MIAMI (CBSMiami) — In this edition of “Women To Watch,” Trend Tracker® Tara Gilani is one on one with Adrienne Arsht, a power philanthropist and trailblazer, revered for her support of artistic and civic causes in Miami, NY, DC and beyond.
The powerhouse saluted in this special edition is well-known in South Florida for reviving and reinventing the cultural landscape in Miami with her $30 million contribution to the city, resulting in the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Arsht is a woman of tremendous generosity, boundless energy and vision.
Tara caught up with her at (where else?) the Arsht Center in Miami.
Adrienne Arsht is a successful business woman, leader and philanthropist. Her commitment to artistic advancement is legendary.
Her contributions and donations to the performing arts have transformed the cultural landscape in Miami, New York and Washington DC.
The elegant and fashionable Arsht was outfitted from head to toe in Oscar de la Renta.
The Arsht Center in Miami is magnificent – one of the premier performing arts centers in the U.S. But Arsht remains humble.
“At Lincoln Center in New York, my name is on the stage of Alice Tully Hall,” she said. “It makes me proud and it fascinates me that ‘oh my goodness’ how did I get to this point?”
Tara asked Adrienne how women can follow in her illustrious, designer footsteps. Big shoes to fill, indeed.
“Really to get to where I am has a been a function of putting one foot in front of the other. There was never a long-term goal or dream. It was a bit about survival, a lot about taking nothing personally and believing that anything you have is a blessing and more importantly, something for which you need to be grateful,” said Arsht.
Advice from Adrienne? Priceless.
“Not finding fault with how something happened or who might have caused it. Survive it, fix it and move on,” she said.
Gilani asked her about mentoring.
“What I think is important is sponsoring. Men sponsor other men and move them forward in corporations get them into clubs. Sponsorship is what provides the means to move ahead. Mentoring is very nice but it’s passive. Sponsorship is active.”
Adrienne’s mother, Roxana Cannon Arsht, was Delaware’s first female judge. Adrienne learned about female entrepreneurship from her. A retired attorney and business executive, Arsht is the former Chairman of Total Bank, a family owned chain based in Florida.
Adrienne’s full time job now is: power philanthropist and political and social mover and shaker. Arsht has donated countless millions to cultural initiatives in Miami, as well as to Lincoln Center in New York, and to the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC – among others. In addition, Arsht generously supports numerous civic organizations, many of which empower women.
When asked about commitments important to her, Arsht said, “I won’t compromise on principle” and “I promise to do my best with every minute of my life.”
Adrienne’s parents are her inspiration.
“Also my inspiration and guidance. They taught me to go that extra mile , give that extra time, stand up for what’s right,” said Arsht.
I carry a copy of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence with me, because my mother did.”
With that, Arsht gave Gilani the little book with her mom’s name inscribed in it.
“It’s yours,” said Arsht. “I really want you to have it.” Gilani
Tara opened it and said aloud: “Cheers to you, Roxana Cannon Arsht.”
Adrienne beamed and said, “You couldn’t say anything that means more to me than that.”
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