M. John Richard has served as President and CEO of the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County since December 2008. Previously, Mr. Richard was the Executive Vice President and COO at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center (NJPAC), where he worked for nearly 20 years.
Since opening in 2006, the Arsht Center has cemented its role as Miami’s New Town Square through John Richard’s leadership. The Arsht Center is a presenter of world-class performances, an openly-accessible community resource, a source of education for children and adults, and a catalyst for economic growth in downtown Miami. John Richard has also prioritized financial strength, with 2015 marking the organization’s eighth consecutive fiscal year with a balanced budget.
To commemorate its first decade, the Arsht Center made an investment into the future of the performing arts through a series of 10 commissions, known as 10@10, that were presented during the Center’s 10th Anniversary Season (2015-2016). Encompassing both the performing and visual arts, the commissions are original pieces from longtime collaborators, highlighting the rich cultural relationships the Center has fostered over the last 10 years.
The Arsht Center’s community-based mission has led to the launch of new programmatic series that feature the top artists from around the world and across South Florida, including Jazz Roots, the Knight Masterworks Season and Ziff Classical Music Series, Theater Up Close, Live At Knight, Flamenco Festival and more. All told, the Center hosts approximately 350 performances and events each year which have attracted 3 million people to Miami’s urban core since opening.
Miami’s youth have also been positively impacted by initiatives developed by John Richard and his team, such as AileyCamp Miami, which provides at-risk children an opportunity to explore their creative talents each summer, and Rock Odyssey, a program that exposes every fifth grader in Miami-Dade County to a Broadway-style rendition of Homer’s Odyssey free of charge. All told, the Arsht Center has welcomed more than 250,000 students through its doors during John Richard’s tenure.
Mr. Richard has also spearheaded numerous initiatives aimed at bringing together Miami’s diverse community. Examples include LIGHT/The Holocaust & Humanity Project, which convened local non-profits for a three-month initiative focused on protecting human rights from bigotry and hate, and the Center’s continued work to cultivate South Florida support for Ayikodans, a Haiti-based dance troupe that faced extinction following the 2010 earthquake and which has since risen to national and international prominence.
The Arsht Center’s community and education initiatives have been made possible through millions of dollars in new support from private and public sector funding sources representing a cross-section of Miami’s business, civic and philanthropic community. Major sponsorship agreements have been finalized with Bank of America, Bacardi USA, Marriott, TotalBank, Broadway Across America, Wells Fargo and American Airlines over the past seven years.
Additionally, new public and private investment activity valued in the billions is underway throughout the Center’s neighborhood, prompting Mr. Richard to spearhead the creation of the nonprofit Town Square Neighborhood Development Corporation (TSNDC) in 2011. TSNDC is an independent entity overseeing the development of Miami’s emerging arts and entertainment district, ensuring the needs of its major stakeholders and cultural organizations are addressed through smart development. For more information, please visit: www.townsquaremiami.org.
Outside his work at the Arsht Center, Mr. Richard is engaged as a member of the Board of Directors for Miami Jewish Health Systems, one of South Florida’s largest and most innovative healthcare providers.
John Richard and his wife, Dr. Lynne Richard, have a daughter, Rachel, and son, Aaron, pursuing their professional careers.