Miami Art Museum director Thom Collins announced this morning a $5 million contribution to MAM's capital campaign to build Perez Art Museum Miami, its new facility in downtown Miami.
The funds come from Miguel B. "Mike" Fernandez, chairman of the Coral Gables private equity firm MBF Healthcare Partners, and his family. The donation brings the campaign's total amount of private donations to $75.5 million, overshooting its bricks-and-mortar goal by $3 million.
Fernandez has spent his career in the business of health insurers, founding and leading a series of health insurance companies and related businesses, then selling them to larger organizations, since 1990. In 2005, he sold CarePlus Health Plans, the company he founded, to Humana. He also has a controlling interest in Navarro Discount Pharmacies.
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In December 2011, real estate mogul Jorge Perez added that same amount -- an additional $5 million -- to the $30 million he'd already promised, $15 million of it coming from his own art collection. In return, the museum named the new facility the Perez Art Museum Miami, a move critics said amounted to selling out.
Collins' announcement doesn't mention any plans to inaugurate, say, a Fernandez Fine Arts Gallery when PAMM opens in December next year. He does call Fernandez a "great leader" who believes "in the transformative role that a museum can play in the life of our city and who are willing to step up and invest to make this public resource a reality."
Now that the museum has the money to complete its new structure, Collins says, its fundraising focus will shift to goals for adding to its collection of art and new programming.