Arsht Center Names Johann Zietsman CEO and President

Zietsman will start his new role at the Miami performing arts center early next year.

MIAMI: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County has named Johann Zietsman as its CEO and president. Zietsman, who succeeds John Richard in the role, will begin in February of 2019.

Johann Zietsman. (Photo by Trudie Lee)

“After a thorough and careful selection process, we’re delighted to have Johann lead the Arsht Center into a new era while conserving the Center’s commitment for comprehensive community engagement,” said Ira D. Hall, chair of the Center’s trust board of directors, in a statement. “Johann has built a reputation within the arts world as a fierce advocate of diversity and inclusion, from audiences to programming and staffing.”

Zietsman currently serves as CEO and president of the Arts Commons in Calgary, Alberta. During his 10-year tenure, Zietsman turned a projected $900,000 deficit into a consolidated surplus of more than $1.3 million. His interest in the arts began early in his career in his home country of South Africa, where his work was recognized by Nelson Mandela’s government. Zietsman launched two community youth initiatives, which currently serve 4,000 at-risk children in townships in South Africa. He is the current chair of the Performing Arts Center Consortium and a member of the International Society for the Performing Arts.

“It’s an incredible opportunity to be able to lead an institution that values many of the same principles I’ve championed throughout my career, such as building access to the arts for all,” said Zietsman in a statement. “Although Miami and Calgary are two very different cities, they are similar in that they’re diverse and rich in culture—and that’s what excites me the most about accepting this new role.”

Added Adrienne Arsht, founding chairman of the Adrienne Arsht Center Foundation, in a statement, “We are so excited to shepherd in this new era at the Arsht Center under Johann’s world-class leadership. He is fabulous, and I am confident he will do a stellar job at the Arsht and be a tremendous addition to the Miami community.”