South Florida impresario confronts shifting cultural landscape

Posted on: June 3, 2009

In Sunday’s (5/31) Miami Herald, Daniel Change profiles a prominent figure in local culture: “For decades, the South Florida arts scene was Judy Drucker’s stage. … Drucker was the dealmaker most responsible for bringing the biggest names in classical music and dance to what had been a cultural desert. A homemaker turned impresario, she brokered blockbuster presentations, cultivating friendships with dancer Mikhail Baryshnikov, composer Leonard Bernstein and pianist Vladimir Horowitz. But the cultural landscape beneath Drucker’s feet has tilted. Today’s South Florida arts scene is ruled by fiscally minded boards and publicly funded institutions, not swashbuckling producers. Drucker… finds herself, at 80, on the outs. … In the past six months, the Concert Association of Florida, founded by Drucker to present classical music and dance, filed for bankruptcy … She had been voted out as president a year earlier following years of budget deficits. Then the Florida Grand Opera, for which Drucker served as an artistic advisor, canceled her contract… In some ways, though, Drucker’s role has been diminished by the very cultural scene that she helped to establish.” Still, the article reports, Drucker has no plans to quit: “ ‘Who knows what the next act is,’ she says, ‘but I know there will be one. My life is in music.’ ”

Posted June 3, 2009