By Laura Bruney, Arts & Business Council
Why do successful business executives join arts boards and support the arts? The Arts & Business Council of Miami asked that question of Miami’s very own dynamic duo, Dennis Edwards and Mark Steinberg. They define what it means to be good corporate citizens. For more than two and a half decades, Mark and Dennis have demonstrated an almost limitless capacity for selfless generosity.
Mark Steinberg is a lawyer, C.P.A, and was a successful businessman before retiring in 1997. Asked why he believes the arts are important he said, “The arts broaden our horizons. In today’s world everyone faces day to day difficulties and challenges. The arts bring beauty into our lives and help us focus on what matters.” Mark was President of Miami City Ballet during its first four performing years, taking a leave of absence from his business to launch the Company. He is the past president of the Florida Cultural Action Alliance and has served on that board for over 20 years. In addition he served in many leadership roles with Maximum Dance Company. “We want to give back, be hands-on and provide leadership. What we give we get back with so much joy” said Mark.
Dennis Edwards has been actively involved in the arts, health and political communities for over 25 years. He is the ultimate business volunteer, operating his own charitable foundation with husband Mark, and participating in numerous community organizations. He has served on several arts boards and chaired many of them. Asked why, he replied “Being on the board, you become a part of the family. You know the artists, you know the staff and you become the ultimate insider. I love the feeling of watching a performance come to life on stage when I have been involved in all the steps it took to get there” Dennis was a founder and President of Maximum Dance Company. He currently chairs the Foundation Board of New World School of the Arts and is the Vice-President of the Thomas Armour Youth Ballet.
There is hardly an arts group in our community that has not been impacted by Dennis and Mark’s generous donation of time, skills and funding. In addition to serving on the boards listed above they also support dozens of arts organizations. They both agreed they are fortunate to have the time, passion and resources to give to the arts. “We love the feeling that we can be part of the solution and can help strengthen the cultural community we love and believe in. We are so grateful to live in a community with such a vibrant and exciting cultural community”