We must pay attention to Latin America.

Author:Mann, Joseph A., Jr.
Position:LATIN AMERICA PHILANTHROPY INITIATIVE - Interview Adrienne Arsht - Interview
 
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Adrienne Arsht, an American philanthropist and business leader, is a well-known figure in artistic circles in Miami, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

But many in Latin America may not be familiar with her name or her impressive achievements.

In 2013, Arsht--one of the leading philanthropists in the United States--donated $5 million to establish the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center at the Atlantic Council in Washington, D.C., a prominent think tank promoting constructive leadership and engagement in international affairs.

The center has created new opportunities for communication and understanding between Latin America and the rest of the world.

Arsht actively promotes artistic, business and civic growth in the three cities she calls home: Miami, Washington, D.C. and New York City.

Arsht was born and raised in the state of Delaware. A graduate of Mount Holyoke College, she earned a law degree from Villanova Law School in 1966, and began practicing law in the state of Delaware. She then moved to the legal department of Trans World Airlines (TWA), where she was the first woman in the company's property, cargo and government relations department.

She later worked for a law firm in Washington, D.C., and subsequently started her own real estate title company before moving to Miami in 1996 to run TotalBank.

Arsht, who was married to the late Myer Feldman, former counsel to Presidents John F. Kennedy and Lyndon B. Johnson, has also made donations to Miami's Performing Arts Center--now named in honor of her ($30 million), Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts ($10 million) and many other causes.

She is a member of the board of trustees of The National Gallery of Art, a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a emerita trustee of the University of Miami.

Since she settled down in Miami, Arsht developed an interest in Latin America. In her interview with Latin Trade, she spoke about her decision to fund the Adrienne Arsht Latin America Center two years ago.

WHAT MOTIVATED YOU TO SET UP THE CENTER?

I moved from Washington, D.C., to Miami in 1996 to run our family-owned bank, TotalBank. (The bank was later sold to Banco Popular Espanol). The importance of the Latin community living here and the importance of Latin America to the United States became obvious to me.

AREN'T WE AWARE OF THESE THINGS ALREADY IN THE U.S.?

The media does cover Latin America, but I felt the coverage was not enough. We needed more communication. And Miami --with...

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