Collector, advisor to some of the world’s top museums, and, lately, the Midas touch for arts groups: Miami native Dennis Scholl may be one of the most powerful people in the contemporary art world, but he’s not going to flaunt it.
Scholl and his wife, Debra, have amassed more than 1,000 works of print, photography, sculpture, drawing and other art over 30 years, building a private collection that establishes the Scholls as formidable figures in the international art community, which turns its attention to South Florida this week for Art Basel Miami Beach.
Since April 2009, though, Scholl’s cultural profile has exploded as vice president of arts programs for the Miami-based John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, where he oversees the distribution of millions of dollars each year. His mandate: inspire public dialogues, and create shared experiences that forge a sense of community — and do this all through the arts.
Challenging goals, even for the Knight Foundation, an organization with more than $2 billion in assets and nearly $100 million total giving in 2010. But for Scholl, a successful entrepreneur with the optimistic spirit of one accustomed to beating the odds, failure is part of success, and surrender is out of the question.
Knight Foundation supports transformational ideas that promote quality journalism, advance media innovation, engage communities and foster the arts. We believe that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged. For more, visit www.knightfoundation.org.