(Florida International University) -The administration of two important Liberty City community centers, the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and the Joseph Caleb Auditorium, will move from the Miami-Dade County Parks to the Department of Cultural Affairs under a sweeping reorganization by county Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
The center and the auditorium will continue to operate at their present locations, with current management. Only the department under which they fall will change.
The Gimenez plan will reduce the number of county departments from 42 to 25.
The Miami-Dade Auditorium on West Flagler Street near Northwest 27th Avenue will also move from Parks under the plan, expected to be implemented within two months.
The African Heritage Cultural Arts Center and the Caleb auditorium are centers of Liberty City community life. The heritage center offers music, art and drama programs and the auditorium is a venue for community events.
The three facilities to be moved have a combined budget of $2 million, which will follow them to their new home.
“Cultural Affairs opens an enormous number of opportunities for these facilities in the way of shared artistic resources, grants, sponsors, artists in residence, etc.,” said Jack Kardys, the county’s Parks director.
Michael Spring, who runs the cultural affairs department, said the move will mean the facilities “would have a home in a department more attuned to their needs.”
For Marshall Davis, director of the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center, located at 6161 NW 22nd Ave., the move is fraught with uncertainty.
The center suffered a loss of $70,000 from its $670,000 budget, following on the loss of one-third of its budget last year.
“Hopefully we can be creative with Mr. Spring’s support in order to find additional revenue sources,” Davis said.
Giovanna Maselli may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org