Miami Art Musuem Puts Monthly Cocktail Party on Hold

Apparently, tidings of booze and gourmet appetizers were not enough to sway young Miamians to support the Miami Art Museum, the local arts institution that desperately needs to raise private funds for its new home.

Taxpayers approved the use of $175 million in county funds to build the $275 million project in Bicentennial Park.

The museum has to come up with the balance, but with the departure of Terence Riley and some prominent board members, MAM has its work cut out.

The popular JAM@MAM monthly cocktail party just wasn't helping the cause, says Peter Boswell, the museum's assistant programming director and senior curator.

To attract interest among Miami-Dade's young professionals, the musuem

held the mixer every third Thursday of the month.

For ten bucks, nonmembers could check out the latest art exhibitions,

knock back a few drinks and hor d'oeuvres, and network. (Members paid


The idea was that some of the guests would not only join MAM but also, perhaps, help pitch in to the construction pot. But the JAM@MAM became too focused on the drinking and networking and not enough on art appreciation, Boswell says.

So the party is on hiatus. Boswell says it will be relaunched later this year with an emphasis on the museum's programming. "We want to put people in front of the art and exhibits in an engaging manner," he says. "If we can accomplish that, we'll be on the right track."

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Francisco Alvarado was born in Nicaragua and grew up in Miami, giving him unique insight into the Magic City and all its dark corners. An investigative reporter with a knack for uncovering corruption, Alvarado made his bones as a staff writer at Miami New Times and remains in dogged pursuit of the next juicy story.