This interview with Deborah Briggs by Laura Bruney and Etain Connor of the Arts & Business Council of Miami was originally published June 2, 2014 on their blog.
With a façade that harkens back to the golden age of Ocean Drive yet refined for a contemporary palate, The Betsy South Beach is known for hosting a variety of events that are diverse, innovative and always interesting. Ask around town and the hotel that is consistently identified with showcasing the arts is The Betsy. Ask artists and organizations that work in the arts and their praise for the hotel is broad and deep for it is hard to find a true partner. On a glorious spring day on South Beach we joined Deborah Briggs, Vice President for Marketing, Philanthropy, and Programs at The Betsy at BLT Steak, the hotels signature eatery. Lucky for us we are between the lunch and dinner crowds so have a quiet hour to nosh on the most delectable cheese popovers. The Betsy’s attention to detail is observed with the accompaniment of a cute “popovers recipe” card for those so inclined to try to recreate perfection. While nibbling we embarked on an amazing and eye-opening conversation.
ABCMiami: What do you think makes a vibrant community and what role do the arts play?
DB: When my brother, Jonathan acquired and renovated The Betsy–philanthropy, with a focus on arts, culture and education was always at the core of his mission. We were inspired by our father, Hyam Plutzik’s legacy that art is a catalyst to bring people together around things that matter to them. Each of our hotel guestrooms for example, are outfitted with a mini-library and a bookmarker is placed on the bed during evening turndown. We believe the arts provide us with the opportunity to live in the moment and have an engaging collective experience. All great civilizations, past and present, are distinguished through the arts – and we are committed to that enterprise in our community. Read the rest of this entry »