Arts & Culture

VIDEO: Founding Visionary

Toby Lerner Ansin and Miami City Ballet

More than two decades ago, the seeds were planted that have bloomed into the cultural renaissance that Miami is currently experiencing. A major component of this cultural core began 25 years ago when Toby Ansin had a meeting with the great Edward Villella at her home. During that meeting, Villella mapped out a 10 year strategy of how to build a classical ballet company. From there, Ansin raised a mere $7,000 to fly Villella back and forth while they created the Miami City Ballet (MCB). Today, MCB has an annual budget of $15 million.

On the eve of MCB’s 25th anniversary season, SocialMiami sat down with Ansin on the stage of the Playground Theatre, her daughter Stephanie’s children’s theatre company in Miami Shores, for an exclusive interview that examines both the evolution of MCB, as well as how Miami continues to evolve culturally.