Michael Spring serves as director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, where he is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $53 million and a staff of 100. He represents the Department on numerous cultural and civic organizations including service as chairman of the board of the Florida Cultural Alliance, secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the Arts, a founding board member and officer of Americans for the Arts Action Fund, member and past President of the United States Urban Arts Federation, chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium, and director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council. In 2014, Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez expanded his responsibilities by appointing him to serve as a Senior Advisor for the County’s Cultural Affairs and Recreation portfolio, including oversight of the arts, parks and library departments.
In 2004, he helped lead the work to pass a referendum for the Building Better Communities bond program, dedicating more than $450 million for building the next generation of Miami-Dade’s cultural facilities, ranging from major new art and science museums to theaters and neighborhood arts centers. In 2007, he assumed the additional responsibility of leading Miami-Dade County’s outstanding Art in Public Places program, commissioning new work and caring for a collection of more than eight-hundred art works. In 2011, the Department of Cultural Affairs opened the new Arquitectonica-designed, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center in Cutler Bay, a campus that includes a 966-seat theater, an activities and classroom building, and outdoor concert lawn.
In conjunction with a major re-organization of Miami-Dade County government, the Department also assumed responsibility in 2011 for operating three cultural facilities, formerly managed by the Parks Department: Miami-Dade County Auditorium; Caleb Auditorium; and African Heritage Cultural Arts Center. Operating and programming cultural facilities constitutes a major expansion of the Department’s role in the community.
Over the thirty-six years he has served the Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring has helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $1.4 billion annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists. He has a B.A. degree from the University of Miami and earned an M.A. in painting from New York University, involving studies in Venice, Italy. He continues to paint and pursue his interests as a visual artist.