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Group Gives Nearly $1M To S. Florida Arts Organizations

AVENTURA (CBSMiami) – Thirty South Florida visual and performing arts organizations will receive 2013 grants from Citizens Interested in the Arts (CIA) – a charitable group founded 15 years ago to help struggling arts groups in South Florida.
CIA President Lenore Toby-Simmons and Grants Chairman Dr. Dorothy Koreman announced this week that $930,000 has been donated since the group was founded in 1997 by Gloria Muroff and the late Colleen Werner.
All 30 grantees awarded this year will officially be recognized at CIA's Grantees on Parade/Champion of the Arts Bruncheon Feb. 17 at the Aventura Arts & Cultural Center.
The annual event will pay tribute to this year's Champion of the Arts Robert and Florence Werner for their philanthropy in supporting the arts.
Ticket information for the annual event is available through Muroff at 305-932-9580 and sponsorship opportunities can be obtained from Toby-Simmons at 305 936-0500.
Toby-Simmons emphasized how the recent economic downfall had impacted the arts.
She explained that "theatrical companies, museums and exhibits are disappearing. Now, our group and other concerned citizens are organizing to turn things around."
"We've come a long way in a short time," she said. "Our first grants went to two aspiring opera singers from Miami's New World School of the Arts. We are proud to say the young tenor has gone on to perform at the New York Metropolitan Opera. Now, this year, we can help 30 groups."
CIA gives awards in both the performing and visual arts. Its funds come from membership dues,  luncheon events and special fund-raising programs
CIA Membership information is available by calling 954-923-6268. Additonal information on CIA is available at
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