Best Cultural Ambassador - 2006
In a city where there are as many public-relations people as flashy, high-rise condos, one man stands out above the event-promoting pack. His name is Charlie Cinnamon. He's been a well-established fixture for more than 40 years. He's responsible for some of Miami's finest and longest-running cultural events. And through it all, he's remained as spicy-sweet as his name would suggest. Without Cinnamon, there would be no Coconut Grove Arts Festival. The Miami Beach Festival of the Arts probably wouldn't have become the nationally known event it is today. And local theater would be lost. Cinnamon's efforts haven't gone unnoticed. In 1983 he was honored with the Carbonell Award for Outstanding Achievement in the Arts by the South Florida Entertainment Writers Association. In 1984 the City of Miami Beach Fine Arts Board named him Man of the Year. In 1985 the PROPS Women of Show Business created the inaugural Charles Cinnamon Award, which is given out annually by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. This past March 25, 2006, Cinnamon was awarded the Playhouse Lifetime Community Achievement Award for his decades-long work in promoting the Magic City and its various cultural institutions. The award was presented by none other than suspenders-sporting CNN talk show host Larry King. Although he regularly deals with high-power celebrities, including Liza Minnelli, Mikhail Baryshnikov, Gloria Estefan, and Princess Caroline of Monaco, Cinnamon remains a man of the people who would rather enjoy lunch alfresco on Lincoln Road than spend time sucking up to name-dropping wannabes. Other self-described PR superstars and celebrity sycophants should learn from Charlie. He's lasted this long for a reason. Quite simply, he's tops.