provided leadership support for previous events and performances, including the Museum's first TEDxMet: Icons event in 2013 and TEDxMet: The In-Between in 2015.
As a business leader and impact philanthropist, Adrienne Arsht has taken a leading role promoting artistic, business, and civic growth in Washington, D.C., Miami, and New York. In addition to her previous support of the MetLiveArts series, Ms. Arsht was a former William Cullen Bryant Fellow (2012–13) and a past supporter of the American Wing Acquisitions Fund with a gift in 2012 toward the purchase of Albert Bierstadt's painting Studies of Indian Chiefs Made at Fort Laramie, c. 1859. Her $30 million contribution to Miami's Performing Arts Center in 2008 secured its financial footing. In her honor, the center was renamed the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. In 2012, her contribution of $10 million to Lincoln Center was recognized with the dedication of the Adrienne Arsht Stage in Alice Tully Hall. In Washington in 2016, Ms. Arsht spearheaded the creation of the Adrienne Arsht Center for Resilience at The Atlantic Council, which was renamed in 2019 the Adrienne Arsht-Rockefeller Foundation Resilience Center, with the $30 million Rockefeller Foundation gift that she matched. She also founded the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council in 2013 to focus on the role of South America in the trans-Atlantic community. Ms. Arsht is a Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, where she established the Adrienne Arsht Theater Fund. She is a Vice Chairman of Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Executive Vice Chairman of the Atlantic Council. She is on the Trustees Council of The National Gallery of Art, a Board Member of the Blair House Restoration Fund, and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.