Dennis Scholl Receives 2017 Art Transforms Award

Presented by the Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU


Dennis Scholl and Jordana Pomeroy
The Patricia & Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU selected Dennis Scholl as the recipient of the 2017 Art Transforms Award. A nationally recognized patron of the arts, award-winning filmmaker (10 Emmys) and art collector, Dennis Scholl has spearheaded nearly $200 million in arts funding nationwide through his leadership and vision.

As an alumnus of Florida International University (class of '77), Scholl’s first experience ever inside a museum was at the museum's original location on campus 40 years ago when he was a young student at FIU – the year the museum was founded. He spoke passionately at the event about how as a young student at FIU, his life was transformed after feeling compelled to walk into the campus museum that day. Since then, Scholl and his wife Debra have become renowned champions of the arts locally and across the country.

The art museum's patrons, Patricia & Phillip Frost, joined Museum Director, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, FIU's Provost Dr. Kenneth Furton, Museum Board Chair Daniel Perron in honoring Dennis Scholl at the recent Benefactor Impact event.

Phillip & Patricia Frost, Dennis & Debra Scholl, Dr. Jordana Pomeroy, and Daniel Perron, the Museum's Board Chair
The Scholls' invited guests were led on a personal tour of the exhibition Marking the Infinite: Contemporary Women Artists from Aboriginal Australia, drawn from their own collection, which will continue its national tour after headlining at the Frost Art Museum FIU. The Scholls are holders of the largest private collection of Aboriginal art in the United States.

Dennis Scholl recently stepped down from his leadership position at the $2.5 billion Knight Foundation, where he oversaw funding of close to $200 million to arts organizations across America. He created Random Acts of Culture, and with his team at the foundation developed and led the Knight Arts Challenge.

Scholl is a ten-time regional Emmy winner for his cultural documentaries, including films about Tracey Emin, Theaster Gates, Wynton Marsalis and Frank Gehry. He is a producer, writer and director whose second feature documentary, Queen of Thursdays, co-written and produced with noted Cuban filmmaker Orlando Rojas, was named Best Documentary at the 2016 Miami International Film Festival. Scholl is also known for Deep City — The Birth of the Miami Sound (2014) and the animated short, The Sun as a Big Dark Animal, an official selection of the 2015 Sundance International Film Festival. Scholl’s newest film is called Symphony in D? and is currently on the film festival circuit, showing at various cities.

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