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The Vizcayans

In 1957, a group of generous Miamians organized themselves as The Vizcayans whose mission is to assist the Museum and Miami-Dade County in addressing the complex and clostly needs of Vizcaya through its advocacy. The Vizcayans plays an important role in preserving Vizcaya and making the Museum accesible to all.  The Vizcayans a not-for-profit, 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization.

The Board of Directors of The Vizcayans raises and administers funds collected from membership dues, fundraising events, bequests and contributions.  The major fund-raising event is The Vizcayans Ball.  The Vizcayans also has a young professionals group named La Lega dei Viscayani. La Lega hosts two annual fundraisers a year:  The Halloween Sundowner (fall season) and the Evening Under the Stars (spring season).

The Vizcayans membership is comprised of a diverse community of art and history enthusiasts who contribute annually through renewable annual memberships.  Millions of dollars have been raised for Museum restoration projects.  Many individuals, corporations and organizations participate in the care and success of Vizcaya as an art museum.

The work of The Vizcayans is recognized on both locally and on a national level.  In 1979, the National Trust for Historic Preservation presented the David E. Finley Award in recognition of “exemplary restoration of Vizcaya and the Gardens.”  In 1980, The Vizcayans received an Award of Merit from the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation and Vizcaya was honored with the American Society of Interior Designers’ Total Design Award.  In 1985, The Vizcayans received the National Voluntary Service Award bestowed by the awards committee of the National Recreation and Park Association.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is an extraordinary European-inspired estate that includes a house filled with art and furnishings and ten acres of magnificent gardens on Biscayne Bay. It was built by agricultural industrialist James Deering, who wintered on the property from 1916–1925.

With its unique architecture, gardens, interiors, and decorative arts. Vizcaya helps visitors understand the so-called “American Renaissance” in America and Miami’s place in this history, the role of internationalism in the United States and local culture, and the richness of art, interior design, architecture, and landscape design.

For decades, Vizcaya has been a diplomatic seat of Miami-Dade County, having hosted some of the world’s most renowned dignitaries—such as Queen Elizabeth II, Pope John Paul II, President Ronald Reagan, and King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofia of Spain—and major international events—such as the Summit of the Americas, the signing of the Free Trade Agreement, and activities associated with Art Basel. In addition, thousands of Miami-Dade residents have chosen to commemorate some of the most important occasions of their lives at Vizcaya.

Distinguished as a National Historic Landmark and accredited by the American Association of Museums, Vizcaya welcomes approximately 140,000 visitors each year.  We invite you to visit this serene and stunningly beautiful retreat in the heart of Miami.

To learn more about the museum, visit Vizcaya’s website or call 305-250-9133.

Committees within The Vizcayans

The Vizcayans Ball

Since 1956, this committee has been responsible for The Vizcayans most important and prestigious annual fundraiser, The Vizcayans Ball which is historically held the Saturday immediately before the Thanksgiving holiday in November.  The Vizcayans recently celebrated its’ 50th anniversary at the 2006 Ball.

Endowment and Major Gifts

The Endowment and Major Gifts Committee was originally founded as the Foundation for Villa Vizcaya as its own 501(c)3 organization more than 25 years ago.  Its mission has always been to raise an endowment for the benefit of Vizcaya Museum & Gardens.  During a merger that occurred on February 10, 2003, The Vizcayans subsumed the Foundation for Villa Vizcaya adding it as a standing committee within The Vizcayans.  This committee is responsible for raising funds for the endowment, capital projects, special projects, and operational needs through donations from individuals, corporations, foundations, and other sources.  The chair of this committee serves on the Vizcaya Museum and Gardens Trust.

There are many tools used by the Endowment and Major Gifts committee in order for them to accomplish their fundraising goals for the endowment.  Much funding comes from the generosity of our Donors.  Contributions made to Endowment and Major Gifts committee begin at the $10,000 level of pledging. Upon pledging that amount or higher, individuals are recognized at an intimate event held at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens.  These members and donors at other levels are also welcomed at other Endowment and Major gifts events at Vizcaya throughout the year.

Some donors contribute to the endowment efforts by making the Endowment and Major Gifts committee a beneficiary to one or more life insurance policies. A convenient method for generating a substantial long-term contribution at a reasonable annual cost.

Other opportunities may include naming the Endowment and Major Gifts committee in a Last Will and Testament or by establishing a Trust.  Both very unique ways for providing legacies which will benefit Vizcaya as it nears its 100th anniversary and beyond.

Gifts made to the Endowment and Major Gifts Committee, like gifts made to The Vizcayans, are tax deductible (for income or estate tax purposes, as the case may be) to the fullest extent allowed by law.  Please phone us to discuss ways to share your enthusiasm for Vizcaya.   

La Lega dei Viscayani

Since 1986, this committee is responsible for engaging the awareness, involvement, and support of young adults for Vizcaya through membership, special events, and programs.  La Lega coordinates many fine events including the Halloween Party, New Year’s Eve Celebration, the Evening Under the Stars food and wine pairing event and the Red, White and Blue Fest Independence day celebration.  La Lega events are one of the driving forces behind the annual membership campaigns.

James Deering Society

The James Deering Society is The Vizcayans’ premier group of donors who make an annual financial committment to advance the Museum’s mission and programs.  These unrestricted donations are essential to ensuring Vizcaya’s future.

Click here to read the latest information on upcoming events.
The Vizcayans Ball
November 20, 2010 (Saturday)
7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.
The Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon (Hat Luncheon)
February 22, 2011 (Tuesday)
11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.
The James Deering Society
Annual Donor Recognition Celebration
April 7, 2011 (Thursday)
7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
Evening Under the Stars at Vizcaya
May 19, 2011 (Thursday)
7:30 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.

November 19, 2011 (Saturday)
7:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m.

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