Print Page   |   Contact Us   |   Report Abuse   |   Sign In   |   Register
A Roundtable Discussion with NEA Chair and HUD Deputy Secretary
Tell a Friend About This EventTell a Friend

When: 1/31/2011
10:15 AM
Where: New World Symphony Campus
500 17th Street
Miami Beach, Florida  33139
United States

« Go to Upcoming Event List  

NEA HUD Roundatable

"Sustainable Communities: The Private Sector, Government
and the Arts – A New Era of Innovative Partnerships for
Regional Economic Development”

A Roundtable Discussion with


Ron Sims, Deputy Secretary

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development


Rocco Landesman, Chairman

National Endowment for the Arts


Monday, January 31, 2011, 10:15 AM to 12:30 PM

New World Symphony Center, 500 17th Street, Miami Beach

Innovative Partnerships for Regional Economic Development
The Southeast Florida Regional Partnership and The South Florida Cultural Consortium

I. Welcome
Neisen Kasdin, Chair, Board of Trustees, New World Symphony

II. Opening Remarks
U.S. HUD Deputy Secretary Ron Sims
NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman

III. About the Southeast Florida Regional Planning Council and the Southeast Florida Planning Partnership
Isabel Cosio Carballo, Coordinator, Legislative and Public Affairs

IV. About the South Florida Cultural Consortium
Michael Spring, Chairman, and Director, Miami-Dade County
Department of Cultural Affairs

V. Panel Discussion
Moderator: Neisen Kasdin
Panelists: Xavier Cortada, Adolfo Henriques, Berton Korman, and Alan Levy

VI. Open Conversation and Questions and Answers

VII. Next Steps
South Florida Cultural Consortium
"Sustainable Communities: The Private Sector, Government and the Arts – A New Era of Innovative Partnerships for Regional Economic Development”



Neisen Kasdin, Moderator (Miami-Dade)

Neisen Kasdin, a shareholder of the Miami law firm Akerman Senterfitt, is the Chair of Akerman's Land Use & Entitlements practice. Neisen was involved in the revitalization of South Beach through his service as Chair of the Community Development Corporation for South Beach and as a City Commissioner and Mayor of Miami Beach. He currently serves as Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for the Miami Downtown Development Authority, as Chairman of the New World Symphony Board of Trustees and as Trustee of the Urban Land Institute. Neisen Kasdin practices in the areas of land use and zoning, public-private partnerships, local government law, and procurement. Among his client work, he has represented Developers Diversified Realty and the Midtown Miami Community Development District on the development of Midtown Miami, a more than three million square-foot mixed-use development built on an abandoned rail yard in Miami. Neisen Kasdin has been recognized by Chambers USA and The Legal 500 as one of the leading land use lawyers in Florida.  Neisen’s areas of legal experience include Affordable and Workforce Housing; Economic Development and Incentives; Florida Land Use and Entitlements; Green and Sustainable Development; Land Use and Development; Land Use Litigation; Local Government Advocacy; Public-Private Partnerships; Transportation and Public Infrastructure; and Transportation Regulation and Policy.



Xavier Cortada has created art at the Earth Poles to generate awareness about global climate change. In 2007, the artist used the moving ice sheet beneath the South Pole as an instrument to mark time; the art piece will be completed in 150,000 years.  In 2008, Xavier planted a green flag at North Pole to encourage reforestation in the world below. The Miami artist has worked with groups globally to produce numerous collaborative art projects, including peace murals in Cyprus and Northern Ireland, child welfare murals in Bolivia and Panama, AIDS murals in Switzerland and South Africa, and eco-art projects in Hawaii, Holland and Latvia.  Xavier Cortada has also been commissioned to create art for the White House, the World Bank, the Florida Supreme Court, the Florida Governor's Mansion, Florida Botanical Gardens, Miami City Hall, Miami-Dade County Hall, the Miami Art Museum, the Miami Science Museum,  Museum of Florida History, and the Frost Art Museum. Corporations such as General Mills, Nike, Heineken and Hershey's have commissioned his art. Publishers like McDougal and Random House have featured it in school textbooks and publications. His work has also been featured in National Geographic TV and the Discovery Channel.  Xavier Cortada, who was born in Albany, New York and grew up in Miami, holds degrees from the University of Miami College of Arts and Sciences, Graduate School of Business and School of Law.


Isabel Cosio Carballo (South Florida Regional Planning Council)

Isabel Cosio Carballo is the Coordinator of Legislative & Public Affairs at the South Florida Regional Planning Council, a planning and public policy agency serving Broward, Miami-Dade and Monroe counties.  Prior to becoming legislative and public affairs coordinator in 2000, Isabel served as the "Eastward Ho!” Regional Coordinator from 1996-2000.  She was responsible for program management of this nationally recognized urban redevelopment and revitalization initiative undertaken in partnership with the Florida Department of Community Affairs and other federal, state and regional stakeholders.  A key success was designation of South Florida’s Eastward Ho! Brownfields Partnership (Miami-Dade, Broward, and Palm Beach counties) as one of the nation’s original 16 Brownfields Showcase Communities in 1998.  This designation led to a significant investment of federal resources in support of the remediation and redevelopment of brownfields sites throughout Southeast Florida.  In addition to her legislative and general staff responsibilities, since 2002 Isabel has provided staff and administrative support to the South Florida Regional Business Alliance, a regional coalition of private sector CEOs working collaboratively across jurisdictional boundaries to address regional issues such as transportation, affordable and workforce housing, and education. She has provided staff support to both the Miami-Dade Climate Change Advisory Task Force and Broward County Climate Task Force and their respective intergovernmental affairs subcommittees.  During the past year she spearheaded, in partnership with the Treasure Coast Regional Planning Council and other regional partners, the organization of a regional seven-county partnership and successful application to U.S. HUD’s Sustainable Communities Planning Grants Program. Isabel is a former member of the state’s GAP Commission and Affordable Housing Study Commission.  She served as Chair of the Public Facilities and Infrastructure Improvements Task Force for the City of Hollywood’s City-wide Master Plan effort.  She is currently a member of the South Florida Regional Transportation Authority’s Citizen Advisory Committee.



Adolfo Henriques is currently a private investor and vice chairman of The Related Group, the nation’s leading developer of multi-family residences, and the largest Hispanic-owned business in the United States. He serves on the Board of Directors of Boston Private Financial Holdings, Inc., Medica Health Care Plans, Inc. and Intcomex, Inc. Until December 2007, he was Chairman, President and Chief Executive Officer of Florida East Coast Industries, where he served on the board since 1998, in addition to being chairman of their audit committee and a member of their governance committee. Adolfo Henriques served as Chief Executive Officer of Regions Bank. Prior to joining Regions Bank, he served in executive capacities at Bank of America’s predecessor banks since 1986. Adolfo is the Chairman of the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Council and the past Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Florida International University. He is a member of the Orange Bowl Committee.  He has served as past Chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Florida, the Financial Oversight Board for the City of Miami, the United Way of Miami-Dade, the Greater Miami Convention and Visitor’s Bureau and the Beacon Council (Miami’s Economic Development Partnership).  Adolfo Henriques has also served as Co-Chairman of the Miami Children’s Museum Capital Campaign, Chairman of Homes for South Florida and Greater Miami LISC, Chairman of the Epiphany School Advisory Council, Site Selection Chairman of the Community Partnership for Homeless, Regional Chair for the Florida Chamber of Commerce, Member of the Florida Board of Regents and served on the Mayor’s Blue Ribbon Task Force for the airport.  Until March of 2010, Mr. Henriques served as Chairman of the Board of Directors of Gibraltar Private Bank & Trust Company.



Berton Korman and his wife Sallie reside in Jupiter and also spend time in Philadelphia. He is CEO, Korman Residential Properties, Inc. in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and serves on the Board of Directors for many cultural, community and civic organizations including: Palm Beach County Cultural Council as Vice President of the Board of Directors; Philadelphia Museum of Art as Vice Chair of the Board of Trustees; The Albert Einstein Healthcare Network as Trustee and Executive Committee member; The Academy of Music; The PENJERDEL Council; The World Affairs Council as Vice Chairman; Germantown Academy as Life Trustee; The College of Physicians as a Fellow and Executive Committee member; The Philadelphia Savings Fund Society; and Maltz Jupiter Theatre as Vice President of the Board of Directors.  Berton is also Former Vice Chairman of University of the Arts and former Co-Chair of the Board of Overseers of the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Fine Arts. The Kormans are strong supporters of The Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania; the Philadelphia Orchestra; the Philadelphia Zoological Society; the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society; the University of Pennsylvania’s School of Nursing; and Philadelphia’s Art in City Hall.



Alan Levy founded and serves as President and Chief Executive Officer of Great American Farms, Inc., a Pompano Beach based agricultural marketing firm.   He was as a founding member and served on the Board of the Performing Arts Center Authority for nine years.  This authority was responsible for the initial design and building of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts.  He currently serves as a member of the finance committee of the Broward Center for the Performing Arts and is a member and former Chair of the Board of the Broward Workshop. Alan’s many cultural, civic and community activities include service as Chair of the Florida Education Foundation (FEF), Chair of Broward Community Alliance: Children and Family Leadership Association (a.k.a. CFLA), and a member of the Finance Committee of The Broward Center for the Performing Arts. He is a board member of: the Museum of Art / Fort Lauderdale; the Urban League of Broward County; the Community Foundation of Broward; the United Way of Broward County (UWBC); the Broward County Safety Coordinating Council; the Broward County Boys and Girls Club; and the Jewish Museum of Florida.  Alan Levy is a Trustee of the David Posnack Foundation and a member of the Board of Directors of BFC Financial Corporation. 



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 $23 million and a staff of 34. He represents the Department on numerous cultural and civic committees including service as: 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 board of the Florida Cultural Alliance; chairman of the 5-county regional arts alliance, the South Florida Cultural Consortium; director of the Miami-Dade County Tourist Development Council; and member of the board of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. In 2004, Michael 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 Art in Public Places program. In 2011, the Department of Cultural Affairs is opening 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. This will be the Department’s first foray into cultural facilities management. Over the more than twenty-five years that he has served the Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring has helped build Miami-Dade County’s cultural community into a more than a $922 million annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of artists.

Deputy Secretary, Ron Sims

Ron Sims was unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2009, and sworn in as the Deputy Secretary for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development on May 8, 2009. As the second most senior official at HUD, Sims is responsible for managing the Department's day-to-day operations, a nearly $40 billion annual operating budget, and the agency's 8,500 employees.

Sims previously served as the Executive for the King County, Washington, the 13th largest county in the nation in a metropolitan area of 1.8 million residents and 39 cities including the cities of Seattle, Bellevue and Redmond.

While serving three terms, Sims was nationally recognized for his work on transportation, homelessness, climate change, health care reform, urban development and affordable housing. His leadership in affordable housing and multiple community and housing partnerships have funded 5,632 units of housing during his 12 years.

One of the hallmarks of the Sims Administration in King County was the integration of environmental, social equity and public health policies that produced groundbreaking work on climate change, health care reform, affordable housing, mass transit, environmental protection, land use, and equity and social justice.

Sims is also a proponent of Smart Growth programs and the preservation of green space before it is lost to development. The policies he implemented in King County stopped costly sprawl and resulted in 96 percent of new construction being concentrated in urban areas with only 4% in rural areas.

Over the years Sims developed a reputation as a tireless legislator, working on a diverse palette of issues that led to advances in the areas of the environment, education, public safety and the protection of workers' rights. He credits his drive in part with marching alongside his politically active parents in the 1950's and 1960's during the civil rights movement led by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Those experiences honed in him a passion for civil rights issues that has been a guidepost throughout his career.

Sims was named Leader of the Year by American City and County Magazine in July, 2008 and was recognized as one of Governing Magazine's Government Officials of the Year in 2007. He has been honored with national awards from the Sierra Club, the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Sims joined Senator Edward Kennedy and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger as recipients of the 2008 Health Quality Award from the National Committee for Quality Assurance. Sims and King County are also recipients of HUD's prestigious Robert L. Woodson Jr. Affordable Communities Award for 2005.

Born in Spokane, Washington in 1948, Sims is a graduate of Central Washington University.


Rocco Landesman was confirmed by the United States Senate on August 7, 2009 as the tenth chairman of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). Prior to joining the NEA, he was a Broadway theater producer.

Mr. Landesman was born (July 20, 1947) and raised in St. Louis, Missouri. He pursued his undergraduate education at Colby College and the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and earned a doctorate in Dramatic Literature at the Yale School of Drama. At the completion of his course work, Mr. Landesman stayed at the school for four years, working as an assistant professor.

Mr. Landesman's ensuing career has been a hybrid of commercial and artistic enterprises. In 1977, he left Yale to start a private investment fund which he ran until his appointment in 1987 as president of Jujamcyn, a company that owns and operates five Broadway theaters: St. James, Al Hirschfeld, August Wilson, Eugene O'Neill, and Walter Kerr theaters.

Before and after joining Jujamcyn, Mr. Landesman produced Broadway shows, the most notable of which are Big River (1985 Tony Award for Best Musical), Angels in America: Millenium Approaches (1993 Tony Award for Best Play), Angels in America: Perestroika (1994 Tony Award for Best Play), and The Producers (2001 Tony Award for Best Musical). In 2005, he purchased Jujamcyn and operated it until President Obama announced his intention to nominate him to the NEA chairmanship.

Mr. Landesman has been active on numerous boards, including the Municipal Arts Society; the Times Square Alliance; The Actor's Fund; and the Educational Foundation of America. Mr. Landesman has also vigorously engaged the ongoing debate about arts policy, speaking at forums and writing numerous articles, focusing mainly on the relationship between the commercial and not-for-profit sectors of the American theater. Over the years, he returned to the Yale School of Drama and Yale Rep to teach.

Mr. Landesman is married to Debby Landesman. Mrs. Landesman is an independent consultant and the former executive director of the Levi Strauss Foundation; she advises corporations and foundations on their philanthropic strategies. He has three sons: North, Nash, and Dodge.

Mr. Landesman's biggest passions are theater, baseball, horse racing, and country music. On any given day he will insist that one of these is the perfect expression of American culture. At one time or another, he owned three minor league baseball teams, various racehorses, and a collection of Roger Miller long-playing records.


FIU College of Architecture + The Arts

Xavier Cortada
Florida International University
College of Architecture + The Arts
420 Lincoln Road, Suite 430
Miami Beach, FL 33139

Xavier Cortada's participatory art practice is based at Florida International University.


 Reclamation Project

 NYFA sponsored-artist participatory eco-art projects


Native Flags   






 ©2008-2014 Xavier Cortada. All text content, videos, and images are the property of Xavier Cortada.

Any reproductions, revisions or modifications of this website without expressed consent of Xavier Cortada is prohibited by law.