Winter Wonderful Honorees

Susana and Alberto Ibarg├╝en

The Frost School of Music at the University of Miami is pleased to present the 2021 Frost Legacy Award to Susana and Alberto Ibargüen for their work in “making art general” in Miami.

Susana worked tirelessly for the arts. She started out as a volunteer at the Pérez Art Museum of Miami and later served as president of their Board of Trustees. She strongly advocated for city, county, and private support for the museum by the bay that made architecture and design serve the art form.

She was an early and active member of the Funding Arts Network (FAN) and a trustee of Fairchild Tropical Gardens. As a member of both FAN and the Miami Dade County’s Cultural Affairs Council, she participated in providing resources for hundreds of artists and musicians in South Florida.

Susana passed away this past August after a long struggle with ALS. Despite the crippling nature of the disease, she never lost her appreciation for music, dance, film, writing, or theater. Just hours before her death, she could still smile when she heard some of her favorite songs. It was a testament to the power of music.

Alberto is president of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation. During his tenure, the foundation has become a major supporter of music and the arts in South Florida, including the New World Symphony, the Knight Concert Hall at the Adrienne Arsht Center, the Miami Music Project, and most recently the Knight Recital Hall building at the Frost School of Music.

Reflecting on the foundation’s contributions, Alberto wrote, “Music, and the arts in general, are powerful agents to lift the soul and bind people to place and to each other. They build community. For an organization like ours, whose core purpose is precisely to support informed and engaged communities, our goal of making art general, making it palpable everywhere we turn in Miami, is the most natural thing in the world.”

“Knight Foundation has a long history of supporting the Frost School of Music, but never more than now under Shelly Berg’s leadership. The new music building that will carry the Knight name will not only be an architectural statement on campus but is designed to serve musical education. It will also be equipped with state-of-the-art technology that will enable the entire University, Miami, and the world to share in the work of our brilliant musicians,” Alberto explained.