The Flagler Street Society presented one of its annual fundraisers, Croquet and Cocktails, this past Sunday on Brickell Key at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel. About 100 members comprise the group of young professionals ages 21-45 who support South Florida’s largest history museum, History Miami.
On Sunday, however, museum enthusiasts of all ages attended the event, where guests tried their hand at croquet while mingling on the commons and enjoying refreshing cocktails. Although croquet may be associated with a more genteel culture, on Sunday it was played in true Miami style — elegant yet casual under the palm trees.
History Miami is at the heart of the city — an honest gem among the hype. A premier research facility, the museum is a repository of artifacts, photographs, documents, publications and oral histories. Located in downtown Miami’s cultural plaza, next to the Miami Art Museum and the main branch of the Miami-Dade County Library, the museum boasts a permanent exhibit on the natural and cultural history of the area, as well as curated yearly exhibits focusing on South Florida. Adult programs include neighborhood tours and lectures. Children can enjoy an array of activities from field trips to summer camps.
ONE | Sotheby’s spoke with a former board member who was volunteering at Croquet and Cocktails. “It’s fun being a grandparent and bringing the kids to the museum,” she said. “Children love seeing all those things. Getting involved with the museum is a great way to get involved with the community.”
For anyone new to South Florida, a visit to History Miami is worthwhile to learn about the area’s rich history. Evidence of human habitation along the banks of the Miami River dates back to over two-thousand years. The Miami Circle park project, which is part of History Miami, pays tribute to the Tequesta Indians who lived where towering luxury condominiums and hotels stake claim to land today.
It may be a museum, but History Miami is far from stuffy. The Flagler Street Society hosts monthly Wine Down Wednesdays, where local professionals gather for happy hour and to peruse exhibits after closing time. Music, wine and light bites make for one of downtown Miami’s best regular cultural affairs — a most accessible and enjoyable form of philanthropy for a local institution.
Reasonable yearly museum membership rates include free admission, discounts to special events and tours as well as reciprocal benefits with other museums.
– Maria de los Angeles is a freelance wordsmith based in Miami.