The billionaire developer and art collector Jorge M. Pérez has already done much for the arts community in his city of Miami. He gave $35 million in cash and artworks to fund a new Herzog and de Meuron-designed campus for the museum that is now called the Pérez Art Museum Miami. Earlier this year, the Miami-based organization YoungArts announced that the collector would be funding a $25,000 grant annually for one of its alumni, and in March, Christina Quarles received the first annual Jorge M. and Darlene Pérez Prize—a $50,000 gift from the museum bearing his name, which aims to be a Miami version of the U.K.’s Turner Prize or the Guggenheim’s Hugo Boss Prize.
Now, Pérez has announced that he will also use his considerable wealth—he is worth $2.6 billion, according to Forbes—to not just celebrate artists and museums, but to incubate the Miami arts community on a local level. The Miami Herald reported this week that the Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation would establish the CreARTE Grants Program, which will give out $1 million in grants each year to support artist fellowships and residencies, art education and access, and creative spaces.
In an email to the Herald, Perez said:
From a very early age, my mother ingrained in me a love and passion for the arts. [. . .] She’d take me to the best museums in Colombia, Argentina and Cuba and I witnessed, first hand, the life-changing power of visual art. This experience laid the foundation for my life-long passion, and now, I seek to foster the same experience for my family as well as the broader community. Of course, there are many important issues affecting our community, but as a family, we’ve decided to focus our efforts on arts and culture organizations making Miami a more diverse and robust place to live.
The announcement was made to coincide with the 40th anniversary of Perez’s real estate company, The Related Group.