PAMM Corporate Cocktail: Q&A with Eddie Kirtley

We’re gearing up for the Fifth Annual PAMM Corporate Cocktail on Wednesday, May 15, 6-8pm, this year hosted by Bar Bevy and David Grutman. We invite you to join us for an evening of cocktails and networking with emerging professional leaders, who understand the importance of the business community’s commitment to the arts. Don’t have your tickets yet? Get early bird special ticket pricing until May 1, 2019.

We sat down with host committee member Eddie Kirtley to talk about this year’s event.

Eddie-Kirtley-Photo.jpgEddie Kirtley

How did you become involved with the museum?
Well, I have always been a person who appreciates the arts and I frequent museums when I travel. When PAMM moved to its current location a few years ago, the architecture of the building really interested me. Herzog & de Meuron’s design is world-class and will, I think, stand the test of time. The outside of the building really drew me to explore what’s inside, but it was my dear friend Christopher Pastor who encouraged me to get involved with the museum’s programming and fundraising efforts. He asked me to join the host committee for the inaugural Corporate Cocktail five years ago, and I’ve stayed involved since then. I really have Christopher to thank; he made my involvement possible.

For those who have never been to the Corporate Cocktail, what can one expect?
Those who have never attended can expect a great evening in a great venue with great people! It’s an elegant, fun event, but it is also casual in a good way. It’s an excellent opportunity to informally mix-and-mingle with young professionals and friends who you see perhaps less often than you would like, we all have friends like that. And, of course, most importantly, it is a chance to raise money for a good cause.

pamm_neighborhood_barnyard_yesenia_hernandez_2PAMM in the Neighborhood. Photo: Juan E. Cabrera

Why is it important to be involved in an event like this?
Gratitude is my mantra. There is so much negativity in the world, but you have to have the discipline and consciousness to look beyond that and see the good—and part of that is finding ways you can help. I believe we all have an obligation to “give back” in some fashion, whether it be by giving money to causes we find important, taking used clothes to Goodwill, volunteering our time, or whatever calls to us individually. The Corporate Cocktail has certainly provided me an opportunity to contribute by ensuring that children in our community will continue to have an outlet for arts appreciation and learning.

All funds from the cocktail are donated to the museum’s art and education outreach programs. What does it mean to you to be a part of an organization that is the largest provider of art education outside of Miami-Dade County Schools System?
When I was in grade school in Kentucky, we had art class where we learned to paint and draw and sculpt.  Art classes weren’t viewed as a luxury; I didn’t go to a fancy private school, this was the situation in city public schools, and it was thought essential to human development that a school’s curriculum include art, music, and physical education. I think schools here generally do a great job, but speaking more globally, schools across the country are facing more and more pressure to devote time to preparing for tests and the emphasis has really shifted somewhat since my youth. With less attention and time given to arts education, I think we are losing something that makes us essentially human—our appreciation for culture and creativity. We are not robots. For me, the Corporate Cocktail is a very important antidote to the current trend. Museums like PAMM are stepping up to fill the void and I want to support that.

Bar BevyCourtesy Bar Bevy

What are you looking forward to most for this year’s Corporate Cocktail?
One of the things that I love about this event—something that makes it unique and different from a lot of other fundraising cocktails and galas—is that it takes place at a new venue every year. So each one of the Corporate Cocktails that I’ve been a part of the last five years has had a different vibe and flavor because the event really gets its energy from the hosting venue. This year we are at the hip, new Bar Bevy in the Miami Design District, and I’m really looking forward to experiencing this year’s event in that setting.

Don’t miss out on the PAMM Corporate Cocktail. Get your tickets today!

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