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Sherwood M.
Sherwood M. "Woody" and Judy Weiser
A Vision for Something Bigger—Why Sherwood M. and Judy Weiser Dedicated Themselves to the Arts

Every season 500,000 people experience the power of the performing arts at the Adrienne Arsht Center, thanks to the dedication of philanthropic visionaries like Sherwood M. "Woody" and Judy Weiser.

The Weisers, with contagious enthusiasm, devoted decades of their lives to the arts and to the creation of our community's world-class performing arts center. By naming the Center's Legacy Society after them, the board of directors for the Performing Arts Center Trust and the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation pay tribute to a civic-minded spirit that will live on through the giving of others.

The Sherwood M. and Judy Weiser Legacy Society will support and sustain the future of the Adrienne Arsht Center for generations to come by offering opportunities for inspired donors to combine philanthropic giving with their own financial needs and tax planning strategies.

Just days before Woody Weiser's passing on August 1, 2011, the Weisers agreed to lend their name to this important effort.

The Weisers moved to the Miami community from Cleveland in 1969. The two began helping to build, encourage and support philanthropic causes in their new community. Their generosity and tireless leadership on nonprofit arts and education boards strengthened a culture of giving in Miami-Dade County.

"It was important for us to set this example for our children," Judy says. "We want them to continue in our tradition of philanthropy."

Woody was a very successful hotel developer and operator, but he also devoted himself to his wife, his family, and his passion for helping others and creating a vision for the arts in South Florida.

With plans on the drawing board for a performing arts center in downtown Miami, he became the first chairman of the Performing Arts Center Foundation of Greater Miami in 1990, helped raise $85 million from the private sector and chaired a board of 44 members. At the same time, Judy served on the board of directors for the Performing Arts Center Trust, overseeing the planning and building of the Center's campus, which opened its doors in 2006.

"It was an exciting time for us," she says. "Woody was focused on working very hard to raise the necessary funds, and I was focused on the design of the building—both inside and out—and faced the challenges of making choices for architects, designers and artists. We were a good team!"

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