With only months left for the Friends of Miami Marine Stadium to raise $30 million for the venues' restoration, an international superstar and one of Miami's own made a major donation to save the structure.
Gloria Estefan announced today that she is donating $500,000 to the effort. Estefan, who last year was named the "Voice of the Miami Marine Stadium," has been a driving force behind the restoration project. She says she remembers the stadium in its glory days before its gates closed in 1992.
"I remember specifically when Dr. Beat became a hit for the first time worldwide and we had our concert here, it was the first celebration for us of really stepping out onto the world stage," Estefan said.
Estefan's contribution was only part of the daylong celebration at the Marine Stadium. Today, several artists began painting 9 large-scale murals inside the iconic venue.
Craig O'Neil works with the Art History Mural Project. "We're creating a print edition based on these murals and other fine artworks as a way to directly raise funds for the Friends of the Miami Marine Stadium," O'Neil said.
Plans for the stadium are to restore it to its original state, which means most of the artwork will be gone if the venue is renovated. The organization behind the restoration, however, says they're working on several ideas to keep some urban art in the revamped stadium.
"They should bring the stadium back to its original use, and then do a series of walls throughout the complex that are both open which means anyone can paint on them like they do now and curated which means we bring specific artists to do specific installs," O'Neil said.
Out with a new public service announcement and now financially supporting the Marine Stadium mission, Estefan hopes others will also join the cause to save this Miami icon.
"It will slip through the cracks if we don't take care of saving it. I'm hoping that it'll inspire other Miamians or people wherever to take up the cause and contribute with us and help us bring this back to the city of Miami," Estefan said.