A historic church on Andalusia Avenue is being transformed into an arts institution that promises to change the cultural landscape of Coral Gables and invigorate the performing arts in Miami. Mike Eidson and Dr. Margaret Eidson, who have a long history of philanthropy in South Florida, have founded a new non-profit organization, Sanctuary of the Arts. The Eidsons have committed 1 million dollars to renovate the First Church of Christ, Scientist into an educational campus, incubator, and performance space. The facility will open this winter, offering high-quality programs and performances in theater, dance, music, poetry, and more.

The Sanctuary will provide residencies to local artists and organizations, offer educational workshops to the public, and co-produce original work. Its artistic vision intends to challenge traditional frameworks of genre by providing a space for cross-disciplinary collaborations to thrive. In a city where engagement with the visual arts has grown, the Sanctuary will bring exciting new opportunities for locals to encounter the performing arts.

Community support for the institution is flourishing, and the Sanctuary has begun forming its board of directors. City of Coral Gables Mayor Raúl Valdés-Fauli is enthusiastic about what Sanctuary of the Arts will offer; Long-time Coral Gables resident, and interdisciplinary creative professional, Olga Granda is the Sanctuary’s founding Artistic Director & CEO. She has assembled a dynamic team of accomplished artists to lead the organization, including Amy Cozette Trieger, Monica E. Soderman, Abigail Nover, and Atena Sherry.

“The City welcomes this much-needed venue, and even greater need for expansion of performance opportunities — both for viewers and artists. The organization’s founder and leaders bring a collective knowledge, expertise, and passion for the arts that we all need to support and embrace.”

All photos by Hector Martinez and Christian Santiago.