Adrienne Arsht helping community institutions bloom as she gladly pays what she says is rent for time on Earth
Best known as of a few short months ago as the woman who saved downtown Miami's performing arts center with a $30 million gift, Adrienne Arsht's involvement here stretches well beyond the arts.
In her 10 years as chair of TotalBank, she helped grow the local institution to 14 locations with more than $1.4 billion in assets. She sold the bank to Spain's Banco Popular late last year.
In 2006, she donated $1 million to the University of Miami, creating an ethics program in her name. To celebrate her first 10 years in Miami, Ms. Arsht, a Delaware and District of Columbia transplant, gave 10 friends $10,000 checks to donate to their favorite charities. She'll know her next big cause when she sees it, she says, and another large gift to a worthy institution is likely in the future.
In the meantime, Ms. Arsht takes pleasure in studying the early history of Miami — because she's living in it. The 1920s home of tabloid-darling Peggy Joyce and millionaire husband Stanley is now her primary residence. In the midst of renovating Villa Serena next door — once home to famed populist orator and one-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan — Ms. Arsht is on a hunt for details about the home and the area during its heyday as Millionaire's Row. She was interviewed in the historic homes by Miami Today staff writer Risa Polansky.
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