Five Miami Cultural Institutions That Could Use Multi-Millions from the Frosts

Don't look a gift-Frost in the mouth. We understand. Still, news of Phillip and Patricia Frost's latest multi-million donation --$35 million to the future Miami Science Museum at Bicentennial Park -- got us thinking. Where else could Miami's most giving couple drop some of their endless ducats?

We don't presume to tell the Frosts, who were voted Best Power Couple by New Times a couple of year's ago, where to spend there money. Well, okay, so we do presume. We figure institutions like Florida International University, which got the Frost Museum, and University of Miami and its Frost School of Music are doing okay at this point. Time to spread some of that money to lesser known but still important cultural treasures.

5. South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center

Finally, the southern half of the county will get some much needed

culture thanks to the close to $40 million center set to open

next month. Problem is, nobody even knows about the place, despite

Cultist's best efforts.

Maybe some of that Frost money could go to marketing and advertising,

or a Metrorail extension down south so people can actually get there

without having to fill up the gas tank two times.

4. HistoryMiami

HistoryMiami does its darnedest to keep the Magic City's rich history on

everybody's minds. But being part of Miami-Dade County's bureaucracy

means being behind such dumb-ass projects as the new Marlins Stadium, a

billion dollar tunnel to the port, and the personal coffers of dimwit

government officials like Carlos Alvarez. With some money, HistoryMiami

might be able to get its extensive photograph archives in an electronic database so that everybody could check it out before the turn of the next century.

3. World Chess Hall of Fame

What's that? You never even heard of the World Chess Hall of

Fame? Shame on you. It's hard to miss the building just off the Florida

Turnpike as its decorated like a chess board. Okay, you got us. We've

never actually been in inside it either. But that doesn't mean it can't

stand to get some money. We suggest a new Bobby Fischer wing. Oh wait.

Fischer was an anti-Semite. Scratch that.

2. Monkey Jungle

Old time Miamians remember visiting Monkey Jungle way down south when

they were kids. But many of us didn't realize it was still open. While

Zoo Miami and Parrot Jungle, which ditched its Pinecrest digs for a more

profitable home on Watson Island, have thrived in recent years, Monkey

Jungle is like a hidden jewel that's so hidden it's practically

worthless. C'mon Frosts, give some of that money to those Java monkeys.

We promise they won't throw their feces at you during your next visit.

1. Deering Estate

Another southern treasure, this historic home should be nicknamed

Vizcaya South. It seems to be doing fine, the only trouble is it has a

lot more history than is even known. A little birdie (probably the most

learned birdie of Miami history we have) told us that there is an

incredibly rich archaeological site - one of the most significant in

North America -- on the Deering Estate property. But nobody has the

money to unearth it. That sounds like a perfect match for Frost money if

you ask us.

Follow Cultist on Facebook and Twitter @CultistMiami.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Sebastian del Mármol