Expanding the reach of the arts in Miami-Dade County, a groundbreaking ceremony was recently held for the planned Westchester Cultural Arts Center at the entrance to Tropical Park.
Miami-Dade County Commissioner Javier D. Souto, District 10, along with Michael Spring, director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs and senior advisor to Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez, presided over the groundbreaking ceremonies.
Designed by Zyscovich Architects, the Center will be at the entrance to Tropical Park in what is now a parking lot and will be approximately 16,000-square-feet. Split into two wings, separated by the Plaza de las Americas courtyard, outdoor community events as well as performances at the Center will be held there.
Rendering of Westchester Cultural Arts Center (Courtesy of Zyscovich Architects)
The two wings will include:
- 200-seat studio theater and support spaces
- Multi-purpose community education wing with arts-oriented rehearsal space
- Classroom and staff/instructor offices
- Exterior plaza space for events
- 20-foot-tall exterior loggia/colonnade at Bird Road frontage serving as a covered performance space
Set to open in about 18 months, Spring said “it is going to be a model of a cultural facility in a park where arts, recreation and all kinds of activities will occur to serve families and children in the neighborhood.”
Commissioner Souto, well known as an arts benefactor, proudly boasted of the Center in the community of Westchester, which he represents.
He told those in attendance that morning “we’re blessed to live in this vibrant community. This is our Center, these are your dollars that are building it, take care of it. We all need to take care of it.”
State Representative Jose Felix Diaz knows how important the project is to Commissioner Souto and how it is a dream come true for him.
“He is known for being a benefactor for the arts so this Center is very important to the Commissioner, who we like to call the ‘Godfather of Tropical Park’,” said Rep. Diaz. “This center is going to take Westchester to another level and we hope many generations to come enjoy the bounty of this park.”
Adding to the morning’s groundbreaking festivities was a special appearance by girls from the G.E.M. (Girls Empowerment and Mentoring) Summer Arts Camp at Women’s Park in Westchester. Their presence served as an example of the youth that the Cultural Center will serve in the community.