Golden Baton Award 2016
The “MISO Golden Baton Recognition Award ” annually honors an outstanding member of our
community. As director of the Miami-Dade County Department of Cultural Affairs, Michael Spring
is responsible for supervision of a public arts agency with an annual budget of more than $30
million. In 2014, 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 the arts,
parks and libraries. He represents the County and the Department on numerous cultural and
civic organizations including service as Secretary of the board of directors of Americans for the
Arts (the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts in America), 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.
Over the almost thirty 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 $1 billion
annual industry comprised of more than 1,000 non-profit cultural groups and thousands of
artists. This work has encompassed: providing comprehensive support for the entire cultural
community from artists to major institutions and grassroots and multicultural arts groups with a
focus on neighborhood activities; establishing an ongoing cultural facilities improvements
program, with more than $100 million of public funds devoted to improving existing and building
new theaters county-wide; and developing initiatives to increase more participation in cultural
activities for Miami-Dade’s residents and visitors.
He serves the Cultural Affairs Council, a 15-member volunteer advisory board entrusted with
setting policy for the Department of Cultural Affairs; the Tourist Development Council, a 9-
member board dedicated to supporting visitor-oriented cultural and special events; and the Art in
Public Places Trust, a 15-member board responsible for one of the nation’s leading public art
programs. He has worked effectively on legislative issues at the local, state and federal levels.
He has served on state and National Endowment for the Arts grants review panels and has
participated in national arts policy discussions on the future of local arts agencies and on the
issues of funding, facilities development, advocacy, stabilization of major institutions and the
evolving relationship between the non-profit arts and commercial entertainment industries.
Michael Spring 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 develop
his interests as a visual artist.